Book Review: The House Across the Lake by Riley Sager

The House Across the Lake

Author: Riley Sager
Publisher: Dutton (June 21, 2022)
Hardcover, 349 pages


It looks like a familiar story: A woman reeling from a great loss with too much time on her hands and too much booze in her glass watches her neighbors, sees things she shouldn’t see, and starts to suspect the worst. But looks can be deceiving…

Casey Fletcher, a recently widowed actress trying to escape a streak of bad press, has retreated to her family’s lake house in Vermont. Armed with a pair of binoculars and several bottles of liquor, she passes the time watching Tom and Katherine Royce, the glamorous couple living in the house across the lake.

Everything about the Royces seems perfect. Their marriage. Their house. The bucolic lake it sits beside. But when Katherine suddenly vanishes, Casey becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to her. In the process, she discovers the darker truths lurking just beneath the surface of the Royces’ picture-perfect marriage. Truths no suspicious voyeur could begin to imagine–even with a few drinks under her belt.

Like Casey, you’ll think you know where this story is headed.

Think again.

Because once you open the door to obsession, you never know what you might find on the other side.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

I’m still sort of a newbie to the thriller genre, and this was my first read by Riley Sager. I’ll definitely be reading more!!

I thought I knew where the plot was going, and thought for SURE I’d figured out the (inevitable) plot twist.

Nope. Plot twist slapped me right upside the face. And then another one. And then ANOTHER one! At one point I legit said out loud, “What the heck is happening?!” (My friends laughed at me.)

I love a domestic, psychological thriller, and I’m finding that I also really appreciate a good unreliable narrator. The book is written in alternating snippets of “Now” and “Before,” and it’s amazing how much that style can set your brain up to make certain expectations and jump to certain conclusions… which Riley Sager takes full advantage of.

It’s so hard to review books like this because I don’t want to give away any spoilers. Suffice to say I was very glad that the cabin I was staying at while reading this book was NOT on a lake! And also that there were no other houses in sight (that I could see anyway… dun dun dunnnn!)

CW: Alcoholism, murder, death of a spouse/grieving

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