After getting unceremoniously laid off from her job and coming home to find her boyfriend cheating on her, Jules Larsen is forced to couch surf with her good friend until she can get back on her feet again. When she is offered the opportunity to apartment sit at The Bartholomew, one of the most exclusive and notorious buildings in Manhattan for $1000 per week, it seems too good to be true. If you’ve consumed even the smallest amount of fiction in your life, you know offers like that turn out. Despite the warnings of her best friend and the strangely restrictive rules for the job (absolutely no visitors and no spending a night away from the building), Jules takes the job with little hesitation. She begins to get uneasy very quickly as not just the eerie atmosphere but the sudden departure of one of the other house sitters makes Jules suspicious. Nothing in the Bartholomew is what it seems.
This is the third book by Riley Sager that deals with horror movie tropes. Final Girls and The Last Time I Lied dealt with (obviously) final girls and sleepaway camp respectively. Lock Every Door examines the trope of the building with the notorious past (e.g. the apartment building from Rosemary’s Baby). There is a lot of bad decision making on the part of our protagonist as you may have guessed from the plot summary, but you kind of get why she makes those choices. I enjoy the heck out of these books but I often wonder if Sager’s obvious attempts at misdirection are intentional. The person who seems wonderful and reliable and gorgeous is clearly evil; the protagonist clearly thinks all roads lead to one conclusion so it’s obviously not that. I choose to believe they’re intentional since he is taking on horror movie tropes.
This one is definitely a good beach read, or perhaps a cozy sweater and coffee read since the beach weather will be leaving us soon. I can speak from experience when I tell you that reading it alone in the house at night is not the best idea.