Lock Every Door by Riley Sager
Publisher: Dutton Books
Length: 371 pages
Purchased through Book of the Month
Release Date: July 2, 2019
No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen’s new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.
As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who comfortingly, disturbingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story—until the next day, when Ingrid disappears.
Searching for the truth about Ingrid’s disappearance, Jules digs deeper into the Bartholomew’s dark past and into the secrets kept within its walls. Her discovery that Ingrid is not the first apartment sitter to go missing at the Bartholomew pits Jules against the clock as she races to unmask a killer, expose the building’s hidden past, and escape the Bartholomew before her temporary status becomes permanent.
‘Lock Every Door’ is a story that starts off at a slow pace, but it definitely picks up speed in the middle of the novel. It tells the story of Jules, a girl who receives a golden opportunity to reset her life after losing her job and relationship in one fell swoop: become an apartment sitter at the famous Bartholomew for a ridiculous amount of money. Although Jules feels that the ‘no visitors/no socializing with residents’ policy is odd, she really needs the money. It takes the disappearance of another apartment sitter, and Jules’s persistent questioning, to make her realize that some devious matters are at hand behind the history of The Bartholomew.
This story is presented in first-person perspective, gradually detailing Jules’s life situation to give the reader context as to how dire her need is to accept such an odd offer. Jules is without a family, and without a steady income. Although she has a close friend, Jules’s definition of personal success is having a steady footing financially. It’s not until much later that Jules realizes that there is more underneath the surface of her comfortable surroundings, money dangled in front of her mindset at an arm’s length.
The creepiness in this novel kept things interesting. As the story progressed, the turn I thought it was going to take went an entirely different route. As the true reason for the odd apartment stipulations unfold, it definitely left me thinking about the graphic details long after I finished the book! The tension builds nicely as it jumps between Jules in the present time, and the days leading up to the revelations she encountered.
As Jules is surrounded by the beauty and glamour of The Bartholomew and its famous residents, Jules constantly thinks ‘I don’t belong here’. The social class dynamic gets touched on during this book, as Jules feels insecure being surrounded by so many who have everything in life, while she herself has nothing. Despite these feelings, Jules travels around different areas of New York to find answers about Ingrid, not caring about her ‘place’ in the New York social dynamic. What matters was the overall well-being of her missing friend. As Jules sees it, it’s what her family would have wanted her to do. This aspect of Jules’s character makes her a strong willed person.
‘Lock Every Door’ was very much a spooky, thrilling story set in the backdrop of a city filled with magic. If you enjoy a thriller with steady tension and creepy elements, then this would be the book for you!
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars