fulfilling my 2021 goal to read one ARC each month i’d been so excited to get my hands on and then…never read
i am not someone who yells at characters in horror movies for their poor judgment. i do not scoff at how oblivious they are to the threats surrounding them. i do not smugly enumerate all the things i would do differently if i were in their circumstances.
i know how narrative works—if the character avoids the danger, there’s no story. but this one…wow. this takes naïveté to whole new levels of ‘read the room’ incredulity.
if, during a job interview for a low-risk position—let’s say apartment-sitting—you are asked about your medical conditions and your next of kin, be a little suspicious.
if the specifics of the job require isolating yourself from your friends and restricting your movements and communication (i.e. you cannot have visitors or spend the night away from the apartment, and you are cautioned that your social media posts will be monitored during your stay to ensure you are not posting pictures or discussing your new job), weigh the pros and cons of what you’re getting yourself into.
when you are being paid $$$ to live somewhere people would kill to live, when you are instructed to avoid contact with the other residents, when you learn about how other apartment-sitters have vanished without a trace, i dunno—maybe there’s something hinky about the arrangement?
but i’m a cautious lady whose ‘too good to be true’ instincts have gotten me this far, and that’s why no one’s writing a horror movie about my life.
this is the third book i’ve read by the author, and he’s been pretty consistent with delivering page-turnery thrillers that keep the brain from dwelling on all the real-world horrors. this one was more predictable and frustrating than either Final Girls or Home Before Dark, but it was still a fun little escape, and now i know how it feels to be a person who yells at a character in a book. (HOW ARE YOU NOT SEEING THESE PATTERNS? WHY ARE YOU STILL TEXTING??? WHERE IS YOUR SKEPTICISM?? DO YOU NOT KNOW WHAT A SHELTER IS FOR?? DID YOU LEARN NOTHING FROM GET OUT?? JUST GET OUT!!)
not my favorite, but i have no regrets. unlike jules, who has many.
here’s something sad—i got this ARC at what might be the last BEA ever if this pandemic thing gets its way. riley sager had one of the longest lines of the whole shabang, and now i find myself nostalgic for a time when waiting in line for hours to get a book signed was a thing that people could do.