**4.5-stars rounded up**
Casey Fletcher is a NYC-based actress, who having grown up in the industry, is used to a lot of drama.
Unfortunately for Casey, after suffering a personal tragedy, she makes a mistake many people have made before her. She turns to the bottle to numb her pain.
Initially, she’s still able to function somewhat, but she’s spiraling fast, head-first into the NYC pavement. Luckily, the paparazzi is there to capture her descent for the whole world to see. ((read with heavy sarcasm))
Casey’s mother, in an ill-advised effort to help her daughter, ships her off to their Vermont lake house, because we all know being secluded in the middle of nowhere on a lake will make you quit drinking.
Frankly, Casey could use a break from the city anyway, so she doesn’t put up much of a fight. Her mother thinks since Casey doesn’t have a car there, she won’t be able to get alcohol, but the friendly neighbor who is making her grocery runs keeps her fully stocked.
At the lake house, Casey struggles just as much as in the city. It is the last place she was with her husband and the root of her misery.
Drinking her days away, Casey is obviously not in a good head space. She struggles to concentrate on anything, or remain focused, that is until she begins to utilize the family binoculars.
Across the lake is a massive modern home recently purchased by an uber-wealthy couple, Tom and Katherine Royce. Tom, a successful businessman and Katherine, a stunning former model, give Casey plenty to focus on.
After a shocking encounter on the lake brings Casey and Katherine together, the two women begin a tentative friendship. The more the women chat and get to know one another, the more clear it becomes to Casey that all is not well in the Royce household.
Not long after, Katherine suddenly vanishes. Casey, having witnessed some very suspicious behaviors from the couple before, thinks violence may have been involved. She doesn’t believe Katherine just up and left of her own volition.
Casey becomes obsessed with revealing the truth, but at what cost?
Y’all know, I have been itching to get my hands on this release and it did not disappoint. With his signature-style, Riley Sager has spun another web of intrigue so delicious even Alfred Hitchcock would be giving it two thumbs up!
I loved the modern-Rear Window vibes and the setting was fantastic. Having Casey being on her own, in the house that literally haunted her just by being there, it felt so claustrophobic and unsettling.
It can be tough sometimes being on your own, but Casey being alone at that house was taking it to a whole new level of isolation. Sager paced out the reveals of the before perfectly, in my opinion. It kept me so interested.
I also really enjoyed, not just Casey as a main character, but all her interactions and musings involving the Royces. They certainly kept her mind occupied, at least for a little while.
There were additional side characters, two men in particular, that added a lot to the story as well. They were also residing on the lake at the time that Casey was there and I felt they both added in their own way to the drama unfolding. One was a solid presence, who it felt good to have around, the other, I wasn’t so sure about.
The ending of this is completely over-the-top and caught me by surprise. It’s definitely one of his more memorable conclusions. Trust me when I say, it’s a wild ride.
We started in one direction and ended in another. It was jolting and f*ing enjoyable as heck!!
I really had a phenomenal time reading this. I know that not every Reader is going to love Casey as a protagonist as much as I did, but I found her relatable and even charming in her own clunky way.
This was my most anticipated release of the year and I’m so happy that I was given the opportunity to get to it a little early. Thank you so much to the publisher, Dutton, for providing me with a copy to read and review.
The House Across the Lake is releasing on Tuesday, June 21, 2022. Preorder now, as you won’t want to miss this!!