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Check It Out: Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

This is Ben Bemus with the Sioux City Public Library, and you are listening to Check it Out.

Today I am recommending Home Before Dark by Riley Sager, the story of a woman looking for answers about her family’s secrets by returning to her allegedly haunted childhood home made famous by her father’s memoirs.

Twenty-five years ago, Ewan and Jess Holt moved into Baneberry Hall with their young daughter, Maggie. After only twenty days, they fled the house. Their story gained national attention and prompted the writing of the best-selling book House of Horrors, Ewan’s firsthand account of their supernatural ordeal. Though Maggie cannot remember the events featured in the book, her infamous reputation as the little girl who saw ghosts has left her a life-long outcast.

Maggie believes the book is all lies, and when Ewan is on his deathbed twenty-five years later, she begs him to tell her the truth. He gives her the keys to the manor and a warning – “It’s not safe there. Not for you.” Maggie decides to return to finally discover the truth for herself, but she quickly realizes that something is wrong in Baneberry Hall. Could the book hold more truth than she realized, or is she stumbling toward a truth more horrible than anything her father ever wrote?

Home Before Dark is written as two parallel narratives – House of Horrors and Maggie’s present day return to Baneberry Hall. The result of these conflicting and complementary stories is a thrilling experience with many twists and turns that had me constantly guessing what happened before and what would happen next.

For anyone who likes mystery, haunted houses, and small-town family drama, this is a must read. Check out Riley Sager’s Home Before Dark at the Sioux City Public Library.

Support for Check It Out on Siouxland Public Media comes from Verde Outdoor Media.

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