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***** - Middle of the Night


MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT

RILEY SAGER

*****


On July 15, 1994, ten-year-old Ethan and his best friend Billy fell asleep together in their quiet New Jersey cul de sac.


In the morning, Ethan woke up alone. The tent was sliced open, and Billy was gone, taken. He was never seen again.


Thirty years later, Ethan has returned to Hemlock Circle, still desperate for answers.


Who took Billy?


Plagued by bad dreams and insomnia, he begins to notice strange things happening on the street under the cover of darkness. Someone is prowling the cul de sac when no one is awake to see them.


Are they still out there?


This isn't a bad neighourhood. These aren't bad people.


What if they are?

MY REVIEW

*****

Riley Sager has been a bit of a hit and miss author for me, although I enjoyed The Last Time I Lied, I didn’t like Lock Every Door. He gets a lot of acclaim though, so I was excited to read his latest book – Middle of the Night.


Ethan’s childhood friend Billy disappeared in the night from the tent they were both sleeping in in their backyard. He was never found, and Ethan is plagued with dreams of the tent being slashed open. When he returns to his childhood home thirty years later, memories are starting to stir, and the ghosts of the past are becoming restless.


I really enjoyed this read and was hooked throughout. The story jumps between perspectives and flashbacks but at no point does it get confusing. Each perspective tells a little more about the over-arching story, slowly drip-feeding information to the reader. There’s a certain amount of a supernatural aspect to the book, with the ideas of ghosts being explored, and the mechanic of a PING when Ethan’s backyard camera detects motion is really creepy.


There’s plenty of red herrings throughout and there’s a lot of twists that I didn’t see coming. It’s hard to know who to trust and all of the characters felt well-defined and realistic. Ethan is easy to sympathise with as he tries to investigate his friend’s death, especially with his insomnia and bad dreams.


Overall, Middle of the Night is a gripping and spooky read from Riley Sager. Thank you to NetGalley & Hodder and Stoughton for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.


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