Survive the Night
THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
One of New York Times Book Review's "summer reads guaranteed to make your heart thump and your skin crawl"; An Amazon Best of the Month Pick; Named a must-read summer book by The Washington Post, USA Today, Vulture, BuzzFeed, Forbes, Entertainment Weekly, CNN, New York Post, Good Housekeeping, E!, PopSugar, CrimeReads, Thrillist, and BookRiot.
It’s November 1991. Nirvana's in the tape deck, George H. W. Bush is in the White House, and movie-obsessed college student Charlie Jordan is in a car with a man who might be a serial killer.
Josh Baxter, the man behind the wheel, is a virtual stranger to Charlie. They met at the campus ride board, each looking to share the long drive home to Ohio. Both have good reasons for wanting to get away. For Charlie, it’s guilt and grief over the shocking murder of her best friend, who became the third victim of the man known as the Campus Killer. For Josh, it’s to help care for his sick father—or so he says.
The longer she sits in the passenger seat, the more Charlie notices there’s something suspicious about Josh, from the holes in his story about his father to how he doesn’t want her to see inside the trunk. As they travel an empty, twisty highway in the dead of night, an increasingly anxious Charlie begins to think she’s sharing a car with the Campus Killer. Is Josh truly dangerous? Or is Charlie’s jittery mistrust merely a figment of her movie-fueled imagination?
One thing is certain—Charlie has nowhere to run and no way to call for help. Trapped in a terrifying game of cat and mouse played out on pitch-black roads and in neon-lit parking lots, Charlie knows the only way to win is to survive the night.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
As the heroine of Riley Sager’s unsettling thriller learns, you should always follow your gut when something just doesn’t feel right—because the consequences could be deadly. After her roommate Maddy is murdered, bereaved college student Charlie heads home to see her grandmother. When she meets a friendly, good-looking stranger named Josh at her school’s ride board, she jumps into the car with him, even though the little voice in her head says, “Run!” But Charlie is grieving, guilt-stricken, and plagued by vivid hallucinations. She doubts herself…and so do we. Plus, because it’s 1991—an era Sager nails in its little details—she can’t whip out her smartphone for help. Some of Sager’s previous women-in-peril thrillers, like Lock Every Door, have supernatural overtones, but Survive the Night is a good old-fashioned Hitchcockian game of cat and mouse. Buckle up!
Thriller Award finalist Sager (Home Before Dark) elevates a standard suspense trope a young woman trapped in a car with a stranger she fears is a serial killer in this stellar nail-biter set in 1991. Charlie Jordan blames herself for the death of Maddy, her best friend and roommate at New Jersey's Olyphant University. A day after Charlie let Maddy walk back from a bar to their dorm on her own after an argument, Maddy's corpse was found. She was stabbed multiple times and one of her teeth was removed, the hallmark of a two-time murderer dubbed the Campus Killer. Wracked with guilt and self-loathing, Charlie resolves to leave in the middle of the semester, and finds a ride home to Ohio with Josh Baxter, a janitor employed by Olyphant driving to the state to tend to his ill father. Charlie soon suspects Josh has been lying to her about who he is. Her tendency to create movies in her mind makes her perceptions unreliable, even to herself. Sager excels at playing with reader expectations and in concocting plausible, gut-wrenching twists. Fans of Ira Levin's A Kiss Before Dying will be pleased.
Still good book…
Nice twist , however some of the attitude of the characters throughout cannot really be explain for it to work or motives told too early but still quite enjoyable
Great until it wasn’t
First 70% is brilliant but then, like a deer jumping in front of a car, the fundamental choices that make this book a claustrophobic and atmospheric cerebral game of cat and mouse are thrown out the window, leaving a confusing, rushed, and uncharacteristic ending. A great read for people who like to study what choices make a book great and not so great.
I really like Sager’s books. I’ve read all of them except the one that is coming out this year. I’ve read all of them in mostly one sitting. I just can’t put them down. Now that I’ve read them all I can predict his endings before I read them. Most of the books are huge redirects or red herrings and he spends a large amount of the book focusing on those. Then we get the real story which isn’t that hard to figure out in the last couple of chapters. When an author tries way too hard to get the reader to focus on one character right away you know that isn’t the killer. The writer wants the ending to be this huge shocker of a reveal that no one saw coming but the problem is that most of us did. I think that most books and movies don’t know how to write a story any other way so they all fall prey to focusing all their efforts at trying to get your attention away from who the real killer is. Once they’ve put all that effort into that redirect they don’t quite know how to end the story and so that is usually where it falls apart. In this book Sager took the easy way out and made most of the book hallucinations and parts of an actual movie that was made based on the main character’s brush with death. I really love Sager‘s writing style and how he just keeps you so engrossed and on the edge of your seat throughout his books. They are unputdownable but although he tells a great story I think he’s just trying way too hard to direct attention away from the killer; and I think it ends up blowing up in his face in the last couple of chapters. This storyline is so highly improbable. A grandmother who has cancer and is in her last days has the strength to drag two people far distances? No that just wouldn’t be possible. Sager brought attention to the fact that she was very thin and frail way too many times for us to suspend us believe that she would’ve been able to drag a huge man way out of a building all the way up into a car. I do recommend Sager’s books but you really have to suspend disbelief with this one.