Survive the Night by Riley Sager | Reviewed by Michelle


Survive the Night | Riley Sager | Dutton | Pub: 6/29/21

“Meeting people is easy. Keeping them around is the hard part.”

Survive the Night is the newest Riley Sager book and I really enjoyed it. Riley’s book Final Girls was the first book of his that I read and also one of my first thrillers. So, one could say I am a fan, especially since I need to read his books the minute they come out.

In Survive the Night we follow Charlie. Charlie is a college student trying to get off campus and back home to Ohio. She’s had a rough couple of months after her best friend was murdered by the Campus Killer. As she is posting her ad to find someone to give her a ride, she meets Josh, and he is also going to Ohio. He offers to drive her the very next night.

Charlie’s boyfriend wants her to wait until the weekend so he can drive her, but she just wants out. She gets into the car with the stranger, Josh, and then things just get weird, and Charlie knows she isn’t getting home. Will she survive the night?

I just enjoyed this one a lot. Getting into the car with a stranger you met at college seemed okay back then since it’s at college. The ride is going fine until it’s not and then you realize it’s too late to go back. There were some things I was able to put together and some things I couldn’t put together. For the type of book I expect from Riley, the quickness in which I read it (one day) and the chills I got from it, I gave it 5 stars.

My order for Riley books starting with my favorite are:

Final Girls

Home Before Dark

Survive the Night

Lock Every Door

The Last Time I Lied

Synopsis (Credit: Goodreads)

It's November 1991. George H. W. Bush is in the White House, Nirvana's in the tape deck, 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 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. Like the Hitchcock heroine she's named after, Charlie has her doubts. There's something suspicious about Josh, from the holes in his story about his father to how he doesn't seem to want Charlie to see inside the car's trunk. As they travel an empty highway in the dead of night, an increasingly worried Charlie begins to think she's sharing a car with the Campus Killer. Is Josh truly dangerous? Or is Charlie's suspicion merely a figment of her movie-fueled imagination?

What follows is a game of cat-and-mouse played out on night-shrouded roads and in neon-lit parking lots, during an age when the only call for help can be made on a pay phone and in a place where there's nowhere to run. In order to win, Charlie must do one thing--survive the night.

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