The 52 Book Club 2022 Challenge Prompt: 37. Set in a rural area
Other Possible Prompts: 11. A book with less than 2022 Goodreads ratings (for now), 22. An unlikely detective, 23. An author with an X, Y, or Z in their name, 25. A wealthy character, 41. Involves a second chance, 52. Published in 2022
I’m laughing just a little realizing that both the Sager novels I’ve read this year fit the exact same prompts, for the most part. He definitely has a genre.
Banished to the family lake house in the wake of her husband’s death and her subsequent drinking binge, actress Casey Fletcher is bored (and drunk) out of her mind. After saving her wealthy neighbor Katherine Royce from drowning, she begins to pass the time by watching their glass-walled home across Lake Greene – but she quickly discovers not all is as it seems in the house across the lake. When Katherine inevitably goes missing, Casey quickly believes her husband, Tom, is to blame.
As she works to uncover where Katherine may have gone, or whether she’s alive at all, Casey uncovers a trove of secrets surrounding the banks of Lake Greene. It seems there may be a lot more lies below the surface…and no one can be trusted.
Like I mentioned when I reviewed Lock Every Door, Sager starts slow. I got, like, halfway through this book before things truly started getting wild. Before that, it’s just Casey spying on her neighbors and stumbling around her house, to be honest. But THEN. This book is a deep well of WILD that never seems to end. The slow beginning is what knocked it half a star in my book, because pretty much every other part of this book is incredible and a crazy ride. I thought, initially, that the subject matter didn’t sound like my jam, so if you’re in the same boat, I urge you to give it a try anyways. It was a lot different than I expected from the synopsis and went in a very different direction ultimately.
Lake Greene makes an absolutely stunning summer backdrop for this story. Living in New England myself, it was easy to picture Lake Greene in all its glory, and it gave me the nostalgia feelings of late summer evenings that project a false sense of calm. Much like Lock Every Door, this novel is atmospheric, playing on the setting to add to the creep-factor.
Despite Casey’s self-destructive tendencies, I was attached to her. She makes very poor decisions, but as was confirmed for me by the ending of this book, she has a strong conscience and heart beneath her stony exterior. She’s headstrong with a purpose. She’s loyal. I wanted better for her. Katherine, too, is magnetic. I loved her character, and the push-and-pull drama that falls around her makes her even more alluring. I can picture both of them in my mind, Casey and Katherine, absolute polar opposites, but this novel draws them together through tragedy.
While I was reading this, I just kept hitting walls where I would get really into it, decide I was going to bed at the end of the chapter, and then A HUGE CLIFFHANGER would get dropped on me right on the very last page. There are a lot of cliffhangers, especially in the latter half. It’s a wild ride.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher, I was fortunate enough to get an advance readers copy of The House Across the Lake in exchange for my honest review! It released on June 21, 2022 (and here you are, getting your review a month later).
I hope you all have a wonderful week! 🙂