Publication: 23rd December 2021 – Hodder&Stoughton
Charlie Jordan is being driven across the country by a serial killer. Maybe.
Behind the wheel is Josh Baxter, a stranger Charlie met by the college ride share board, who also has a good reason for leaving university in the middle of term. On the road they share their stories, carefully avoiding the subject dominating the news – the Campus Killer, who’s tied up and stabbed three students in the span of a year, has just struck again.
Travelling the lengthy journey between university and their final destination, Charlie begins to notice discrepancies in Josh’s story.
As she begins to plan her escape from the man she is becoming certain is the killer, she starts to suspect that Josh knows exactly what she’s thinking.
Meaning that she could very well end up as his next victim.
A game of cat and mouse is about to play out. In order to win, Charlie must do only one thing… survive the night.
I couldn’t have chosen a better book to finish the year. I knew I couldn’t go wrong with a novel by one of my favorite authors and I wasn’t disappointed.
Survive The Night is a chilling, suspenseful novel that kept me glued to the pages and I read in one day. The pace is slow, but everything happens during a long night road trip full of tension and twists.
The year is 1991, right before Thanksgiving. The protagonist is Charlie Jordan, a lover of movies in her second year of college. Charlie needs to go home. She needs to leave college and go home and forget what had happened two months earlier. She can’t wait for the holidays or for her boyfriend to drive her, so she finds a car share with fellow student Josh Baxter. They met at the college ride share board and he seems nice and polite, although as they talk, Charlie starts to notice that some of the things Josh says don’t match. This is 1990s, there are no cell phones to call for help, so Charlie needs to find a way to survive the journey. However, are Charlie suspicions correct or is it all a movie in her head?
I do love unreliable narrators and Charlie is, without a doubt, an unreliable character. Since the death of her parents a few years before, sometimes Charlie finds herself in a movie in her own mind and can’t distinguish reality from fantasy. So are her doubts real or did she imagine Josh’s ID under another name? Is he really a student? No matter if her suspicions are real or not, Charlie intends to survive the night.
The novel has a bit of noir element, helped by the many movie references throughout the story, which I loved and made it easy for me to imagine the scenes and the setting as I kept reading. There are many surprises and twists, one in particular that I suspected (and was proven right) that made me enjoy the novel even more, and the suspense is always high. Riley Sager has always been a must-buy author for me and Survive The Night simply confirmed it. Highly recommended!
A huge thank you to Hodder & Stoughton and NetGalley for providing me with a proof of the novel.
Riley Sager is the pseudonym of a former journalist, editor and graphic designer who previously published mysteries under his real name.
Now a full-time author, Riley’s first thriller, Final Girls, was a national and international bestseller that has been sold in 25 languages. A film version is being developed by Universal Pictures and Anonymous Content.
A native of Pennsylvania, he now lives in Princeton, New Jersey.