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No One Is Safe in Sager’s New Page Turner

Guest Post by Lauren Mead.

Survive the Night by Riley Sager is a twisted psychological thriller that will leave readers biting their nails right up until the end. It’s your classic girl-meets-boy story, but with serial killers and revenge. Awesome. When Charlie accepts a ride home from Josh Baxter, she is nervous, but no way could he be anything other than a nice guy. But as they journey farther towards their final destination, Charlie begins to discover that Josh isn’t who he says he is. She starts to think that he is the serial killer who murdered her roommate two months ago. Now she’s trapped in a car, in the middle of nowhere with a murderer and she’s got a suspicion that she’s next. In Riley Sager’s new page turner, no one is who they appear to be and, certainly, no one is safe.

Riley Sager’s books are all gripping, but Survive the Night turns up the heat as the reader tries to guess who the serial killer might be. It’s an insightful look into the idea of safety. Who can we trust? What does a “safe person” look like? This is a particularly resonant discussion given the current #metoo reveals. As a reader, inhabiting the mind of a terrified girl trapped in the car with a maybe serial killer made me think hard about the ways that women learn not to trust their instincts even when they feel like a situation is bad. At every turn, Charlie was terrified, but second guessed herself. In Survive the Night, Sager asks the question: If not yourself, who can you trust?

Survive the Night by Riley Sager. Dutton Books, June 2021.

Reviewer bio: Lauren Mead has been published in The Danforth Review, The MacGuffin, Soliloquies and Forest for the Trees. She also writes for her blog, www.novelshrink.com.

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