Survive the Night by Riley Sager
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Official Summary: 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.
Review: This is the latest book by Riley Sager, and the second one I’ve read by him. While I liked his previous book, Home Before Dark, more than this one, I did enjoy Survive the Night overall. I think the biggest issue I had with the book is that Charlie got into a car with a stranger to get home from college…after her best friend and roommate had been killed by the Campus Killer. Yes, it’s the 90’s, and yes, she found the guy on a board for ride shares at her school. But your friend was just killed by a stranger!!!
Regardless, if we get past that, this was a pretty intriguing mystery. Charlie is named after the main character in Shadow of a Doubt by Hitchcock, a movie I really love, and she’s a character obsessed with films, which was fun to read about. The guy she was hitching a ride with, Josh, was definitely weird and while I didn’t think he was the Campus Killer throughout the book, I still didn’t trust him. And yes, you do find out who the Campus Killer is, because for awhile, I wasn’t sure that was going to be wrapped up.
There were some different mysteries and surprises throughout Survive the Night. I always love this because even if you guess something right, or just have a good feeling about one aspect, there is still more to shock you than just one big twist. Sager is definitely a good writer, and I hope to read his first few books soon! While I didn’t absolutely love Survive the Night, I’d still recommend a read at some point.
And now…my social media posts about Survive the Night!
@laurenashleybeckerPOV: Charlie from Survive the Night by Riley Sager ##rileysager ##booktok ##survivethenight ##greenscreen ##mysterybooks ##comeasyouarenirvana♬ Come As You Are – Nirvana
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