Book Review: Survive the Night

Author: Riley Sager

Rating: 2/5 stars

Book Blurb: 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.

This was not a win for me.

I wanted an edge of your seat thriller with twists I couldn’t see coming. I had read about Sager’s reputation and was hoping this would be a good fit. It was not. So much of this was predictable. Some of the twists made no sense – to explain, this book had multiple POVs. Sometimes the POV did not fit what you later learn the character knew all along.

I should have known when Charlie got into the car of a strange man when there is an active serial killer on the loose, that I would just be screaming at the book, or taking deep sighs of frustration throughout the whole thing.

I’m sure there’s better thrillers out there.

I am not completely turned off by Sager though, there was enough here to make me want to pick up another book. This just may have been the one that didn’t gel with me.


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