BOOK REVIEW: Survive the Night by Riley Sager


Title: Survive the Night
Author: Riley Sager
Publication: June 29, 2011
Publisher: Dutton
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Pages: 335


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SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)

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.


I am constantly hearing about how amazing Riley Sager books are and that I need to read them. So when picking out my next audiobook recently, I decided to give one a shot and Survive the Night was recently posted in a book group I follow on social media. So that made the cut!

I love mystery novels that jump right into the issues and Sager definitely does that. We were right on the main topic and the start to the mystery was not withheld. There was not a lot of downtime in the book, which I also enjoy. Everything that happened was pertinent to the story, even the quieter moments or the inner thoughts of the main characters. I didn’t love the characters or want to be best friends with them, but I did feel invested in what was happening to them or what would happen to them as the story grew towards it’s climax.

Without giving too much away, I almost gave this book a three star rating because I felt that there were so many things that were over the top or just seemed a bit too much… fake almost. Not something someone would actually do. Charlie drove me insane with some of her decisions because I feel a logical person such as herself would make different decisions and be far better off because of them, but unfortunately she did not and she was not. That frustrated me a little. The general “this is too much” vibe I was getting from some of the scenes kind of made me frustrated with the story because the general plot line was good and didn’t need embellishment. So as not to spoil the story, the ending redeemed itself and the rest kind of all clicked into place and made sense. I thought it was an interesting and very unique way to tell and end a story and that gave it major brownie points. I love anyone who can find a twist that has never been done and make it a great story or ending.

As I said, I did listen to the audiobook of this novel and I feel the narrator definitely sets a tone for the book. I really had to work to push my feelings about the narrators voice in this novel aside and not let it change how I felt about the story itself. I was not a fan of the tone the narrator used and even my child commented on it while I was listening in the car. It gave a very seductive vibe rather than a mystery vibe. Aside from that I really enjoyed this story and I am quite looking forward to devouring some more Riley Sager. My only problem now is which do I pick?

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