Title: Survive the Night
Author: Riley Sager
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: 29th July 2021
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.
This is actually the first book I’ve read by Riley Sager, but I’ve been wanting to for a while! Survive The Night takes place over the course of one evening as college student Charlie accepts a lift home across the country from a complete stranger she meets at the ride share board of her university. Charlie is leaving school in the middle of term for reasons that become clear and as she travels with this unknown young man. She also begins to realise he may be extremely dangerous – perhaps even a serial killer known as the ‘Campus Killer’.
This is such a tricky review for me because I think this book has some real problems, however I cannot deny how unputdownable I found it. The story moves along at a great pace and it’s the sort of book you can easily get sucked into and read in one-sitting. However, the plot is also a little far-fetched and melodramatic, which in some ways sort of works for the very cinematic style and structure but in other ways could get a little annoying. The same could be said for main character, Charlie, who I found likeable but also deeply frustrating. She is very much an unreliable narrator but I don’t think this comes off as well in Survive the Night as it does in other books. Overall I would say definitely give this book a go because it is certainly an intriguing and easy read. I wasn’t totally convinced by Survive the Night but I would still read more from this author in the future as there are some aspects that I did enjoy, like the atmosphere, the movie references and the 90’s setting, which was portrayed really effectively.
I kindly received an e-copy of the book via Netgalley. My review is entirely my own honest opinion.