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The House Across the Lake
Cover of The House Across the Lake
The House Across the Lake
A Novel
THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Named a most anticipated summer book by USA Today, People, E! News, Cosmopolitan, PureWow, CNN.com, New York Post, CrimeReads, POPSUGAR, and more 

The bestselling author of Final Girls and Survive the Night is back with his “best plot twist yet.” (People, "Best Summer Books")

Be careful what you watch for . . .

Casey Fletcher, a recently widowed actress trying to escape a streak of bad press, has retreated to the peace and quiet of her family’s lake house in Vermont. Armed with a pair of binoculars and several bottles of bourbon, she passes the time watching Tom and Katherine Royce, the glamorous couple living in the house across the lake. They make for good viewing—a tech innovator, Tom is powerful; and a former model, Katherine is gorgeous.
One day on the lake, Casey saves Katherine from drowning, and the two strike up a budding friendship. But the more they get to know each other—and the longer Casey watches—it becomes clear that Katherine and Tom’s marriage isn’t as perfect as it appears. When Katherine suddenly vanishes, Casey immediately suspects Tom of foul play. What she doesn’t realize is that there’s more to the story than meets the eye—and that shocking secrets can lurk beneath the most placid of surfaces.
 
Packed with sharp characters, psychological suspense, and gasp-worthy plot twists, Riley Sager’s The House Across the Lake is the ultimate escapist read . . . no lake house required.
THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Named a most anticipated summer book by USA Today, People, E! News, Cosmopolitan, PureWow, CNN.com, New York Post, CrimeReads, POPSUGAR, and more 

The bestselling author of Final Girls and Survive the Night is back with his “best plot twist yet.” (People, "Best Summer Books")

Be careful what you watch for . . .

Casey Fletcher, a recently widowed actress trying to escape a streak of bad press, has retreated to the peace and quiet of her family’s lake house in Vermont. Armed with a pair of binoculars and several bottles of bourbon, she passes the time watching Tom and Katherine Royce, the glamorous couple living in the house across the lake. They make for good viewing—a tech innovator, Tom is powerful; and a former model, Katherine is gorgeous.
One day on the lake, Casey saves Katherine from drowning, and the two strike up a budding friendship. But the more they get to know each other—and the longer Casey watches—it becomes clear that Katherine and Tom’s marriage isn’t as perfect as it appears. When Katherine suddenly vanishes, Casey immediately suspects Tom of foul play. What she doesn’t realize is that there’s more to the story than meets the eye—and that shocking secrets can lurk beneath the most placid of surfaces.
 
Packed with sharp characters, psychological suspense, and gasp-worthy plot twists, Riley Sager’s The House Across the Lake is the ultimate escapist read . . . no lake house required.
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Excerpts-
  • From the cover

    Now

     

    I  stare at the detective on the other side of the table, an untouched mug of coffee in front of me. The steam rising from it gives her a gauzy air of mystery. Not that she needs help in that regard. Wilma Anson possesses a calm blankness that rarely changes. Even at this late hour and soaked by the storm, she remains unperturbed.

     

    "Have you watched the Royce house at all this evening?" she says.

     

    "Yes." There's no point in lying.

     

    "See anything unusual?"

     

    "More unusual than everything I've already seen?" I say.

     

    A nod from Wilma. "That's what I'm asking."

     

    "No." This time a lie is required. I've seen a lot this evening. More than I ever wanted to. "Why?"

     

    A gust of wind lashes rain against the French doors that lead to the back porch. Both of us pause a moment to watch the droplets smacking the glass. Already, the storm is worse than the TV weatherman said it would be-and what he had predicted was already severe. The tail end of a Category 4 hurricane turned tropical storm as it swerved like a boomerang from deep inland back to the North Atlantic.

     

    Rare for mid-October.

     

    Rarer still for eastern Vermont.

     

    "Because Tom Royce might be missing," Wilma says.

     

    I tear my gaze from the French doors' rain-specked panes to give Wilma a look of surprise. She stares back, unflappable as ever.

     

    "Are you sure?" I say.

     

    "I was just there. The house is unlocked. That fancy car of his is still in the driveway. Nothing inside seems to be missing. Except for him."

     

    I turn again to the French doors, as if I'll be able to see the Royce house rising from the lake's opposite shore. Instead, all I can make out is howling darkness and lightning-lit flashes of water whipped into a frenzy by the wind.

     

    "Do you think he ran?"

     

    "His wallet and keys are on the kitchen counter," Wilma says. "It's hard to run without cash or a car. Especially in this weather. So I doubt it."

     

    I note her word choice. Doubt.

     

    "Maybe he had help," I suggest.

     

    "Or maybe someone made him disappear. You know anything about that?"

     

    My mouth drops open in surprise. "You think I'm involved in this?"

     

    "You did break into their house."

     

    "I snuck in," I say, hoping the distinction will lessen the crime in Wilma's eyes. "And that doesn't mean I know anything about where Tom is now."

     

    Wilma remains quiet, hoping I'll say more and possibly incriminate myself. Seconds pass. Lots of them. All announced by the ticking of the grandfather clock in the living room, which acts as a steady beat backing the song of the storm. Wilma listens to it, seemingly in no rush. She's a marvel of composure. I suspect her name has a lot to do with that. If a lifetime of Flintstones jokes teaches you anything, it's deep patience.

     

    "Listen," Wilma says after what feels like three whole minutes. "I know you're worried about Katherine Royce. I know you want to find her. So do I. But I already told you that taking matters into your own hands won't help. Let me do my job, Casey. It's our best chance of getting Katherine back alive. So if you know anything about where her husband is, please tell me."

     

    "I have absolutely no clue where Tom Royce could be." I lean forward, my palms flat against the table, trying to summon the same opaque energy Wilma's putting off. "If you don't believe me, you're...

About the Author-
  • Riley Sager is the New York Times bestselling author of six novels, most recently Home Before Dark and Survive the Night. A native of Pennsylvania, he now lives in Princeton, New Jersey.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from April 25, 2022
    The setup of Rear Window serves as the framework for this outstanding novel of suspense from bestseller Sager (Survive the Night). Actor Casey Fletcher has become an alcoholic in the wake of the recent death of her screenwriter husband, who slipped out one morning to go fishing at their vacation home on Vermont’s Lake Greene, fell into the water, and drowned. After Casey is fired from her latest Broadway role for showing up drunk for a performance, she returns to the Vermont house. One day, while on her third or maybe fourth bourbon, Casey spots someone who may be drowning in the middle of the lake. She jumps into her motorboat and rescues a neighbor, former supermodel Katherine Royce. The grateful celebrity befriends her savior, who soon becomes convinced that Katherine’s life remains at risk. While spying on Katherine’s home, Casey comes to suspect that Katherine’s husband is plotting to murder her. Sager brilliantly misdirects readers while playing fair with them. Newcomers and fans both will be eager to see what he pulls off in his next book. Agent: Michelle Brower, Trellis Literary.

  • Library Journal

    September 1, 2022

    Sager (Home Before Dark) pens another tense, fast-paced psychological thriller with his signature twist ending. Troubled actress Casey Fletcher escapes to her family's cabin on Lake Green in Vermont to recover from a drinking problem following the death of her husband. Trying to keep busy, Casey spies on the house across the lake with binoculars where tech innovator Tom and former supermodel Katherine live. One day, Casey saves Katherine from drowning, starting a friendship and getting Casey tangled in a web of murder, deceit, and magic. Narrator Bernadette Dunne blends the innocence, murderous intentions, and the mystical forces at play in each of the characters, ably switching among them and bringing additional thrills. The haunting setting of rural Vermont sets the stage for a story where relationships are not what they seem, and local Indigenous beliefs add levels of sometimes unbelievable shock value. VERDICT Fans of Sager, and those just discovering his works, will enjoy this novel.--Elyssa Everling

    Copyright 2022 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • AudioFile Magazine Narrator Bernadette Dunne expertly renders the psychological suspense in this compelling domestic drama. Recently widowed actress Casey Fletcher spends her days at the family cabin on Lake Greene, alone with a steady rotation of alcohol, grief, and guilt. Dunne's portrayal of Casey sounds textured by substance abuse and the weighty expectations of others, along with a private anguish that is revealed throughout the production. After she rescues her new neighbor, former-model-turned-philanthropist Katherine Royce, from drowning, a series of unsettling events occurs, with Katherine's disappearance at the center. Dunne's solid characterizations of the lake's few residents--Eli, Boone, and the Royces--continually shift listeners' assumptions as past and present events eventually converge. An absorbing production with more than a few surprises for intrepid listeners. J.R.T. � AudioFile 2022, Portland, Maine
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Riley Sager
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