Survive the night A novel

Riley Sager

Book - 2021

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 bec...ame 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.

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Subjects
Genres
Psychological fiction
Suspense fiction
Historical fiction
Thrillers (Fiction)
Novels
Published
[New York] : Dutton, Penguin Random House [2021]
Language
English
Physical Description
324 pages ; 24 cm
ISBN
9780593183168
0593183169
Main Author
Riley Sager (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

In 1991, Charlie, grief-stricken over the murder of her close friend (a victim of the so-called Campus Killer), accepts a ride to Ohio from Josh, a fellow student at Olyphant University. But soon she begins to suspect that Josh may not be telling the complete truth about himself. Is it possible that Charlie could be sitting in the passenger seat beside the Campus Killer? Sager's latest thriller has two big things going for it: richly textured characters and a story that absolutely refuses to follow a straight line, producing one startling revelation after another. Charlie, who was named after the heroine in Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt, must take a page out of her namesake's book, subtly sparring with Josh as she attempts to determine if her fears about him are justified. Sager has been turning out one fine thriller after another since Final Girls, his 2017 breakout novel, and this one just might be his best yet. It's certainly his most complex. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Thriller Award finalist Sager (Home Before Dark) elevates a standard suspense trope—a young woman trapped in a car with a stranger she fears is a serial killer—in this stellar nail-biter set in 1991. Charlie Jordan blames herself for the death of Maddy, her best friend and roommate at New Jersey's Olyphant University. A day after Charlie let Maddy walk back from a bar to their dorm on her own after an argument, Maddy's corpse was found. She was stabbed multiple times and one of her teeth was removed, the hallmark of a two-time murderer dubbed the Campus Killer. Wracked with guilt and self-loathing, Charlie resolves to leave in the middle of the semester, and finds a ride home to Ohio with Josh Baxter, a janitor employed by Olyphant driving to the state to tend to his ill father. Charlie soon suspects Josh has been lying to her about who he is. Her tendency to create movies in her mind makes her perceptions unreliable, even to herself. Sager excels at playing with reader expectations and in concocting plausible, gut-wrenching twists. Fans of Ira Levin's A Kiss Before Dying will be pleased. Agent: Michelle Brower, Aevitas Creative Management. (June) Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"It's November 1991. George H. W. Bush is in the White House, Nirvana's in the tape deck, and movie-obsessed college student Charlie Jordan is in a car with a man who might be a serial killer"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

When her best friend is the third victim of a serial killer targeting college students, Charlie, deciding to leave campus, accepts a ride home from Josh Baxter and, realizing his true identity too late, must win a twisted game of cat and mouse by surviving the night.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLEROne of New York Times Book Review's "summer reads guaranteed to make your heart thump and your skin crawl"; An Amazon Best of the Month Pick; Named a must-read summer book by The Washington Post, USA Today, Vulture, BuzzFeed, Forbes, Entertainment Weekly, CNN, New York Post, Good Housekeeping, E!, PopSugar, CrimeReads, Thrillist, and BookRiot. 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 by Publisher Summary 4

One of New York Times Book Review's "summer reads guaranteed to make your heart thump and your skin crawl"; An Amazon Best of the Month Pick; Named a must-read summer book by The Washington Post, Vulture, BuzzFeed, Forbes, Entertainment Weekly, CNN, New York Post, Good Housekeeping, E!, PopSugar, CrimeReads, Thrillist, and BookRiot. 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.