Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Review - Survive the Night

:   Survive the Night
Author:  Riley Sager
Publisher:  Dutton Books
Genre:   Psychological Thriller
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   336
Date of Publication:   June 29, 2021
My Rating:   4 Stars

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.

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 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. Like the Hitchcock heroine she's named after, Charlie has her doubts. There's something suspicious about Josh, from the holes in his story about his father to how he doesn't seem to want Charlie to see inside the car's trunk. As they travel an empty highway in the dead of night, an increasingly worried Charlie begins to think she's sharing a car with the Campus Killer. Is Josh truly dangerous? Or is Charlie's suspicion merely a figment of her movie-fueled imagination?

What follows is a game of cat-and-mouse played out on night-shrouded roads and in neon-lit parking lots, during an age when the only call for help can be made on a pay phone and in a place where there's nowhere to run. In order to win, Charlie must do one thing--survive the night. 


Beset by guilt and sadness, Charlie was desperate to leave college. It is 1991 and her best friend was murdered. She goes to the campus ride board to find someone who will drive her home. Josh Baxter is the man that will drive her. He is also leaving the college to go to his ailing father. At least that is what he tells Charlie.

It doesn't take long for Charlie to feel overcome with feelings of dread while riding with Josh. Charlie lives with movies in her head, in fact, her dream state is much like dissociation. What is fact and what is in Charlie's head during that long ride? While reading this thrilling book one thought kept me a bit distracted - why would a woman get in a car with a complete stranger?

Perhaps it was Charlie's grief. Maybe it was her constant disconnection with reality. Whatever her reasons, Charlie was in for the ride of her life. Did she in fact get in the car with the "Campus Killer', someone that has claimed the life of three victims including Charlie's best friend? Will Charlie be the fourth victim? What leads Charlie to that terrifying thought that Josh could indeed be the killer? With incredibly shocking twists and a surprising conclusion, this riveting book by Riley Sager answered those questions and much more.  

Many thanks to Dutton Books and to NetGalley for this ARC for review.  This is my honest opinion.


Riley Sager is the pseudonym of a former journalist, editor and graphic designer.

Now a full-time writer, Riley is the author of FINAL GIRLS, an international bestseller that has been published in 25 languages, and the New York Times bestseller THE LAST TIME I LIED. His latest book, LOCK EVERY DOOR, will be published in July.

A native of Pennsylvania, Riley now lives in Princeton, New Jersey.


  1. Survive the Night sounds like a real page turner. Definitely my kind of book. Great review.

  2. I'm not familiar with the book but sounds intriguing. Great review.

  3. I'm like the sound and intensity of this one - excellent reviewing!

  4. I enjoy this author and somehow hadn’t heard of this yet. Thanks for sharing.