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I have just made a terrible mistake. I know I’m not supposed to do this, but when I opened the book’s page I scrolled down and the reviews started catching my eye…1 star, 2 star, a few 3 stars; what the hell…why do all of these people hate this book?
So, let’s look at this, sticking to the synopsis, I’m not spoiling anything.
Our protagonist, Casey Fletcher, is a drunk who is isolating herself at her family home and reasonably decides to spy/observe/keep an eye on (pick the word you prefer) the billionaire tech dude and his former model wife who live in the glass house on the opposite side of the lake (they are asking for it if you ask me). Has this been done before? Absolutely. Did Sager put a new a fresh and entertaining face on it? Hell yes!
The book promises twists-a-plenty and twists to the last drop. It delivered. Most of these twists I did not see coming, in fact, I don’t think I saw any of them coming.
For me it isn’t necessarily what the author did, but how he did it. I enjoy watching Chopped, four chefs with the same four ingredients create four entirely different dishes and some are more successful than others. An author, like a chef, has a lot of ingredients (tropes), some of these are often found together and in many different dishes, but each dish is unique.
I found Sager to be successful with his ingredients. The characters pulled me into the story, I cared about them. The action flowed effortlessly; everything had a purpose that brought the story to a logical conclusion.
While I can agree that there are a lot of things in The House Across the Lake that have been done before, and one particular twist had a “you’ve got to be kidding me” moment. Sometimes a reader just wants to have fun, and I did. Will Sager win a Pulitzer for this one? No, but it was an entertaining way to pass a few hours.