One of New York Times Book Review's summer reads guaranteed to make your heart thump and your skin crawl.
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.
Survive the Night is the fifth thriller from Riley Sager, the pseudonym of an author who lives in Princeton, New Jersey. Riley's first novel, Final Girls, was a national and international bestseller that has been published in more than two dozen countries and won the ITW Thriller Award for Best Hardcover Novel. Sager's subsequent novels The Last Time I Lied, Lock Every Door, and Home Before Dark, which received the Crimson Scribe Award by Suspense Magazine, were New York Times bestsellers.
"With every mile, the tension rises toward a deliciously unbearable pitch." - Good Housekeeping"Nineties-era nostalgia (Nirvana, pay phones, cassettetapes) paves the way for a truly haunting potential kidnapping story." - Entertainment Weekly
"If a scary, creepy, don't-turn-out-the-lights thriller is on your summer reading agenda, who better to turn to than Sager?" - CNN
"I couldn't put down Survive the Night and I didn't want to try. Riley Sager's terrific heroine Charlie Jordan starts this thriller on the ride of her life and the action accelerates on every page, through twists and turns into the darkness. A high-octane narrative fueled by intensity, emotion, and danger, Survive the Night puts Riley Sager in the driver's seat of modern crime fiction." - Lisa Scottoline, #1 bestselling author of Eternal and Someone Knows
"Sager excels at playing with reader expectations and in concocting plausible, gut-wrenching twists." - Publishers Weekly
"[Sager's novels are] all creepily atmospheric, easy to read without being fluffy, and fun as hell. Each book has also been better and more confident than the last."
"Sager's signature blend of campy homage and tense thrills is on full display in his new story of suspicion and doubt at 60 miles an hour." - CrimeReads
"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." - Booklist
"All of Riley Sager's books take an established horror or thriller trope and give it a smart, knowing twist. This time, it's a creepy hitchhiking situation (with the added bonus of a '90s setting!)." - BookPage
"If you've read any Riley Sager books in the past then you know there are bound to be twists in this story that you won't see coming no matter how hard you try, and Survive the Night is filled with them. Another killer book (pun definitely intended!). I couldn't put this down; it may be Sager's best one yet." - Suspense Magazine
"Sager is at the absolute height of his powers...The paranoia dripping from every page is palpable, making for a compulsive read." - Murder & Mayhem
"The best way to cool down during the hot summer months? Thrills and chills! Riley Sager is delivering both in his new novel." - Bookish