Housesitting for a cursed replica of the Dakota? Creepy wallpaper? Yes, please.
Let’s talk about Satan’s spawn. No, I don’t mean Donald Trump (that’s a whole different review and would be way more bleak than this one).
I mean Rosemary’s Baby. If you read Ira Levin’s book (that one and Stepford Wives) and was obsessed with it like I was (I mean, it’s a thinly-veiled satire about women’s rights? Yes, thank you)—then you’ll appreciate the nod (and dedication on the first page) that Riley Sager gives to Levin in Lock Every Door.
The first thing you need to know about me is that I love creepy, abandoned, or weird buildings with a haunted history. On a real deep, “I will now annoy you with one million facts you did not want to know” level. Perhaps taking the number one spot (maybe in the world?) of creeptastic dwellings would be the infamous Dakota Apartments in New York City. The Dakota has inspired many a book (Rosemary’s Baby called it the Bramford, and a stunning memoir by Wendy Lawless, Chanel Bonfire dives into the life of growing up in the Dakota)—and Lock Every Door nods to the Dakota, but takes place in a near-replica down the street (the Bartholomew).
So, the quick and dirty: girl takes “too good to be true” job housesitting a vacant apartment in the prestigious building. She’s jobless, just found her boyfriend cheating on her, and has no family. This “housesitting” job promises to pay $12,000 for 3 months of living in luxury. Sounds like a dream, right? Well, let’s just say it becomes more like a nightmare. No spoilers.
This book is an especially fun read for people who wonder—what exactly happened here?—when they step inside a creepy old building. And:
- People who like to research murders/cults/mysterious occurrences before traveling (I know I’m not the only one)
- Current/former broke af house-sitters (guilty)
- Fans of gargoyles
- Lovers of wallpaper (again, guilty)