Unraveling the Thrills: Lock Every Door Summary Revealed

Lock Every Door Summary
  • Book Name: Lock Every Door
  • Author Name: Riley Sager
  • Publisher: Dutton
  • Published Date: July 2, 2019
  • ISBN: 978-1524745141
  • Format: Paperback, Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook
  • Pages: 384
  • Language: English
  • Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense
  • Subjects: Apartment Building, Secrets, Disappearance

Book Summary: Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

“Prepare to be enthralled by the suspenseful world of ‘Lock Every Door’ by Riley Sager, where an ordinary job opportunity turns into a nightmare of dark secrets, eerie hallways, and a race against time.”

In “Lock Every Door,” Jules Larsen, a young woman in need of a fresh start, lands a coveted job as an apartment sitter at the luxurious Bartholomew building in New York City. However, as she delves deeper into the building’s history and the mysterious disappearances of past tenants, she realizes that there is something deeply sinister lurking within its walls. Jules must uncover the truth before she becomes the next victim.

Jules Larsen, the determined protagonist, captivates readers with her relatable vulnerabilities and her unwavering determination to uncover the secrets of the Bartholomew building. As she navigates the enigmatic hallways and encounters a cast of intriguing characters, Jules becomes a force to be reckoned with.

“Lock Every Door” explores themes of suspense, mystery, paranoia, and the search for truth. Riley Sager masterfully creates an atmosphere of tension and unease, keeping readers on the edge of their seats as they unravel the chilling secrets of the Bartholomew building.

Riley Sager’s writing style is fast-paced and gripping, building suspense with every chapter. The author expertly weaves together past and present, keeping readers guessing and second-guessing as they navigate the twists and turns of the story. Sager’s prose is atmospheric and vivid, creating a sense of foreboding and mystery.

Brace yourself for a heart-pounding thrill ride through the shadowy corridors of the Bartholomew building with “Lock Every Door” by Riley Sager. This gripping novel will keep you guessing until the final shocking revelation, reminding you that sometimes the most beautiful facades hide the darkest secrets. Get ready for a suspenseful reading experience that will leave you locking every door and looking over your shoulder.

Lock Every Door Plot Summary

Chronological Overview of Major Events:

  • Introduction:
    • The book follows the story of Jules Larsen, a young woman struggling with personal and financial hardships in New York City.
    • Jules takes on a job as an apartment sitter at the prestigious and mysterious Bartholomew building, known for its luxurious yet eerie reputation.
  • The Rules of the Bartholomew:
    • Jules is introduced to the rules and regulations of her new job, which include staying in the apartment every night and not disturbing the other residents.
    • She becomes acquainted with other apartment sitters who share her experiences and warnings about the building’s dark history.
  • Unsettling Discoveries:
    • As Jules delves deeper into her role, she starts noticing peculiar occurrences and strange behavior from the building’s staff and residents.
    • She begins investigating the building’s history and uncovers a series of disappearances and unexplained deaths tied to Bartholomew.
  • Connection to Ingrid, a Missing Resident:
    • Jules becomes particularly intrigued by Ingrid, a previous apartment sitter who mysteriously disappeared from Bartholomew.
    • She investigates Ingrid’s disappearance, trying to uncover the truth and unravel the secrets of the building.
  • Disturbing Revelations and Escalating Danger:
    • Jules uncovers a web of dark secrets and a hidden underground society within Bartholomew.
    • The danger escalates as she gets closer to the truth, and she realizes that her own life is at stake.
  • The Final Confrontation:
    • The book reaches its climax when Jules confronts the mastermind behind Bartholomew’s secrets and attempts to expose the truth.
    • A thrilling showdown takes place, where Jules must rely on her wit and courage to escape the dangerous clutches of the building.
  • Resolution and Epilogue:
    • The book concludes with the resolution of the mystery surrounding Bartholomew and Ingrid’s disappearance.
    • Jules reflects on her experiences, the lessons learned, and the personal growth she has undergone throughout the ordeal.

Key Plot Points:

  • Major Conflict: The major conflict revolves around Jules’ investigation into the mysterious happenings at Bartholomew, her pursuit of the truth about Ingrid’s disappearance, and her own safety within the ominous building.
  • Turning Points:
    • The introduction of Jules to the Bartholomew and the unveiling of its unsettling reputation serve as a turning point, piquing her curiosity and setting the stage for the suspenseful events to come.
    • The discovery of disturbing revelations about the building’s history and the escalating danger Jules faces represent turning points that heighten the tension and drive the plot forward.
  • Climax: The climax occurs when Jules confronts the mastermind behind Bartholomew’s secrets, leading to a thrilling confrontation and a race against time to escape.

Subplots/Secondary Storylines:

  • The book explores themes of trust, deception, and the power of perception as Jules navigates the complex web of relationships and secrets within Bartholomew.
  • The history and lore surrounding Bartholomew serve as a secondary storyline, adding depth and intrigue to the overall narrative.
  • Jules’ personal journey of self-discovery and overcoming her own hardships adds emotional depth to the story, as she confronts her fears and finds inner strength throughout her investigation.

Themes and Messages

The main themes or messages explored in the book “Lock Every Door” by Riley Sager are:

  • Mystery and Suspense: The book is a thriller that explores the theme of mystery and suspense. It keeps readers guessing and on the edge of their seats as they try to unravel the secrets and uncover the truth behind the mysterious occurrences in the Bartholomew building.
  • Psychological Manipulation: “Lock Every Door” addresses the theme of psychological manipulation. It delves into the tactics used by the residents and staff of Bartholomew to control and manipulate the protagonist, Jules, and others, leading to a sense of paranoia and fear.
  • Identity and Self-Discovery: The novel explores the theme of identity and self-discovery. It follows Jules as she grapples with her own past, tries to make sense of her present circumstances, and seeks to uncover the truth about herself and the mysterious happenings in Bartholomew.
  • Class and Power Dynamics: “Lock Every Door” examines the theme of class and power dynamics within the Bartholomew building. It explores the stark divide between the wealthy residents and the staff, highlighting the inequalities and the abuse of power that can occur within such environments.

Examples or evidence from the book to support each theme or message:

  • Mystery and Suspense:
    • The book presents numerous mysterious events and eerie occurrences within the Bartholomew building, such as disappearances, hidden rooms, and strange messages, creating an atmosphere of suspense and intrigue.
    • Jules’ attempts to uncover the truth behind these mysteries, as she investigates the building’s dark history, keep readers engaged and invested in the unfolding story.
  • Psychological Manipulation:
    • The residents and staff of Bartholomew use psychological tactics to control and manipulate Jules, creating a sense of paranoia and uncertainty. They restrict her movements, monitor her activities, and play on her fears to maintain their control over her.
    • The revelations of the manipulations and the psychological toll it takes on Jules contribute to the psychological suspense of the novel.
  • Identity and Self-Discovery:
    • Jules’ exploration of her own past and her search for the truth about herself becomes a central theme in the book. She uncovers hidden aspects of her identity and confronts her own fears and insecurities, leading to a journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance.
    • The secrets and revelations surrounding Jules’ identity and the mysteries of Bartholomew contribute to the exploration of this theme.
  • Class and Power Dynamics:
    • The stark contrast between the wealthy residents of Bartholomew and the staff highlights the theme of class and power dynamics. The residents wield their wealth and influence over the staff, leading to abuses of power and the exploitation of those in lower social positions.
    • The power imbalances within the building contribute to the suspense and tension of the novel, as Jules navigates the dynamics and confronts the consequences of these inequalities.

The significance or relevance of these themes in the context of the book:

“Lock Every Door” offers a gripping mystery thriller that explores themes of mystery, psychological manipulation, identity, and class dynamics. The themes presented in the book are significant in creating suspense, highlighting the complexities of human behavior, and engaging readers in a thrilling and psychological journey.

The theme of mystery and suspense keeps readers engaged and captivated as they try to piece together the secrets and uncover the truth within the story. It creates an atmosphere of tension and anticipation, driving the narrative forward.

The exploration of psychological manipulation delves into the dark aspects of human behavior and the tactics used to control and manipulate others. It prompts readers to question motives, trust, and the impact of psychological games on individuals’ well-being.

The theme of identity and self-discovery adds depth to the story, as Jules confronts her own past and struggles to uncover the truth about herself. It prompts readers to reflect on their own journeys of self-discovery and the complexities of uncovering hidden aspects of one’s identity.

The examination of class and power dynamics highlights social inequalities and the potential for abuses of power within privileged environments. It prompts discussions about the impacts of social hierarchies and the treatment of individuals based on their socioeconomic status.

“Lock Every Door” offers an engaging and suspenseful mystery thriller that explores themes of mystery, psychological manipulation, identity, and class dynamics. It keeps readers guessing, challenges their perceptions, and offers a thrilling exploration of human behavior and the pursuit of truth.

Writing Style and Tone

Riley Sager’s writing style in “Lock Every Door” is suspenseful, atmospheric, and gripping. He employs a fast-paced narrative that keeps readers on the edge of their seats. Sager’s vivid and descriptive writing creates a haunting and mysterious ambiance throughout the story. His style is characterized by short, punchy sentences and cliffhanger chapter endings, propelling the reader forward with anticipation. Sager’s ability to build tension and maintain a sense of unease makes his writing style genuinely immersive and compelling.

The tone of “Lock Every Door” is chilling, eerie, and suspenseful. Sager creates an atmosphere of foreboding and paranoia, heightening the sense of danger and mystery that permeates the narrative. The tone reflects the main character’s increasing unease as she unravels the dark secrets of the Bartholomew building. Sager’s exploration of themes such as isolation, trust, and survival adds depth to the tone, making it thought-provoking and intense. The tone immerses readers in a world of secrets and suspense, keeping them captivated and eager to uncover the truth.

One of the unique narrative techniques employed by Riley Sager in “Lock Every Door” is his use of alternating timelines. The story alternates between present events and flashbacks, gradually unveiling the secrets and mysteries surrounding the Bartholomew building. This narrative technique creates a sense of intrigue and depth, allowing readers to piece together the puzzle alongside the main character. Sager expertly uses alternating timelines to build suspense and maintain the reader’s engagement throughout the story.

Another notable narrative choice is Sager’s incorporation of unreliable narration. The main character’s perspective is tinged with doubt and uncertainty, adding an additional layer of intrigue and suspense. Readers are kept on their toes, questioning the trustworthiness of the protagonist’s observations and experiences. Sager’s use of unreliable narration heightens the tension and keeps readers guessing, enhancing the psychological thrill of the story.

In summary, “Lock Every Door” by Riley Sager showcases a gripping and atmospheric writing style that immerses readers in a world of suspense and mystery. The tone of the book is chilling and eerie, reflecting the dark secrets and dangers lurking within the Bartholomew building. Sager’s narrative techniques, including alternating timelines and unreliable narration, enhance the tension and intrigue of the story. The book delivers a thrilling reading experience that keeps readers on the edge of their seats from beginning to end.

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What is “Lock Every Door” about?

 “Lock Every Door” is a thriller novel by Riley Sager that follows the story of Jules Larsen, a young woman who takes a job as an apartment sitter at the prestigious Bartholomew building in New York City. However, as Jules settles into her new role, she begins to uncover dark secrets about the building’s history and its residents, leading to a suspenseful and chilling tale.

Is “Lock Every Door” a horror novel?

While “Lock Every Door” incorporates elements of suspense and mystery, it is not primarily a horror novel. The story focuses more on psychological suspense and the unraveling of a gripping mystery, rather than relying on supernatural or horror elements.

Does “Lock Every Door” have a strong sense of atmosphere?

Yes, “Lock Every Door” has a strong sense of atmosphere. Riley Sager skillfully creates an atmospheric setting by immersing readers in the mysterious and opulent Bartholomew building. The author’s vivid descriptions and attention to detail help to establish a chilling and claustrophobic atmosphere that adds to the suspense of the story.

Does “Lock Every Door” feature strong female characters?

Yes, “Lock Every Door” features strong female characters, including the protagonist, Jules Larsen. Jules is determined, resourceful, and resilient as she navigates the mysteries and dangers surrounding the Bartholomew building. The novel also explores themes of empowerment and personal strength in the face of adversity.

Is “Lock Every Door” known for its plot twists?

Yes, “Lock Every Door” is known for its plot twists. Riley Sager skillfully weaves unexpected twists and turns throughout the story, keeping readers guessing and building suspense. These twists add complexity to the narrative and contribute to the overall enjoyment of the novel.

Can “Lock Every Door” be emotionally gripping?

Yes, “Lock Every Door” can be emotionally gripping. The novel explores themes of fear, survival, and the pursuit of truth, evoking a range of emotions in readers. As the mysteries unfold and the stakes rise, readers become emotionally invested in the characters’ journeys and the resolution of the story.


“Lock Every Door” by Riley Sager is a gripping novel that seamlessly blends the elements of thriller, mystery, and suspense. The story takes readers on a rollercoaster ride of tension, intrigue, and nail-biting suspense that will leave them on the edge of their seats.

In this thrilling tale, the protagonist, Jules Larsen, finds herself caught in a web of mystery and danger when she takes a job as an apartment sitter in the enigmatic Bartholomew building. As she unravels the dark secrets of the building and its inhabitants, the suspense intensifies, keeping readers guessing and eager to uncover the truth.

Riley Sager’s writing style is masterful, expertly crafting a narrative that keeps readers hooked from beginning to end. The pacing is tight, ensuring that the suspense never wavers, while the carefully plotted twists and turns add layers of intrigue and mystery. Sager’s ability to create a palpable sense of tension and to evoke a chilling atmosphere makes “Lock Every Door” a standout in the thriller, mystery, and suspense genres.

For fans of thrillers, mysteries, and suspenseful reads, “Lock Every Door” is a must-read. Its skillful blending of the three genres makes for an electrifying and immersive reading experience. Prepare yourself for a heart-pounding journey through the secrets of the Bartholomew building and get ready to be captivated by Sager’s exceptional storytelling.

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