Sager balances the novel’s short timeline and limited setting with rich characterization for all, especially Katherine, whom the reader meets as she nearly drowns in the dark, freezing lake, and Casey, whose never-ending supply of snarky one-liners and wisecracks never quite camouflages the deep emotional turmoil that ended her once-successful acting career...The House Across the Lake is a psychological thriller that’s thoroughly personality-driven, following women whose motives, means and opportunities are as murkily fascinating as the titular loch...An addictive beach read that fans will devour in one sitting—and leave feeling thoroughly sated.
Sager is terrific at creating suspense within a confined, sometimes claustrophobic setting, and he makes the most of his unreliable narrator...Fans of stories that keep the heart pounding and the mind engaged will enjoy this one, although some may find a few of the twists hard to believe...Still, those willing to suspend disbelief will be happy to follow this wild ride from one of the genre’s most entertaining authors.
You won't need high-powered binoculars like the ones Casey uses to see where the story seems to be headed. She's hardly the first unreliable narrator consumed with a mystery or the first protagonist whose neighborhood voyeurism may have uncovered a crime...It's a familiar psychological thriller structure – until everything changes ... If you thought you knew Sager's typical double-twists, and the tropes and trips of the suspense and thriller genre, there's a tonal shift three-quarters of the way in that will either feel brilliant – or infuriating. Either reaction leads to a page-turning climax ... But as the narrative takes you back and forth through the past and present, the novel seems to be less about the mystery's twists and more about the relationships, the glimpses at the lives lived by these characters, both secret and in the open, and what it all can mean in the end.