My Rating: ★★★
Genre: Adult Mystery / Thriller
Publication Date: June 29th 2021
Publisher: Dutton Books
It’s November 1991. George H. W. Bush is in the White House, Nirvana’s in the tape deck, 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 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. Like the Hitchcock heroine she’s named after, Charlie has her doubts. There’s something suspicious about Josh, from the holes in his story about his father to how he doesn’t seem to want Charlie to see inside the car’s trunk. As they travel an empty highway in the dead of night, an increasingly worried Charlie begins to think she’s sharing a car with the Campus Killer. Is Josh truly dangerous? Or is Charlie’s suspicion merely a figment of her movie-fueled imagination?
What follows is a game of cat-and-mouse played out on night-shrouded roads and in neon-lit parking lots, during an age when the only call for help can be made on a pay phone and in a place where there’s nowhere to run. In order to win, Charlie must do one thing–survive the night.
I received an ARC from Penguin Random House International in exchange for an honest review.
Survive the Night left me with mixed feelings. I was thrilled on the first part but its ending BADLY MESSED UP. I have no issue on the writing style because it was great and the unreliable characters keep me on my toes even if her actions are dumb that you want to palmed your face hard. It has a lot of plot twist that I didn’t see coming but am I surprised? No. I was hoping for a different direction.
Charlie Jordan’s roommate, Maddie, was murdered by the so called “Campus Killer” and she feels guilty for not being a good friend to her. It triggered her visual and auditory hallucinations due to her traumatic experiences. She agrees to ride with the guy she met on the campus. You see, Josh was a stranger to her. Isn’t it dumb of Charlie to go on a ride with him despite of the campus warning to NEVER go with a stranger due to these killings?
Charlie and Josh played mind games. It got me excited and you can’t trust any of them because one has unreliable thoughts and one is a liar. Could Josh be the suspect of these killings? What’s the motive? I cannot talk much more for a potential plot twist.
What makes this book disappointing? I felt mental illness is glorified in a bad way. I am not convinced with the suspect’s motives at all. It’s unrealistic and anticlimactic. I assumed Charlie has mental illness even if she’s not diagnosed. To be honest, the last part ruined the book. I would take that one in a different direction.