Lock Every Door by Riley Sager (Book Summary)

Jules Larson just got a new job as an apartment sitter at Bartholomew, and she felt very happy. She is currently sleeping at her bestfriend’s apartment since she could not afford renting her own yet. She lost her job on the same day she lost her boyfriend. When she got home from her last day at work, she found her boyfriend in the apartment they are renting, screwing another woman. Aside from Chloe, she has no one. Her parents are dead, her only sister, Jane, is missing for years or probably already dead.

Jules thinks that staying at the Bartholomew will be perfect for her. She will only need to stay there for three months, and she will be paid $4,000 per month. Even though Chloe is skeptical about this, Jules insisted on grabbing the job.

When she is already in the Bartholomew, she was informed of the rules. No visitors allowed, she should sleep every night at her apartment (which is 12A), and she should not disturb or mingle with the other residents. Jules found the apartment a little creepy, but she disregarded all that because she needs the money. She was told that the owner of the apartment just died and the relatives are still fighting over who should inherit it, so in the mean time, she is hired to stay or look after at their apartment.

Jules met other apartment sitters – Dylan and Ingrid. Dylan has been around for two months and Ingrid, two weeks. Jules and Ingrid’s meeting was unfortunate. They bumped into each other in the lobby, and Jules got injured in her arm. Lesley Evelyn, the woman who manages the Bartholomew, took Jules to a resident that is a doctor. That is how Jules met Nick, an attractive surgeon.

To apologize, Ingrid invited Jules in the park. They talked about themselves, exchanged numbers, took a selfie, and arranged to meet every day during lunch to eat in the park. Ingrid also gave Jules a nickname, “Juju”.

The next day, Jules waited in the park for Ingrid, but she didn’t come. She texted her as she waited for two hours. She gave up and decided to go to her apartment. When she knocked, Jules was greeted by Lesley Evelyn. She’s cleaning up the apartment and informed her that Ingrid left last night. She left at around 1AM, and left the key in the lobby. Jules found this very odd and she got suspicious, because when she talked to Ingrid yesterday, she mentioned how she needed the money. Jules also thinks that something is wrong because last midnight, she heard a scream and she believed that it was Ingrid. She went to her apartment and Ingrid looked scared, but she insisted that she is okay. Jules just assumed that she just imagined the scream.

Jules kept on looking for Ingrid because it just doesn’t make sense that she would leave that abruptly. Also, she found a note from Ingrid in the dumbwaiter. The note says “Be Careful” along with a key to the storage in the basement. Jules went to the basement and found a gun in the shoebox. She kept it because it looks like Ingrid left it for her. She started discussing this with the other residents even though it is not allowed. She also told Dylan, he was shocked but he doesn’t care that much. She talked to Greta Manfield, the author of her favorite book, Heart of a Dreamer. Greta said she met with Ingrid before but didn’t talk with her that much. Jules also asked the help of the attractive doctor, Nick. Nick helped her get inside Ingrid’s apartment to look for clues but the only thing she found was a copy of the Heart of a Dreamer, which has a note from Greta. She knows that this belongs to Ingrid because she saw it on her instagram. Jules just found it odd because Greta said she didn’t interact with Ingrid, but then she gave her a signed copy… After Nick helped Jules, she had sex with him and spent the night in his apartment.

Jules found a cellphone in her apartment, it looked like it fell. She charged the phone and when she saw the lockscreen, she thought that the girl in the photo looked familiar. She realized that the photo was from the missing poster she ones saw outside. She dialed the number in the poster, and to her surprise, it was Dylan who answered. Dylan and Jules arranged to meet in a museum because they believe they are being watched at the Bartholomew.

Dylan told her about Ericka – she was the apartment sitter before Jules and she just disappeared without any notice. Lesley Evelyn told Dylan that Ericka wasn’t comfortable with the rules, so she left. Dylan found this odd, because he has been hooking up with Ericka and she never mentioned about having any problems with the rules.

Since the phone is locked, they each paid $500 to have it unlocked. Once unlocked, they went through the call logs, messages and photos. When she was already alone in the apartment and still looking through the phone, she discovered a video. It was a video of Ericka being scared, at the end of the video someone knocked and Ericka exclaimed, ‘it’s him!’ Jules wondered who Ericka was referring to.

Jules finally found the answer when she texted Ingrid and miraculously received a reply, telling her not to worry because she is okay. She was relieved but then got suspicious. Ingrid won’t let her call. Jules asked what her nickname was and the response says that she doesn’t have a nickname. Wrong. Ingrid has nicknamed her Juju. And then Jules realized that only one resident knows that she doesn’t have a nickname, and it was Nick.

Jules started researching and here are what she found out.

      • The previous owner of the apartment is Marjorie Milton. She looked for her online and found that she is still alive – she was previously told that the previous owner was dead. She looked for Marjorie and found her, but she didn’t tell her anything, but Jules caught a glimpse of her brooch. An ouroboros, a symbol she found at Nick’s apartment. She researched about this and concluded that this has something to do with the rituals at the Bartholomew.
      • Jules received a call from Bobbie, the woman she met at the shelter while looking for Ingrid. Bobbie told her that she found Ingrid. Jules and Ingrid talked and they concluded that the residents at Bartholomew are part of a cult and they sacrifice someone every blue moon, as an offering to the devil.
      • Nick’s last name is Bartholomew. He is related to Greta.

That night was the next blue moon, so Jules hurried back to the Bartholomew to warn Dylan and then leave while Ingrid continued to hide. When Jules knocked on Dylan’s apartment, Lesley Evelyn was already cleaning up. Jules went to her apartment to get a few things so she could leave, but Nick suddenly appeared. It turns out there was a secret passage for Nick through the bookshelf.

Jules ran and fought back. She was able to run away from Nick, into the hi way, but then she got hit by a car. She was taken to the hospital, or that was what she thought. When she woke up she was attended by doctors and nurses she doesn’t recognize, but then later on, there was Nick. He mentioned about the operation being successful.

As she lay in the hospital bed, Nick explained everything.

Their initial conclusion about a cult or a sacrifice is simply a myth. The real purpose of the Bartholomew is to provide rich and influential people the healthcare that is not available to the poor. The apartment sitters they hire are to be used as donors, their organs will be given to the residents. The residents are patients. Dylan’s heart was given to Lenard, a resident who was a senator. As for Jules, her kidney was given to Greta, the author. Her other organs are already allocated. Her liver will be given to Mary Anne, the actress, and her heart, to the daughter of Charlie, the doorman who was very kind to her.

Jules felt helpless, she was being prepared for the surgery but she tried fighting back. She didn’t swallow the pills. And when one employee’s lighter fell on the floor, she picked it up and waited for the right time to set the building on fire. She set the hospital bed on fire first, when the fire alarm blared, she ran out of the room. She continued spreading the fire. Nick got hold of him but she was able to hurt him, and she was able to escape the Bartholomew.

The Bartholomew burned, and their secrets have been exposed. Charges were filed to the residents, except for Greta who just disappeared. As for Nick, he killed himself by jumping from the Bartholomew, just like what his grandfather did. The building was later on demolished.

Jules stayed in Chloe’s apartment. Chloe moved in with her boyfriend. Ingrid and Bobbie shared an apartment. They are now all safe.

The End of  Lock Every Door by Riley Sager.

Other important details: 

  • There was a fire in the Bartholomew when Mr. Lenard fainted and dropped the pot. Chloe saved or helped Greta escape the building. The damage was just minimal.
  • In the last part where Jules was escaping the Bartholomew, Greta helped her escape by not revealing to Lesley Evelyn where she is.
  • Jules’ sister, Jane, went missing and never came back. For Jules’ parents, they died from a fire in their home, but that fire was staged. Her mother has an illness, her father does not have a stable job. Her father purchases an insurance policy and killed themselves in that fire, leaving Jules the car keys, and the keys to the storage that contains her things and also Janes. However, Jules didn’t get any money from the insurer.
  • Eva Harmoni

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Eva Harmoni

There was one night when the rain poured so hard, and i didn't want it to stop. Weird, because i was afraid and amused by the sound of the rain and thunder. The sound of it made me less alone that night. The next day i woke up to find my collection of journals soaked. I keep it near the window to make sure no one could read it. The writings can still be read but i was devastated by the damage. I wanted it preserved but i don't want it published. Still amused by the rain but afraid of the wrath it could bring to my journals, i created this blog.

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