Today I’m thrilled to share my review of The Escape Room by Megan Goldin. Many thanks to Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers for my invite onto the tour and the publisher Orion Books, for the free ecopy via Netgalley.
Welcome to the escape room. Your goal is simple. Get out alive.
In the lucrative world of Wall Street finance, Vincent, Jules, Sylvie and Sam are the ultimate high-flyers. Ruthlessly ambitious, they make billion-dollar deals and live lives of outrageous luxury. Getting rich is all that matters, and they’ll do anything to get ahead.
When the four of them become trapped in an elevator escape room, things start to go horribly wrong. They have to put aside their fierce office rivalries and work together to solve the clues that will release them. But in the confines of the elevator the dark secrets of their team are laid bare. They are made to answer for profiting from a workplace where deception, intimidation and sexual harassment thrive.
Tempers fray and the escape room’s clues turn more and more ominous, leaving the four of them dangling on the precipice of disaster. If they want to survive, they’ll have to solve one more final puzzle: which one of them is a killer?
What a revelation this novel turned out to be! The Escape Room was an amazing read because it has great characters and also: 1. a corporate setting that is more than fascinating, and 2. an intense and claustrofobic locked room mystery in an elevator. Despite it being such a tiny room, there was lots to discover and it really never got boring. There was a perfect balance between both scenes and just when the heat gets on in the elevator with nicely timed hints, it switches to the past where you learn a little more about the people trapped in that small space.
The people in the elevator all share Stanhope and Sons unofficial but very truthful motto ‘fake it till you make it‘. The firm has over 9000 applicants each year and only 30ish are chosen for an induction week, where they are pampered and spoilt extravagently. Sara Hall is a girl with an MBA who tries to get a place as a financial analyst at the prestigeous New York firm. It is through her eyes that we get a sense of the place. The author provides such a clear imagine of the corporate mentality that even for all the money in the world, I wouldn’t want to work there.
At the same time 4 high-rolling employees of Stanhope are sent to the 87th floor of a builing for an urgent team building assignment. They never reach the floor though and it appears the elevator itself is set up as an escape room. The prologue gives the reader a taste of what’s waiting at the end of the story and you’re left wondering for the next few hours who’ll get out of that elevator alive and who’ll die. If that doesn’t get you hooked immediately, I don’t know what is.
As the story progresses I found out so much about this foursome. They seem to work well together but secretly there were jealous of each other and tried to undermine one another whenever they got a chance. They’re unlikeable characters but very interesting to read more about so they were absolutely the right kind of unlikeable. I was trying to suss out who was the baddest devil of them all but they all quite rival each other. Not to worry though, you have Sara to root for, for most part of the novel. It’s kind of a mystery why she isn’t in that elevator with them. Did she leave the team, turn her back on that money? It seemed very unlikely. My eyebrows almost touched my hairline when I found out why that was, no kidding.
Without giving away anything more about the plot, The Escape Room had me racing through this novel, it was a thrill of a read and I can’t recommend it enough. This novel is a real gem and definitely one of my favorite reads this year.
I can hardly believe this spectacular read is a debut novel and all I know is I can’t wait to read the next Megan Goldin novel!
*** Don’t forget to check the rest of the tour…
first one up tomorrow is Over The Rainbow Book Blog ***