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Book club questions for The Escape Room by Megan Goldin takes a closer look at this thrilling story. There will be spoilers so be sure to check out my review for The Escape Room first.
In the lucrative world of finance, Vincent, Jules, Sylvie, and Sam are at the top of their game. They’ve mastered the art of the deal and celebrate their success in style―but a life of extreme luxury always comes at a cost.
Invited to participate in an escape room challenge as a team-building exercise, the ferociously competitive co-workers crowd into the elevator of a high-rise building, eager to prove themselves. But when the lights go off and the doors stay shut, it quickly becomes clear that this is no ordinary competition: they’re caught in a dangerous game of survival.
Trapped in the dark, the colleagues must put aside their bitter rivalries and work together to solve cryptic clues to break free. But as the game begins to reveal the team’s darkest secrets, they realize there’s a price to be paid for the terrible deeds they committed in their ruthless climb up the corporate ladder. As tempers fray, and the clues turn deadly, they must solve one final chilling puzzle: which one of them will kill in order to survive?
Book Club Questions for The Escape Room
- The story starts off with a prologue where cops are called when a security guard hears gunshots in an elevator. And it ends with what seems to be a shootout. Why do you think the author decided to start the story with this prologue? How do you think it helped set the stage for what was to come later?
- The four people in the elevator are Vincent, Jules, Sylvie and Sam. What were your first impressions of each of them? Why do you think they all agreed to take on this ‘escape room’ challenge?
- The story alternates between ‘the elevator’ and ‘Sara Hall.’ Why was it important for us to read both storylines in alternating chapters?
- One of the clues in the elevator says, “Sara Hall. Dead but not forgotten,” which was startling as we are reading in Sara’s perspective from an earlier time period at the same as the elevator escape room. How shocking was that? Did it change how you read the story? When did you start to suspect that she might still be alive?
- There’s lots of descriptions about Wall Street life, which sounds exhausting, stressful and morally compromising, at least with this fictional firm. Sara is so busy with work and focusing on making enough money to take care of her parents that she overlooks a lot of shady behavior. Let’s discuss this and the pressure she was under.
- Let’s take a closer look at the dynamics between the four of them in the elevator. What are some of the things that were said/actions/behavior that stuck out to you with regards to this complicated foursome?
- Sara and Lucy develop a real and authentic friendship. Why do you think Lucy wanted to hide their friendship from their coworkers? On page 129 in talking about Lucy, Sara says: “Lucy was like a tape recorder. She remembered everything. Nothing escaped her. Nothing. In the end, that’s what got her killed.” What did you think when you read that?
- When Lucy dies, the police say it was a suicide but her mother starts to suspect the firm was involved. Did you believe right away that it was a murder?
- With regards to who came up with this elevator escape room, did you have any idea it was Sara? Or did you think it was Vincent? What were your thoughts on that?
- Sara’s romance with Kevin distracts her from looking more into Lucy’s death. Did you think he was a plant for the firm or did you think he was authentic?
- Sara eventually starts to look more into Lucy’s death and through Lucy’s writing and drawings, she learns that Lucy was assaulted in the company elevator and that Sylvie was somehow involved. But when she brings the evidence to Vincent, he’s angry at Sara and eventually Sara is fired. Let’s discuss this sequence of events.
- So the foursome were not thrown into the elevator by random chance. The four of them (and Lucy) were involved with massive insider trading. After Lucy was assaulted, she decided to come clean, which eventually leads to Sam murdering her—much to Vincent’s surprise. What were your thoughts as this unfolded? Was it significant that Vincent was not part of Lucy’s murder?
- It turns out the entire elevator escape room is a big plan by Sara to seek revenge for Lucy and herself. And she wins in the end with draining all their accounts into her own. Let’s talk about Sara’s grand plan and how she succeeded. Do you think she’ll ever find out that Jules, Sylvie and Sam died that night?
- It seems Vincent survived. What do you think happens next for him?
What to Read Next
Hope you enjoyed book club questions for The Escape Room! Here are some more thriller recommendations along with book club questions. (Click the titles or photos to purchase from Amazon).
Never Have I Ever
Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson is another well-crafted thriller with plenty of twists. It’s very well done! Check out my book club questions here.
Amy Whey is proud of her ordinary life and the simple pleasures that come with it—teaching diving lessons, baking cookies for new neighbors, helping her best friend, Charlotte, run their local book club. Her greatest joy is her family: her devoted professor husband, her spirited fifteen-year-old stepdaughter, her adorable infant son. And, of course, the steadfast and supportive Charlotte. But Amy’s sweet, uncomplicated life begins to unravel when the mysterious and alluring Angelica Roux arrives on her doorstep one book club night.
Sultry and magnetic, Roux beguiles the group with her feral charm. She keeps the wine flowing and lures them into a game of spilling secrets. Everyone thinks it’s naughty, harmless fun. Only Amy knows better. Something wicked has come her way—a she-devil in a pricey red sports car who seems to know the terrible truth about who she is and what she once did.
When they’re alone, Roux tells her that if she doesn’t give her what she asks for, what she deserves, she’s going to make Amy pay for her sins. One way or another.
To protect herself and her family and save the life she’s built, Amy must beat the devil at her own clever game, matching wits with Roux in an escalating war of hidden pasts and unearthed secrets. Amy knows the consequences if she can’t beat Roux. What terrifies her is everything she could lose if she wins.
The Banker’s Wife
The Banker’s Wife by Cristina Alger is an entertaining read set in the world of international finance. It’s SO good! Check out my book club questions here.
On an early morning in November, a couple boards a private plane bound for Geneva, flying into a storm. Soon after, it simply drops off the radar, and its wreckage is later uncovered in the Alps. Among the disappeared is Matthew Werner, a banking insider at Swiss United, a powerful offshore bank. His young widow, Annabel, is left grappling with the secrets he left behind, including an encrypted laptop and a shady client list. As she begins a desperate search for answers, she determines that Matthew’s death was no accident, and that she is now in the crosshairs of his powerful enemies.
Meanwhile, ambitious society journalist Marina Tourneau has finally landed at the top. Now that she’s engaged to Grant Ellis, she will stop writing about powerful families and finally be a part of one. Her entry into the upper echelons of New York’s social scene is more appealing than any article could ever be, but, after the death of her mentor, she agrees to dig into one more story. While looking into Swiss United, Marina uncovers information that implicates some of the most powerful men in the financial world, including a few who are too close to home. The story could also be the answer to Annabel’s heartbreaking search–if Marina chooses to publish it.