Editorial note: I received a copy of The Escape Room in exchange for a review.
The Escape Room by Megan Goldin is a page-turner with many layers. One of my favorite thrillers of the year!
Thrillers are some of the most popular book club books out there. But sometimes there’s a lot of ‘same’ quality to them. For instance, earlier this year, I read a couple thrillers in the row and it honestly was hard to tell the difference between the stories. That is not the case with The Escape Room. This is an original and entertaining story about the true cost of ruthless ambition. I could not put this book down and stayed up way too late reading it—the sign of a great read.
This story is set in cutthroat Wall Street, a world most of us love to hate, right? Four people—Vincent, Jules, Sylvie and Sam—are at the top of their game.
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?
Fantastic Character Development
I’ve never participated in those escape rooms and I feel like I will never want to after reading this scary version of it! The author Megan Goldin is such a fantastic writer—she really paints the terror of being locked in the elevator. But unlike many in the genre, she really focuses on character development. We really get to see all sides to these characters and nothing is off the table.
Many of us have a stereotypical image of Wall Street type people and Megan goes beyond that. I mean, let’s face it, they still are full of greed but I really thought Megan gave each of them plenty of depth. Not that you’ll sympathize with the crew in the elevator but complex characters are much more interesting than one-dimensional ones. It reminds me a bit of The Banker’s Wife with the focus on the finance industry but also well-developed characters.
There’s also more characters than the four in the elevator but I don’t want to give anything away—just know that it’s so interesting how Megan brings it all together.
Final review thoughts
Thrillers are hard to review because I don’t want to give anything away. With this one, try to avoid spoilers at all cost—it’s so worth it! The Escape Room rises above your average thriller as it focuses on greed, tension and revenge. A smart and well-written thriller that is very much worth your time! Your book club will have a ton to discuss with this one. Check out my book club questions here.