Vincent, Jules, Sylvie, and Sam are ruthlessly ambitious high-flyers working in the lucrative world of Wall Street finance where deception and intimidation thrive. Getting rich is all that matters, and they’ll do anything to reach the top.
When they are ordered to participate in a corporate team-building exercise that requires them to escape from a locked elevator, dark secrets of their team begin to be laid bare.
The biggest mystery to solve in this lethal game: What happened to Sara Hall? Once a young shining star – now “gone but not forgotten”.
This is no longer a game. They’re fighting for their lives. (Amazon)
Title: Escape Room
Author: Megan Goldin
Release Date: August 6, 2019
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
(post may contain affiliate links)
The Escape Room starts off with an intriguing idea, then takes an unexpected turn that I didn’t see coming!
Quick word of advice if you haven’t read this one yet – skip the prologue. I’ve never really understood prologues to begin with, but this one sort of ruined the ending for me.
The story starts off with four investment bankers arriving for a last-minute Friday night meeting. Odd, but they were used to their company pulling their strings so show up when and wherever they’re told.
Finding out that their mandatory meeting is actually an escape room challenge, they’re less than pleased. Assured it will only take an hour, they resign themselves to the exercise and get in the elevator.
The chapters alternate between the present day escape room and the story of Sara Hall, which takes place in the past. Each chapter is labeled so it’s easy to keep track of each storyline.
Sara was a talented business school graduate who, because of a downturn in the economy, had a hard time finding a job. We first meet Sara during an interview. We quickly learn that the man interviewing her is a first class jerk who is only going through the motions. Poor Sara.
Meanwhile, the elevator lights go out as soon as the doors close, leaving the four bankers in the dark as the car quickly rises. Finally stopping at the 70th floor, the doors fail to open and the lights stay off. A message pops up on the small monitor, welcoming them to the escape room.
The story pops back and forth between the escape room and Sara’s story. We follow along as Sara finally lands a job, working with the same team currently stuck in the elevator escape room.
Of the two stories, I was more interested in Sara’s. Getting a behind the scenes glimpse of life in the fast lane of investment banking was fascinating!
You know the old Fitzgerald quote that the rich are different than you and me? Well, this book more or less proves it. The money that these people throw around is amazing! And a little sickening.
Sara even mentions that her induction class was nothing short of a seduction, with generous gifts, gourmet meals, and lots of little perks. Getting them all used to the high life. By the end of the week, the entire class was fully indoctrinated into the cult-like worship of greed.
Make no mistake, these are not nice people. The more I got to know Vincent, Jules, Sylvie, and Sam, the less I liked them. Even Sara, who starts off likable and relatable, soon gets caught up in the lifestyle.
As the clues in the elevator escape room get more and more personal, tensions start to rise. While these people may have worked together as a team for years, they do not like or respect one another. At all.
And learning about Sara’s journey from bright young star to “gone, but not forgotten” was something else!
Really enjoyed the ride on this one.
Good writing, interesting (if not exactly likable) characters, and a decently paced plot, all added up to a fast, fun read!
About the Author:
Megan Goldin was a journalist before she became a writer. She reported from the Middle East for the Associated Press, Reuters, the (Australian) ABC and other news outlets. She worked in Asia as a reporter and editor for Reuters and Yahoo!. She is the author of The Escape Room and The Girl In Kellers Way.