Name: The Escape Room
Author: Megan Goldin
Number of Pages: 368 (Paperback)
Published: August 8th 2019 by Trapeze (first published July 30th 2019)
‘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 final puzzle: which one of them is a killer?
In The Escape Room four colleagues are trapped in an elevator for the duration. And what a bunch they are; I don’t think I’ve encountered such a wholly unlikable group in a novel for quite a while. When I first started reading there was a moment I was hesitant. I decided to read on a little further, and suddenly, something just hooked me.
There are two narratives. In the current setting a group of four colleagues from Stanhope and Sons have been lured to a ‘meeting’ which becomes an apparent escape room challenge.
They’re all highly successful, ruthless, competitive and in danger of losing the lucrative jobs that keep them in such high-flying lifestyles.
When the clues to their escape start to become increasingly personal, their survival instincts kick in and the tension mounts as their hopes of rescue begin to fade.
The other narrative follows the rise of new recruit Sara Hall, who joins Stanhope with good intentions; she hopes to be able to support her parents with part of her salary. Over time Sarah admits she has become more used to the ruthless attitude the company encourages and of her fellow employees. She’s not particularly comfortable with some of her choices though, and forms a friendship with another colleague, the brilliant Lucy, whom the team tolerate mostly for her financial acumen.
The chapters go back and forth between the two narratives and leave you wondering just what happened to the two more likable characters of Sara and Lucy, and which of the elevator group, if any, will make it to the end of their ordeal as secrets and betrayals finally come to light and the truth about why they were selected for the escape room is revealed.
The Escape Room is fast paced, compulsive reading, a tale of bad behaviour, endless ambition and the desire for revenge, of secrets exposed and wrongs righted in an elaborate way. If you’re looking for an entertaining read to see you through these last days of summer then The Escape Room might be one to try.