Friday, 26 October 2018

Audiobook Review: THE ESCAPE ROOM by Megan Goldin

Author: Megan Goldin
Narrator: Anthea Greco
Read: October 2018
My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 all the stars!!!!

Book Description:

‘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?

My musings:

Wow – every now and then a book comes along that totally blows you out of the water. Megan Goldin’s latest thriller, The Escape Room, was that book for me. It is easiest one of the best psychological thrillers I have read all year, which takes the term “locked room mystery” to a new level – featuring the claustrophobic confines of an elevator!

Goldin hooked me immediately with her opening chapter, foreshadowing the disaster to follow. She then takes us back to where it all began, as four corporate bankers enter an elevator to get to an unscheduled meeting in an out-of-the-way office building late one Friday afternoon. Each of them is resenting the intrusion into their weekend but afraid to miss it, in case it will go against them in the next round of retrenchments. From here on, the story is being told in a “now” and “then” format, switching between the “now” scenes of the four people trapped in the elevator to the “then” chapters narrated from the POV of Sarah Hall, a former (and now deceased) colleague of theirs. What unfolds from here was both the best thrill ride I have been on for a long time, and one of the most eye-opening accounts of what goes on behind the scenes of the finance industry.

Personally, I loved everything about this book. The claustrophobic atmosphere of the dark elevator created a constant undercurrent of threat and intrigue as colleagues Sylvie, Vincent, Sam and Jules slowly begin to unravel. Despite their wealth and success, each one of them is flawed, hiding personal secrets that may just be the reason for finding themselves in the situation they are in. The clash of personalities was so cleverly portrayed that I was on tenterhooks the whole time! I may also have sat there stupidly with my mouth open a few times, so it was just as well that I listened to this story on my solitary commute with no one to witness my reaction. Have you ever even heard of an escape room? The whole concept was so fascinating – and terrifying.

But by far my favourite character was Sarah, whose account of her beginnings in the firm painted the picture of the type of resourceful, intelligent and plucky young female I love to see driving a story. The glimpses Sarah gave into the corporate world were fascinating and shocking at the same time, and very educational. Perhaps I have been living under a rock (or in a small rural WA town – same, same) all these years, but I had no idea about some of the things she was describing! My heart broke for Sarah as things started to go wrong for her, and I became very very angry on her behalf as her colleagues were mercilessly bullying her to breaking point.

As the tension built to an almost unbearable level, I had to muster all my self-control not to rush ahead but instead allow myself to savour this book in all its glory. Seeing that the scenes in the elevator are very character-driven, I relished every little revelation about the four colleagues, the glimpses into the darker corners of their psyche. Goldin’s skill here lay in the slow unmasking of each of the characters, like carefully stripping layer after layer to reveal the rotten core. There were A LOT of surprises in store, and I soon realised that I couldn’t trust anyone, including my own assumptions, which made this the best kind of read for me – one that messed with my mind!


To sum it up in a few words, The Escape Room was a well-plotted, intelligent and multi-faceted psychological thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time and messed with my mind until I didn’t have the slightest clue how this one would play out. With a claustrophobic setting and a backdrop of the corporate finance world, this thriller offered up something quite unique not found in any books I had read previously. The Escape Room was one of the best thrillers I have read all year, and I cannot recommend it highly enough!

Image result for 5 stars

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