About The Book
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 more final puzzle: which one of them is a killer?
I really, really enjoyed The Escape Room by Megan Goldin. It is a fun read (fun is an odd choice of words when four people are trapped in escape room trying to avoid being killed, I know) which trips along at a great pace and kept me guessing.
The premise is simple. Four colleagues who work for Stanhope, an Investment Bank on Wall Street, are called to a meeting late one Friday night. None of them want to be there, they’d all rather be off doing whatever it is they do in their spare time but when the Firm calls, you answer. And so they arrive at the office, enter the elevator and off it goes, until suddenly it stops, and a message appears on the screen. They’re in an escape room and their objective is not only to escape, but to escape with their lives. We soon discover that Vincent, Jules, Sylvie and Sam are not the most likeable of people (that may be the understatement of the Century to be honest) and hours trapped in a small space with one another can only end badly.
Interspersed with these passages are chapters concentrating on Sara Hall, a Graduate who gets a job with Stanhope. It is through her eyes that we see the intoxicating allure of working for a prestigious, affluent bank. A large salary, brand new technology, spa treatments and a beautiful apartment are just some of the perks of the job. But when you work for a business like that they want everything you have to give and they own both you and your soul. These chapters introduce us to Vincent, Jules, Sylvie and Sam, filling in their backgrounds and we gradually get to know them and their duplicitous ways. They are great characters, ones that you really, really love to hate which I always think are the best kind.
I really loved the two timelines and how they contrasted. The dynamics between the four of them is full of power play and aggression and as we get to know them better we come to fully understand the underlying tension in the elevator. The back and forth between the two time periods provides light and shade and I particularly enjoyed reading about Sara. Her awe at her new job and the perks that it brings and then the slow realisation that she needs to up her game if she is running with the big boys is brilliant to read. The dynamics of the team; Sylvie’s use of her beauty to ensure she is the focal point of every room, Jules’ Lothario tendencies, Sam’s encouragement of Sara to further his own career and Vincent’s unknowable character combine to create an office that I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near. Megan Goldin’s representation of office politics and high finance makes for a gleeful read.
But then, there is the dark side with back stabbing and underhand techniques all coming into play. Almost Machiavellian in nature, the plot does take some dark turns down the rabbit hole. I didn’t really see any of the plot coming, which I loved and couldn’t work out where it was going at all. It’s all a bit bonkers to be honest and I mean that in the best possible way. Suspension of belief is needed a little, particularly towards the end, but I was happy to disregard that as I just enjoyed it so much.
It is very clever book. Very enjoyable and a little bit mad, and was just my cup of tea. This would make a brilliant summer read as it is a portal into a completely different world filled with great plotting and characterisation.
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, which will be released in the U.S. and UK in 2019, and The Girl In Kellers Way.
Where You Can Buy It
My thanks to Netgalley, Orion and Tracy Fenton for a copy of the book and an invitation to join the Blog Tour.