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The Escape Room

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Welcome to the escape room. Your goal is simple. Get out alive.

In the lucrative world of finance, Vincent, Jules, Sylvie, and Sam are at the top of their game. They’ve mastered the art of the deal and celebrate their success in style―but a life of extreme luxury always comes at a cost.

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?

357 pages, Hardcover

First published July 30, 2019

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About the author

Megan Goldin

5 books3,242 followers
MEGAN GOLDIN worked as a correspondent for Reuters and other media outlets where she covered war, peace, international terrorism and financial meltdowns in the Middle East and Asia. She is now based in Melbourne, Australia where she raises three sons and is a foster mum to Labrador puppies learning to be guide dogs. She is the author of The Escape Room, The Night Swim, and Stay Awake.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 5,738 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,964 reviews294k followers
July 11, 2019
My team was involved in structuring the acquisition. Sylvie, who was the team’s tax expert, figured out that if the production of the parts was taken offshore then we could take advantage of a tax incentive in the destination country that would save our client $110 million over five years. That alone would effectively pay for the acquisition.

😴 My reaction to The Escape Room was not expected. I'd seen some mixed reviews from friends, with some calling it a little cheesy, or saying that all characters were unlikable (both true), but everyone seemed to agree on one thing-- that it was compelling. And, honestly, that's all I really wanted. Some nice undemanding thrills.

But this book bored me almost senseless. I can't believe it took me nearly two weeks to finish it.

The book is being sold as an escape room-style challenge that turns nasty. Four colleagues - Vincent, Jules, Sylvie and Sam - are trapped in an elevator (or "lift", as I would say) in a bizarre corporate team-building exercise and are presented with clues to help them escape. Except this part of the book only takes up a small percentage of the page time.

While it's true that every other chapter we return to the elevator to hear these four highly-obnoxious people whine about their circumstances, bitch about each other's work at the company, and complain about their six-figure bonuses, the majority of the book goes back in time and is narrated by another of their colleagues called Sara Hall. The majority of the book is actually about investment bankers at a top-level firm.

We hear again and again about the luxuries that come with working there, and the sacrifices that must be made. Snooze-worthy detailing of closing deals and who gets the biggest share of the bonus. The opening pages of the book reveal that it all ends in a bloodbath, and yet it is hard to see why we should care. Rather than wondering who died, and why, I spent most of the book feeling like I wouldn't mind killing them myself.

The characters in the elevator remain dull and underdeveloped; they are nothing more than selfish, overpaid investment bankers, and this made it really hard for me to care about what would happen to any of them. Plus, the way the book is set out means there is no twist or reveal-- it is obvious pretty much immediately what is going on and who is responsible.

Also: Can people really go 34 hours without needing to pee?

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Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,204 reviews40.8k followers
January 12, 2023
Fascinating page-turner, totally a book cannot be put down! Too many puzzles, too many questions, so many twists!
This book contains so much despicable, ruthless, nasty, notorious characters, shapeless products from the intercourse Hitler and R. Kelly kind of evil ( evil looks like Tinkerball when you compare him with those in humans) characters.
Each character we learn more about them, we think we cannot despise more but actually yes, we can !
At the beginning we thought they didn’t deserve to be locked up and there might be some way to rescue them. But a fewer pages later, I started to sing: “ Burn baby burn! Disco Inferno!” and” Ain’t no rest for the wicked”!
So yes Karma finally shows her ugly face at the end.
It’s a great mash-up of Exam, Interview and Unknown movies which are good thrillers in one location and the twisted final reminded me of Netflix famous Spanish series “ La Casa De Papel”
So buckle up, walk on disgraceful characters bodies with your high heels, enjoy this entertaining show!

Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,540 reviews9,835 followers
January 6, 2023
Participating in a work-sponsored, team-building exercise on a Friday night is the last thing colleagues, Vincent, Jules, Sylvie and Sam, want to do.

Participation is mandatory, however, so each of them dutifully arrives at the requested location, a remote office building in a shady part of town, right on schedule.

Tepid greetings occur in the lobby, prior to the foursome entering the elevator for the ride up to the designated floor.

The express elevator ascends quickly and then, without warning, abruptly stops between floors. The lights go out and the heat cranks up.

Suddenly, the colleagues realize this must be it. Their challenge has begun.

It's an Escape Room where the competitive coworkers must put petty rivalries aside, work together, and solve the cryptic clues needed in order to be released.

As the dark secrets of the team are revealed, viciously pitting the colleagues against one another, they find themselves removed from their normal boardroom backstabbing and thrust into a definitive game of survival.

The Escape Room, set in the world of high stakes Wall Street finance, is incredibly ruthless and that's sort of my brand.

I absolutely flew through this story. I could not put it down!

Following the differing perspectives of our cast of characters in the elevator, as well as flashbacks to a mysterious former team member, Sara Hall, the plotting was absolutely brilliant.

It kept me engaged and guessing the entire way.

At its heart, a complex Revenge Thriller, this stoked my Slytherin heart, as I stan a character with the dedication for a long game.

If you don't know what I mean by this, pick up this book. This is the epitome of a painstakingly planned long game.

I had so much fun reading this; definitely one of my favorite books of 2019. I recommend it to anyone who likes a solid, unique Thriller.

I can't wait to see what Golden comes up with next!

Thank you so much to the publisher, St. Martin's Press, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

I appreciate the opportunity and of course, love discovering ambitious new authors to obsess over.

Profile Image for Meredith (Slowly Catching Up).
794 reviews12.4k followers
January 16, 2019
5 stars for the entertainment factor. ZERO stars for believability! In the end, fun beat out reality!

The Escape Room is a psychological thriller about four co-workers locked in an elevator in order to complete a team-building exercise. They think they just need to complete the challenge and they will be free to go, but things don’t go as planned. What seemed like a harmless game becomes MUCH more as the participants struggle to make it out alive.

This is a novel to read if you are looking for some mindless fun. Keep in mind that the characters are awful and have no redeeming qualities. This book also could have benefited from some editing--it is extremely redundant and the narrative structure is a little odd. While this would normally be a turn off for me, the plot and the potential outcome kept me motivated to keep on reading.

On the other hand, in spite of these issues, The Escape Room is compulsively readable! Once I figured out the who and the what behind the escape room, I turned off the critical side of my brain, suspended my disbelief, and enjoyed the crazy ride!

I won a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway!
Profile Image for Kylie D.
464 reviews510 followers
February 21, 2019
Wow, what an amazing book! I've read many psychological thrillers, but this one is at a different level entirely. In a world where greed rules and everything else is just an annoyance we see 4 members of an elite investment banking team embarking on an escape room challenge that they have been told is compulsory by their employers. Yet after a while they find that this is no ordinary escape room. Locked in a tiny elevator the clues and questions pit them against each other, and it soon becomes a mini war zone. Why are they here in the first place? Who is really behind it and what do they know?
The Escape Room is a cracking thriller. Megan Goldin has spun a novel that brings to light the dog eat dog world of corporate finance, where greed and corruption is rife, where if you don't have the necessary killer instinct you will be chewed up and spat out. I raced through this book in a day, ignoring everything I was supposed to be doing. An absolute first rate read.
Profile Image for Chelsea Humphrey.
1,440 reviews78.1k followers
October 9, 2022
Hello friends, let me introduce you to my latest compulsive read. It was utter bananas, and for those who need a grounded, realistic thriller, this is not for you. However, if you fall into the category of "I need a fast paced, balls-to-the-wall, compulsive page turner", do yourself a favor and move The Escape Room to the top of your summer TBR list. I was perusing my shelves this weekend and realized I had a craving to be entertained. I didn't need anything complicated nor grounded; I simply wanted a thrilling read that would keep me turning the pages all night long.


The plot is simple, mostly predictable, and pretty straight forward. I almost hate to call it a mystery, because the point of this one isn't really some big twist that the publisher promises you won't see coming. Thank you St. Martin's Press for not printing that sentence on the front cover. I think the truly gratifying aspect of this story is watching the revenge fantasy play out. The story is told while alternating between the current day chapters taking place in the elevator escape room between four wall street finance colleagues, and the portions from the past filled in from a former employee of this same financial organization. Again, you pretty much know who is doing what from the prologue, as we are shown the final elevator scene at the very beginning and come back around to how we got there. I know that sounds like a bummer, but it worked really well for me and shows that the author can carry a breathtaking novel in a satisfying manner well beyond a few "mind blowing" plot twists.


I think the best part of the story is how we slowly are privy to why each person was chosen to be in the escape room and how everything from both timelines ties together. While, again, not realistic, it makes for a highly entertaining read, one that I managed to pull off in a single sitting and gasped when I realized it was almost midnight when I finally finished. If you enjoy authors like Sarah Pekkanen, Greer Hendricks, and Wendy Walker, you'll want to add Megan Goldin to your list of go to authors.

*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.
Profile Image for Debra .
2,296 reviews35k followers
October 31, 2019
Team building at its best or worst.....

Ruthless, ambitious, selfish, greedy, jealous, intelligent, hardworking, devious and trapped are words that can easily describe Vincent, Sam, Jules, and Sylvie. They live a life of luxury fueled by the adrenaline that comes from making billion-dollar deals. No one looks better, works harder or lives faster than these four. It's a dog eat dog world they work in on wall street. They put work first- ALWAYS. So, when a text is received announcing a compulsory team building exercise - an escape room if you will, they all show up. They get trapped in an elevator and must figure out how to escape. What could go wrong?

Now, this was a fun book to read on a rainy day. I must give it points for originality and execution. Goldin pulled off this clever tale of involving high finance, back stabbing, revenge, and ingenuity with finesse which left me not only impressed but entertained. My advice is to suspend some disbelief and curl up with this book.

Wowza, this book was good! I love reading all kinds of books and this book was a fun one which did not require much thought but had a huge pay off in terms of enjoy-ability. It sucked me and I was drawn to the fast-paced life the characters lived. The story flips back and forth between them being trapped in the elevator and events leading up to this team building exercise. This made for a fast read which had me captivated and turning the pages with a devilish grin on my face.

Highly recommend.

Thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.
Profile Image for MarilynW.
1,114 reviews2,808 followers
January 1, 2023
The Escape Room is all about the careers of Wall Street financial wizards, Vincent, Jules, Sylvie, and Sam, who are employees of a company that puts money above all else. Nothing is taboo in this world where clawing your way to the top, over anyone who gets in your way, is considered normal practice. Greed, the addition of more money and more power, drives these people to the exclusion of all else in their lives. Wives, family, and girlfriends are accessories and not allowed to interfere with the earning of more accolades and more money. To even get an interview at this company, an individual already has to be willing to ditch all else, to risk losing everything that could slow their drive to the top, their drive to win over others. Once a person makes it on the payroll, the week long introduction to the company is designed to make sure each new employee is addicted to the acquisition of more riches, for the company first, which then leads to more riches for them. The company actually encourages cutthroat practices, deception, manipulation, and ruthlessness as a way of life.

The story starts with Vincent, Jules, Sylvie, and Sam in an unfinished high rise where they have been summoned by management to take part in a team building exercise that involves getting out of an Escape Room. With no other instructions, they enter an elevator, discovering that the elevator is their Escape Room. These four people hate each other, don't trust each other, and are determined not to be bettered by the others. Whether by accident or by design, things happen that put all four people in jeopardy of losing their lives if they don't escape or get rescued before they die.

The book alternates chapters with these four, stuck in the elevator, and with the narration of Sara Hall, one of their co-workers from years ago, who died sometime in the past. With Sara narrating, it's clear that she must still be alive, as she tells the story about getting hired by the company, her horrible co-workers, and her grueling job at the company. Never ending work hours and never ending deadlines, allow Sara to put all other parts of her life aside, as she slaves over each work goal.

During the chapters concerning the people in the elevator, we get to know a lot about each of the people trapped. I did not care for how we learn about each person though because it was basically massive amounts of information on each person's past that did nothing to make us care for them or understand what made them such horrible people, with no concern for anything but money. These four people are ruthless, selfish, dishonest people, that deserve to be locked in a room with each other forever.

Sara seems a little more self aware and concerned about how the company cares nothing for people and only for the bottom line. Still, she was already leaning towards going for the money angle in her life when she chose a financial career and higher earnings, sooner, over a medical career, where it would take longer to earn the money she needed to pay off her student debt and help her parents with medical bills. Once she gets on with the company, she gets so wrapped up with the long work hours, the intense pressure to perform, and the competitive atmosphere that she eventually takes on the same ideals as the other high flyers, scrambling to make more, move higher, become more powerful.

At some point Sara is betrayed by these people who already treated her with contempt. Towards the end of the book we get another massive information dump, so many details about why and how Sara does what she does. I never wanted to stop reading the book but at the same time, I didn't care about any of these irredeemable people, who were so out of touch with their humanity. The book is an interesting read for all we learn about such powerful, wealthy companies and people but I think I would have enjoyed the book more if the information we learn about the people and what Sara does, could have been presented in a less dry, info dumping manner.

Pub July 30, 2019

Thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for this ARC.
Profile Image for Melissa.
647 reviews28.6k followers
September 7, 2019
Monotonous. Predictable. Uninspired. Missed Opportunity.

A quick perusal of the reviews and the consensus seems to be, The Escape Room is mindless fun. Mindless—sure. I’d rally behind that nomenclature all day. But fun? I’d say, that’s debatable and reliant on the reader’s preferences or even mindset at the time. The culmination of what I found to be an uninspiring plot, pages upon pages of “telling” rather than “showing”, and the underdeveloped characters found me desperate to escape this thrill-less ride.

How is it possible this is the first escape room themed novel to lure suspense readers? In the height of popularity, these rooms seemed to be popping up on every corner. Heck, even the movie industry jumped on board (now this is what I would consider mindless fun! → Escape Room ). The inherent suspense of the game, makes an escape room sort of a plug and play idea, no? Enter compelling cast, unleash thrills in the form of clues and finish with an unexpected why and you’re good to go. Easy peasy, right? Wrong.

Megan Goldin certainly fooled me into thinking I was going to be up way past my bedtime chasing down the truth. Without a doubt, the opening of the novel is compelling, devour-able, and immensely promising. But, somewhere around the 100-page mark, Goldin made me choke on those words.

The Escape Room unfolds through dueling chapters. The crew stuck in the elevator or perpetual escape room if you will, and one of their colleagues, swap turns at the helm. New and seasoned readers in the genre will likely find it doesn't take much to piece together what's happening—little to no sleuthing skills required for this predictable and often ridiculous read.

What proved to be an impossible feat was ignoring my distaste for the author's writing style. The back half of the novel, in particular, offers little more than a straight data dump of happenings and revelations, interspersed with what are arguably irrelevant details. Goldin opts for her characters to give voice to the pivotal moments, rather than allowing readers to experience them firsthand. There is zero storyline development, emotionality, or reason to care about any of these people. As one might expect, the resulting pages are incredibly dry and riddled with drivel. I'm talking complete and utter joy sucked from the experience, along the same lines of reading a textbook.

While I’m all for a mindless read, now and again, I still expect to care. To be intrigued and motivated enough to keep turning the pages, not wishing I could send an elevator plunging 70 floors.

*Thank you to St. Marin’s Press for sending a review copy.
Profile Image for Kaceey.
1,070 reviews3,614 followers
June 2, 2019
If you’ve ever been in a corporate setting, you may be familiar with this. The dreaded yet mandatory work event. You know…one of those sleeper, team building exercises guaranteed to leave you rolling your eyes?🙄🙄
Okay, so what if it involves an escape room? Sounds like fun right!? You bet! Right up to the exact moment you realize…this may no longer be a game!

Sara Hall finally landed her dream job on Wall Street. After struggling to pay rent and put food on the table she’s finally managed to make it big. Among the perks, a six figure income as her starting salary. Little did she realize her job would soon become her life...maybe even destroying her in the process.
This book has it all! A gripping and suspenseful thriller that will keep you flipping furiously through the pages. I was completely caught up in Sarah’s life and that of her highly successful but ruthless workmates.

It’s clever, it’s ingenious and oh so addictive! If you’re on the look-out for a great summer thriller look no further! This is the book for you!

A buddy read with Susanne!🌸

Thank you to Jordan Hanley at St Martin’s Press for an ARC to read and review
Profile Image for Deanna .
665 reviews12.4k followers
August 30, 2019
My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

4.5 Stars!!

I’ve always been curious about “Escape Rooms”. This sounded like such an interesting read and I couldn't wait to get started!

The book opens as a security guard calls 911 after hearing a scream and what sounded like gunshots in what should be an empty building. The police arrive and everything is silent. Then they hear the sound of an elevator descending…

The police stand with their guns drawn as they wait for the elevator doors to open...

Then all hell breaks loose.

Thirty-four hours earlier:

Four top employees of Stanhope and Sons have been called to attend a last-minute meeting. These four employees have spent more time with each other than anyone else in the last several years. In some cases, they know each other better than they know themselves.

Sylvie is a previous model whose career ended after a horrific accident. She's supposed to be leaving for Paris that evening.

Sam was supposed to be leaving for a trip to Antigua with his family. His wife, Kim, is furious that he has to attend this last-minute meeting.

Jules has been struggling lately and is trying to disguise the alcohol on his breath.

Vincent is their boss and was the last to arrive. Though he sent the email about this meeting, in many ways he’s just as in the dark as they are.

Sylvie, Sam, and Jules ask Vincent why they are there and he tells them they will be doing an Escape Room challenge. The group is angry that they have to do this “team-building” activity. However, they know that the firm has been talking about layoffs lately. It is in their best interest to play along.

They step into the elevator…

The doors immediately shut behind them and the lights turn off, plunging them into darkness. The small TV screen in the corner shows a message:


This was a gripping read with no shortage of drama and suspense. I finished it in no time!

The story was filled with intense situations and had many complex characters. We hear from Vincent, Sylvie, Jules, and Sam in The Elevator chapters. The alternating chapters are from another character's point of view, the "dead but not forgotten", Sara Hall.

“The Escape Room” was an engrossing read about money, greed, power, and betrayal.

I look forward to reading more from Megan Goldin!

I'd like to thank St. Martin's Press for providing me with a copy of this novel. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for karen.
3,979 reviews170k followers
July 30, 2019

they thought it was a game, but they never signed a waiver….for MURRRRRDERRRR!!!!!

this is what a christopher pike novel looks like when it grows up.

this is Saw in an elevator.

if you think either of those comments are made disparagingly, let’s never be friends.

this book is pure freaking fun: it grabs your attention from the outset and keeps you locked in for the duration of the ride, action flipping between past and present, frequently switching character POV so you’re always slightly off-balance, distracting you with new information so you don’t squint too closely or follow one lead too far along the path to discovery, muddying the waters beat after beat until ta-DAAAA all is revealed and even though you’ve figured out some bits along the way, the final scene’ll surprise everyone, including those orchestrating this overly elaborate revenge scheme.

will this book win all the literary awards and go down in history for being the most astonishing, challenging, upsetting, and profoundly moving book anyone has ever written?

dude, no. but if you’ve been watching the news, getting sick of seeing shitty people get away with shitty things, do you want challenging and upsetting or do you want to see some smug, entitled monsters get their comeuppance for once?

it’s four competitive people with big ambitions, shaky moral compasses, career-ending secrets and a lot to lose, trapped in an elevator, with a gun.

popcorn me.

come to my blog!
Profile Image for Mary Beth .
382 reviews1,665 followers
August 8, 2019
Four co-workers are trapped in an elevator because they are participating in a corporate team building excercise. The elevator is the escape room. They need to solve clues to escape. There is lots of drama in the elevator and it's more sinister than they thought.

You have two points of view. One is from Sarah Hall. She is an only child. She chose a high paying job to help her parents. She looks into a lot of dark secrets and wants revenge.

Then the second point of view is from the four co-workers in the elevator. All they care about is getting rich and they will do anything to reach the top.

This was such an unique book. It's a gripping unforgettable psychological thriller. The elevator scenes made me feel claustrophobic and it was full of drama. I really did enjoy the elevator scenes. This one was a thrill ride. I couldnt believe that this one is a debut novel.

I loved the second half better than the first half. I couldn't put it down because I wanted to find out what was going to happen next. I found this to be very unbelievable but I thought the author had a great imagination and it is a great story.
So I didn't mind that it was implausible.I

There are lots of despicable characters in this one. They are so unlikable.

I really loved the ending!

This was a Traveling Sister read and we all had mixed feelings.

I want to thank Netgalley, St. Martin's Press and the author for sending me the
ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Available Now
Profile Image for Matthew.
1,219 reviews8,839 followers
March 8, 2020
Looking for your next suspense/mystery book? Look no further! The Escape Room is the real deal.

Easily 5 stars! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

I am pleased to report I was into this book every step of the way. The characters and the story are perfectly developed to keep the reader's interest and build the suspense. The book is a fresh take on corporate corruption and the things it will push desperate people to do.

Another thing this book does perfectly that I have found distracting and annoying in books I have read recently is time jumping. This book goes back and forth between time periods seamlessly and without and confusion. And, all the story elements from the past are placed exactly where they need to be between sections of the present to give the reader just enough without giving everything away.

Finally - I held my breath during this book. I was angry during this book. I yelled at this book. I shook my fist at this book in frustration. I grinned in triumph when characters got what they deserved. In other words, this book got me super invested and that is ALWAYS a good thing!

I will happily recommend this book highly to anyone looking for an entertaining, suspense, and completely satisfyingly read.
August 4, 2019
Yahoo! Another winning thriller for me! Could I be getting my groove back!?!

Giddy up friends! The Escape Room is one fun wild rodeo here and it’s all bulls, muddy ground and once the dust settles there is nothing left behind but blood.

The Escape Room did start off pretty rocky for me with those very unlikable four Wall Street investment bankers and the drama level to this one was throwing off my groove even more and I was one grumpy reader. I did a little complaining to Norma, Lindsay and Kim. Well, well did this one take a fast, entertaining and fun turn for me and I was grooving to the beat and turning these pages as fast as I could. I soon realized just how well-layered and brilliantly written this one was and that ending paid off big time for this reader!!

After reading this one I have one thing to say “Mamas don’t let your babies grow up to be Investment bankers”! I highly recommend!!!

I received a copy from the publisher through Edelweiss

Profile Image for Susanne.
1,159 reviews36.8k followers
June 5, 2019
4 Stars.

At Stanhope, it’s a Dog Eat Dog World. Here’s hoping you come out of it alive!

Being trapped on an elevator sounds bad on any given day, am I right?

Imagine however being trapped in an elevator with three colleagues in what your boss calls a team building exercise known as “The Escape Room.”

The elevator is pitch black and the temperature is boiling hot to start. Think: Bikram Yoga (my favorite!).
Then it’s like you are in the Arctic circle. Unfortunately, you don’t like your colleagues enough to snuggle.

As questions and riddles are posed, you realize, this is no ordinary escape room.

All of you work at Stanhope, where the starting salary for an Analyst is $130,000 and the hours top more than 90 a week. Bonuses are in the thousands. It’s a dream job.. Really.. It’s also cut throat. And I mean, exactly that.

The characters in “The Escape Room” are dark and vicious and have absolutely no redeeming qualities and yet I was glued to the book like nothing else existed. The writing is smooth, simple and it reeled me in like a fish on a hook! This novel is exactly what you want in a thriller - fantastic characters, intertwining storylines that tie together nicely and crazy suspense. If you are looking for your next read, look no further, “The Escape Room” is IT.

This was a fabulous buddy read with Kaceey! It kept us entertained throughout and was just what we needed.

Thank you to Jordan Hanley at St. Martin’s Press and to Megan Goldin for an arc of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Published on Goodreads on 6.2.19.
Will be published on Twitter and Amazon on 7.30.19.
Profile Image for Holly  B (Short break!).
815 reviews1,874 followers
January 24, 2020
Let the page flipping begin...

A chess game of survival for those trapped in an elevator!

A wild one! It was both intriguing and suspenseful as the "rules" of the game unfolded. Four rich and greedy investment bankers find themselves stuck in an elevator with someone delivering " clues and cryptic messages  "on how to get out. Will they turn on each other? Who is responsible for setting them up? And..... can they get out alive?

Someone has an ax to grind and playing along in this shell game was highly entertaining. A dose of back-stabbing office politics, tension and an ending that was highly satisfying!

Don't miss this one if you love a locked room mystery with a sinister plot.

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy. Book is out August 2019.


Profile Image for Felicia.
254 reviews931 followers
December 21, 2018
Well this was a pleasant surprise.

I started reading around midnight with the intention of getting in a couple of chapters before I went to sleep and the next thing I knew my morning alarm was going off.

This is one of those kind of stories that you read purely for the entertainment value. This book won't win any literary awards and it certainly won't change your life, but if you're looking for an absorbing read with a unique plot featuring despicable people that get their just deserts, then this is the book for you.

Thank you Jordan with St Martin's Press for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for David Putnam.
Author 16 books1,518 followers
August 17, 2019
Made it to page 133 and had to throw in the towel. I wanted to like this book, it has a great premise and concept. Poor execution. I can no longer read like a reader, I have this little writer voice on my shoulder whispering in my ear. I truly loved the Sara character's voice and could've read an entire book about Sara's journey in that world of finance I know so little about. The Sara chapters were strong, evocative, and character driven, my favorite kind of writing/reading.
Every time the author shifted to the elevator scenes, I cringed (not good), for two reasons. The first, I didn't care for the characters locked in that deadly embrace. The reader first and foremost reads for emotions and the author in no way endeared me to the characters in the elevator. And if I don't care for them then all is lost. Second, the author displays great skill in writing the Sara chapters but is not adept at all when it comes to the shift from first person (in the Sara scenes), to third person in the elevator scenes. Third person is difficult to master and there were too many mistakes here. The big one was shifting points of view from character to character within the scene...some authors refer to it as, "Head jumping." The reader wants to take the emotional ride with the character and it can not be done with head jumping.
Also, the majority of the book deals with backstory and there is little forward motion of the story I had chosen the book for, the escape room story.
There was also a huge MAR, motivation, action reaction issue. Vincent's backstory has him as some kind of special forces military action hero and in the elevator he lets some inexperienced nerd get the better of him. You can't have it both ways.
This is just my opinion of course, but it feels as if the author had the right idea with the Sara character and someone else got her to change her mind in the structure--interspersing the elevator scenes with The Sara scenes. Rewrite alert. Now, had I been given the strong Sara scenes first and then the elevator scenes, also in first person with Sara in the elevator because I cared so strongly about her, then that would've been a hell'va book.
The opening scene is sacred. It is the contract with the author and reader, the author showing the reader what he/she is in for. The author lives and dies with the first fifteen hundred words-six pages. Why then open a book in the point of view of a throw away character in a third person voice (the author's weakness, she's truly brilliant in first person)? I'm not kidding here. I almost put the book down after the first chapter.
I would love to read a book by this author about a character like Sara. And it doesn't have to be a thriller it can just be about her journey in that weird and treacherous world of fiance. In those chapters she had me by the throat, I was en-rapt, which says a whole lot about her craft as a writer.
Also-also: little side note: a Glock handgun doesn't have a metal grip, its plastic.
David Putnam author of The Bruno Johnson series.
Profile Image for Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill.
542 reviews619 followers
August 1, 2019
Wow! Now this my friends is one heck of a thriller! I love when one of my most anticipated reads of the year turns out to be even better than I hoped. I LOVED this book! I literally could not put it down!

You take four investment bankers and stick them in a elevator together...for a long time...what do you get? Sounds like the start of a bad joke, right? Well this is no joke. This is downright terrifying. Lured to a building under construction and into the elevator to the 70th floor to take part in a team building exercise, these four self absorbed bankers have no clue what is about to happen. As they reach the 70th floor, the elevator screeches to a halt, lights and air conditioning go off...and the nightmare begins.

This scenario would send anyone into a complete melt down but myself even more so as I personally am terrified of elevators! The author has a great skill of making you feel like you are right there in the elevator. With the fine details of how stuffy and dark it is and the feeling of panic building within each person in the elevator as they realize, this just might not be a game. They might really not be getting out in one hour as they had thought.

I especially loved the alternating chapters that went back in time to give us a clear picture of each of the characters life that lead up to the time in the elevator. The high energy, cut throat world of Wall street that molded each person into what they are today in the elevator. Working long hours, almost every day of the week, they know each other well, perhaps better than their family members. Greed, power and the need to be at the top of the game are what they are all about. Yet now they are helpless....their lives are now in the hands of whoever led them to this iron cell 70 floors up...

Absolutely terrifying, I loved every minute of it! Thank you so much to Kelly at St. Martin's Press for inviting me along on this blog tour. I was over the moon excited to get to read this book. Thank you so much to Megan Goldin for this fantastic thriller!

Profile Image for Dorie  - Cats&Books :).
994 reviews2,782 followers
August 1, 2019
I decided to read this book because it sounded like a taut psychological thriller and it had so many stellar reviews. I read it just for entertainment value and still it fell short. The first third of the book had my attention, setting up for the thrill of the escape room challenge that we knew was going to happen.

Sara Hall, our main protagonist, is a newly minted MBA who supposedly was an incredible student with amazing recommendations from professors, those she had interned with, etc and yet she was having trouble finding a job. After failing one interview with the firm of Stanhope and Sons she meets another member of the firm, Vincent, in an elevator (get the red herring right here) as she is leaving and he gives her a second chance at interviews. She lands the job, supposedly among the best of the best. She now has an income that can help her pay down her student loans and help with her parents medical bills. However it doesn’t take long before she realizes that the other members of the loosely labeled team aren’t too happy to see her.

Vincent introduces her to the rest of the group: Jules is an alcoholic as well as a workaholic, they all are. Sylvie is a beautiful former model who is ruthless and angry, having had her modeling career cut short because of a horrific accident. Sam is constantly struggling to make enough money to keep his wife happy. Lucy is a brilliant mathematical wizard whom many of the others turn to when they need advise. Lucy is on the autism spectrum and is socially very withdrawn and awkward, she is the butt of many jokes but Vincent is the one who hired her and knows how valuable she is.

Anyway, back to our story . . . .the novel goes back and forth from the POV of the four members of the team who are trapped in the elevator to Sara Hall who details how everything came to this point.

Midway through the book I really felt that the tension unraveled and a lot of what happens in the escape room is predictable although completely unbelievable. What will four characters with no redeeming qualities do when trapped together with little water, no food and in darkness??? There are clues that they find or are displayed on a monitor which make little sense and do nothing to help them out of this situation. Considering these are supposed brilliant people they are pretty slow to realize that this is not an ordinary escape room experience.

I’m giving this book 3 stars strictly for entertainment value and for keeping me turning pages for the first third of the book. The writing at many times seemed repetitive with lots of side stories that were introduced but never really completed. The ending was explanatory but you really have to suspend all believability here.

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher through NetGalley.

This book is set to publish July 30, 2019.
Profile Image for Liz.
2,028 reviews2,540 followers
June 25, 2019
This is a fun, wild, romp of a thriller. It’s not believable, the characters aren’t deep, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t enjoyable.

The book alternates between two scenarios. The first is told from the perspective of Sara Hall, a recent MBA grad looking to make her mark in the world of investment banking. The second follows the four bankers who end up in an escape room as some sort of team building exercise. But this isn’t your standard escape room. Their goal is to make it out alive.

The author doesn’t have any love of investment bankers. “We didn’t realize we were being wooed for a long, heady love affair with greed.” These are the people you love to hate. Gordon Gekko would fit right in here.

By the 33% finished mark, I had the perpetrator narrowed down to two possibilities and by the 50% mark, had it correctly sussed out.

It’s an easy read and I sped through this in a day. It’s that entertaining. It’s the perfect vacation read.

My thanks to netgalley and St Martin’s Press for an advance copy of this book.
Profile Image for Norma.
551 reviews12.3k followers
August 26, 2019
Fanciful, mindless fun, & a rocky ride!

THE ESCAPE ROOM by MEGAN GOLDIN opens up with quite the electrifying scene that definitely piqued my interest but unfortunately fizzled out shortly thereafter which steadily stayed that way until around the 50% when it sparked up again. At that point I was all in and found the rest of the story exhilarating and an intoxicating page-turner that had me racing to see how things were all going to play out.

MEGAN GOLDIN delivers quite the original and cleverly written read here that is just as cutthroat as those ruthless, backstabbing, and unlikeable characters. The story is told in a back and forth format between Sara Hall and the elevator where the escape room game takes place. The drama in the elevator definitely got on my nerves a little bit in the first half of the book because of all the characters bickering back and forth. I actually love some good character bantering but the bickering was just a little too much for me to handle at times. Also there was a little bit of information that didn’t necessarily move the story forward and was left stagnant and never addressed again. My curious mind would have liked a few things answered.

There was definitely a turning point for me where I seen things in a different light and was able to foresee where this story was headed. An aha moment if you will! At that particular point in the book I was able to put all my reservations aside and just enjoy the ride.

Thank you so much to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press, & Megan Goldin for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book. It was definitely an interesting reading experience!

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: My feelings towards this cover is neutral.
Title: Intriguing, appealing, suspenseful, and a fitting representation to storyline. The title of this book definitely piqued my interest as I find escape room games quite intriguing, although I’ve never played myself. I want to though!
Writing/Prose: Compulsively readable, superfluous, entertaining, and dramatic.
Plot: Suspenseful, gripping, fast-paced, dark, sinister, chilling, captivating, imaginative, fanatical, and entertaining.
Ending: Totally worked for me and highly satisfied!
Armchair Detective Skills: I was pretty much stumped until around the 70% mark and then things started to come together for me. The feeling was wholly satisfying.
Overall: It is so worth suspending disbelief to thoroughly be entertained by this easy and fun read! Would highly recommend!

Review can also be found on Two Sisters Lost in a Coulee Reading:
135 reviews138 followers
October 19, 2019
4.5★ - rounded down, as a character didn't read a newspaper she was offered at the end, and I wanted to know what that person thought about certain things.

Anyway. This was fun. The prologue gives you the outcome, and the rest of the novel is one-crazy-ride as to how four-corporate investment-bankers: Vincent, Sam, Jules and Sylvie - find themselves in an express elevator to hell.

Vincent De Vries, Vice President of Stanford & Sons - sends his subordinates a text message, telling them, they need to be at work to do a team-building activity - with the premise of it being an escape-room challenge. As there's been rumours of retrenchment, they're all apprehensive, as to whether this little exercise will determine who stays and who goes - so they reluctantly put their plans for the weekend on hold. Besides, Vincent tells them it's only for an hour - then they'll be free.

Once they're in the elevator, they'll soon find this is no conventional escape-room challenge: the elevator is the escape room.

The story is told via multiple third-person perspectives and one first-person narrative, which was my favourite, despite all the craziness going on in the elevator.

In conclusion: This was really good for a debut novel. The scenes in the lift were fun; especially when certain revelations came to light, and then there's the bonus situation, which added an extra layer of intensity to an already tense situation. Will any of them get out alive?

Moral of the story: karma is a fickle bitch.
Profile Image for Lisa.
753 reviews
January 9, 2019
What an adrenalin rush The Escape Room was absolutely loved every minute kept me turning the pages, the prose sounded interesting & the characters were abhorrent greedy rich bankers who would kill their own grandmother to make a quick buck. until 4 bankers Vincent Devries , Sylvie, Sam & Jules get stuck in a lift the lights go out & the game of survival starts.

fear grips them all trust know one trusts the other its a dog eat dog world if your a female living in a mans domain, then we have a murder thrown in which makes the prose come to life Lucy is dead she keeps a diary but what we find is a secret that has serious consequences for them all.

This was my first read by Megan Goldin & it wont be my last it was such a rush to the head kind of read greed bares its ugly head & all the characters were so despicable all of them got what they deserved, I did feel for Lucy & her mother was heartbreaking, if you love books with the most detestable characters this is for you now I want to read The Girl In Kellars Way may be a while though all the stars.
Profile Image for Dem.
1,186 reviews1,098 followers
August 20, 2019
What a fun and entertaining rollercoaster of a read The Escape RoomThe Escape Room by Megan Goldin was.

“Welcome to the escape Room, Your goal is simple. Get our alive”

The Escape Room is a dark and twisted psychological thriller with a clever and original plot. From the moment I started listening to this one on audible I was hooked as the author draws you in, keeps the suspense and excitement going all the way through. I struggle with psychological thrillers as some just try too hard to be edgy and twisted but this one works really well and while there are moments where you do find yourself having to suspend belief it didn't effect my enjoyment of the story.

I loved the setting of this one as the author takes the reader to the heart of the finance world and Wall Street where we meet high fliers Vincent, Jules, Sylvia and Sam and view their world of greed and corruption. The story is told from two perspectives and works really well as the reader is kept entertained throughout.
I listened to this one on Audio and the narrators were excellent.

Highly entertaining, well crafted and suspenseful novel which I think readers who enjoyed the The Chain by Adrian McKinty or Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman will enjoy this one as well.
Profile Image for Jayme.
1,141 reviews1,899 followers
August 31, 2020
“The Escape Room” wasn’t Megan Goldin’s debut novel.
That was “The Girl in Keller’s Way”-814 Goodreads reviews as of today.

But it is the novel that put her on the map.
16,149 ratings as of today.
Mine will be 16,150.

And, when ALL my friends were reading it in the Summer of 2019, I passed on it.

After all, I would be your friend who would politely RSVP “no” if invited to your ESCAPE ROOM party.

And, I had even less interest in reading about a group of self centered, up and coming Wall Street finance executives, who were stuck in an elevator for a corporate team building event.

Till I read “Night Swim”.

Because, once I know an author will be an auto-request author for me-I want to acquaint myself with earlier work.

And, from the time Miguel, the Security Guard called 911, on the Icy Sunday morning, I was held CAPTIVE.

As if I were in the elevator too.

The story alternates between chapters from the elevator, and those of Sara Hall, a former member of the team (my favorite chapters).

And, I couldn’t wait to find out how it would all play out!

Would they figure out the clues in time?
Profile Image for Misty Marie Harms.
559 reviews334 followers
January 21, 2022
Vincent, Jules, Sylvie, and Sam all enter an elevator to attend a last minute meeting. As the door closes, and it rises, they find out they are here to do an escape room. I mean why not. Five in the afternoon on a Friday.... in a strange building, nothing to worry about here. The elevator stops on the 70th floor. As panic sets in, they realize the elevator is the escape room. Someone has trapped them in the ultimate game of life or death. Can these idiots figure out who is behind it and why?

First off, Sara played one hell of a long game to the point I stopped believing it was possible. I hated everyone in the elevator. I wanted them all to die painfully. Not only that, I was imagining them being thrown out into the shaft for my amusement. Solid thriller. Worth a read.
Profile Image for Larry H.
2,484 reviews29.4k followers
August 11, 2019
It's a good thing I'm the boss, because after reading Megan Goldin's new book, The Escape Room , if someone ever suggested a team-building exercise, I'd run in the opposite direction!

Stanhope and Sons is one of the leading financial firms in the country. The deals they close net millions—if not billions—of dollars, and can make or break major corporations.

The firm hires only the best and brightest, and is tremendously choosy. They want people who look like they're worth millions, let alone be trusted to make millions on behalf of their clients. Successful employees make an immense amount of money between salaries and bonuses, yet the firm works them like dogs, at least until you get to the point where you're responsible for wining and dining potential and current clients.

One night four of the firm's leading employees, Vincent, Sam, Jules, and Sylvie, are summoned to an office building in the South Bronx with a directive to attend a meeting at the behest of HR. The past year has been a tough one for the quartet, who seem to have lost a bit of their luster lately, losing money and clients. There are rumors of layoffs, reassignments, so the four know that whatever they have to sacrifice for their job—as they always have—they will, if it means preserving their job and their astronomical salary.

No one is quite sure who summoned them to this meeting, but when they are directed into an elevator, they obey. It turns out the elevator is an escape room, where they must work together as a team in order to solve puzzles and identify clues so they can get out of the elevator before time elapses. The problem is, even though they work so closely together, no one is really sure whom to trust. They're convinced everyone is out simply to protect themselves, since that's what they would do, too.

When the lights in the elevator go out and it starts to get hotter in the confined space, they're desperate to solve the challenge and get out. But when the clues start to remind them of errors they've made and people they've wronged, they begin to realize this isn't just any escape room challenge. Someone is clearly out to get them—but is it one of the four of them, or someone else? How far are they willing to go to escape and save themselves?

There's a lot more to this book than that description but it's best to keep it fairly vague so as not to ruin the surprises along the way. The Escape Room isn't quite what I was expecting, and that doesn't disappoint me. It's definitely more of a slow-burn thriller than one with breakneck pacing, but you still want to know how Goldin is going to tie everything up. This is definitely a more cerebral book but not a boring one by any means.

I've never done one of those escape room challenges, and I don't think I'm in any hurry to do one after reading The Escape Room . I've seen this book get a lot of hype leading up to its release earlier this week, and it's definitely deserving of buzz. As long as you're comfortable with a slower pace and storytelling that will stimulate your mind more than rev your heart, you'll enjoy this one!

I was fortunate to be part of the blog tour for The Escape Room . Thanks to St. Martin's Press for an advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review!

Check out some Q&A with Goldin at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2019/08/q-with-megan-goldin-author-of-escape.html.

See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com.

You can follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.
Profile Image for Carol.
1,370 reviews2,138 followers
April 16, 2019
4.5 Stars - Totally Enjoyed It!

"Revenge is a dish best served cold." Oh yeah....

I wanted to read THE ESCAPE ROOM since I first laid eyes on it, and was so glad to finally get my hands on a copy. For me, it was unputdownable....and yes, a few parts were beyond belief....or maybe not....like the interview from hell, or fiancé interested more in your prestigious job than you, but the set-ups to terminate, the bonus/salary issues....don't doubt those in the least.

"What's the longest anyone has ever been stuck in an elevator?" Who knows....... Even under normal circumstances, I'm sure it would be stressful and frustrating....even worse if you're claustrophobic, but under the conditions set forth in THE ESCAPE ROOM for our four big-shot colleagues, it's dangerously brutal!

And don't be fooled....THE ESCAPE ROOM is not just some silly story about being trapped in an elevator. The plot centers around a bright young college MBA graduate who lands the job of her dreams with an exclusive high-powered finance company in NYC and quickly discovers the ruthless, backstabbing world of greed, corporate competition....and much worse.

Loved to hate all the nasty characters....and oh what a fitting finale!

***Arc provided by St. Martin's Press via NetGalley in exchange for review***

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