The Escape Room: A Novel

The Escape Room: A Novel

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In Megan Goldin's unforgettable debut, The Escape Room, four young Wall Street rising stars discover the price of ambition when an escape room challenge turns into a lethal game of revenge.

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 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?

Praise for The Escape Room:

"High wire tension from the first moment to the last. Four ruthless people locked in a deadly game where victory means survival. Gripping and unforgettable!" — Harlan Coben

"Amazing...a thriller set in an elevator [that explores] the vast territory of people's worst natures. A nightmarish look inside ourselves. Simply riveting." — Louise Penny, #1 New York Times bestselling author

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250221537
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Publication date: 07/30/2019
Edition description: Unabridged
Sales rank: 517,976
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 5.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

MEGAN GOLDIN reported from the Middle East for the Associated Press, Reuters, and the ABC. During nearly two decades as a journalist, she wrote about war, peace, and international terrorism. After travelling and living all over the world, she resides in Australia with her husband and three sons. The Escape Room is her US debut.

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The Escape Room 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 132 reviews.
The_Brown_Bookloft 6 days ago
Summary: Nobody likes team building exercises, but when four high-flying Stanhope financial executives get an order to attend an escape room they go. After a series of expensive mishaps and mistakes, they know their jobs are on the line. Each is determined to rise to the top while seeing their co-workers fail. Vincent, Sam, Sylvie and Jules are told meet up at a high-rise building after hours. They are used to working late and unusual hours, so while this causes mental grumbling, it is no cause for alarm. But after they step into the elevator, they soon realize that something odd is going on. They were informed that the elevator was an escape room exercise. But as the elevator shoots up to a higher floor, it suddenly stops and goes dark. Armed with lights from laptops and cell phones, they search for clues while sniping at each other. As the hours pass locked in a dark, hot box of a room, the situation becomes more dire. One of the group is badly injured. Food and water are in short supply. And one of them has a gun. Eventually, they realize that someone has done this to them for revenge. The real answer to the escape room riddle is, who? Comments: This book is sure to give the heebie-jeebies to anyone even slightly claustrophobic. The tension in the elevator is relieved by the alternating chapters narrated by Sara Hall, another Stanhope employee who is not in the inner circle. Through Sarah’s narration, the reader gets an insider’s view of the cutthroat, grasping, money-loving corporate culture that feeds the egos and greed of Vincent, Sam, Sylvie and Jules. The Escape Room is a solid psychological thriller that creeps out and nibbles at some of our basic fears. I know I will be looking at the elevators in my building with some trepidation for some time to come! Recommended for readers of Thrillers, Psychological Thrillers and Financial Fiction.
Bridgett Deem Nelson 7 days ago
Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt. --Sun Tzu Having read several reviews prior to beginning this novel, I honestly wasn't sure what to expect. Needless to say, my hopes weren't high. But as I dived in and started reading, something amazing began...I was interested, engaged, and having fun. Fellow readers, this is a fun, compelling story. Does it discuss the world of finance a great deal? Yes, it does. But it wasn't boring. In fact, it was fascinating learning about the type of person who works in this profession...their sacrifices, their perks, their willingness to sell their soul to the devil. All the background helped flesh out the characters and bring them to life...even if they were all deplorable. I've read a couple stinkers recently, which took me days to finish, but I read this little gem in one afternoon. It begins by showing us a little snippet of what's to come, then goes back in time 34 hours to the moment our foursome enters the elevator...and began the fight for their lives. I find that such an effective writing technique. Each chapter is titled Sara Hall, which goes back in time several years and tells her story, or The Elevator, which shows the reader what's happening in "the escape room." It's intriguing, friends. And while I will agree with other reviewers that the ending is pretty implausible, it's so satisfying, I honestly didn't even mind. Most of the time that would bother me...this time, it worked. I'd say this is the perfect little beach or poolside read. And I'd suggest going in as blind as will make your time with Sara and the gang more fun. 4 riveting stars! **Thanks to the publisher for my digital ARC.
GoABraves 8 days ago
Stanhope of Wall Street - financial experts: Vincent, Sam, Jules and Sylvie at the "top" of the ladder, but now a down turn in the market and economy. Lay-offs are pending, who will go, who will stay? Called in for a team meeting during off house, but neither wants to risk not showing up - upon entering the elevator and rising to the top floor - the elevator door never opens - instead of an "escape room exercise" the elevator now become can they escape the elevator? Is this part of the meeting? No cell service and no one is working in the building on a Saturday. Clues begin appearing with in the elevator - this will allow them to exit or will it? An excellent read, revenge of a forgotten co-workers who actually did the "work" but the four in the elevator took credit What trouble can four Wall Street financial people cause in a locked elevator? Thanks to St. Martins Press for the ARC.
bamcooks 11 days ago
*3.5 stars rounded up. With her newly-minted MBA degree, Sara Hall thinks all her dreams have come true when she finally lands an entry-level job at one of the world's leading financial houses on Wall Street, Stanhope and Sons. She quickly learns it's all about Money--how to make it, accumulate it, spend it. She begins working with a team: her boss Vincent de Vries, Sam, Jules and Sylvia, along with Lucy, the brilliant but somewhat autistic number cruncher. They are not all that welcoming but she's determined to prove her worth to them, putting in grueling hours right from the start. So that's part of this story, told from Sara's first person perspective. In alternating chapters, we learn about the 'escape room' challenge. This part is told in third person omniscient point of view. Vincent, Sam, Jules and Sylvia arrive at a high-rise building that is under construction for a mandatory team building activity. They are not pleased--it's a Friday night and they all have weekend plans. But okay, this will only take an hour and then they can be off to better things. They climb aboard the elevator which blasts them up to the 70th floor...and then the fun begins. The book starts off with what seems like the ending and then the story goes back to tell how it all came about. The escape room plot is interesting at first but grows a bit tedious as these four ruthless people are pitted against each other in tight quarters. I preferred Sara's story myself; she's my favorite character. The others are pretty unlikeable, as I'm sure they were intended to be. Wrapping up, I thought the ending was ironically delicious and was well thought out. I received an arc of this suspense novel from the publisher vis NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous 21 days ago
Loved this book. Keeps you reading until last page.
Amanda_Dickens 26 days ago
What I wild ride! You follow two different story lines. One is a group of co-workers in an elevator, turned Escape Room and the other follows a woman as she is looking for a job. At first the stories have nothing in common and you slowly see how they are connected. This is a common writing trope in thriller and this one does it the right way. There is a nice balance between the two story lines, with each of them usually ending on a cliff hanger that keeps you wanting to read. I thought that the corporate world side of the book would not be my thing but it was actually very intriguing because of how corrupt that world can be and you don't know who you can trust, I highly recommend this one!
Anonymous 3 months ago
I enjoyed the book. The ending was a bit of a disappointment. I needed a little more closure. I can't explain it better without giving the ending away. Don't get me wrong. It was still a great book.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Vincent, Sylvie, Sam, and Jules are all executives with the firm, Stanhope and Sons. At the last minute, they have been told that they have to spend the weekend together in a team building activity and they have been assigned an escape room challenge. All of them know that with the down turn of the market, their jobs could be eliminated, so they reluctantly agree. We see other employees of the firm and how women are not treated as fairly as the men. At bonus time, that is made abundantly clear. There is a female employee with Asbergers, but she has a brilliant mind and is an amazing artist. There is Sara who is an MBA graduate and has just been hired by Stanhope and Sons. She is struggling to prove her worth, loves her job, and wants so much to succeed. When some unfair dealings occur, things explode. This is a fascinating book. It was difficult for me to compose some teasers without giving out spoilers. Suffice to say, I found this to be a fabulous story with characters that I’m betting “walk among us” every day. Prepare to be glued to this book, it’s going to take you on quite a ride. Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
JFArteche 3 months ago
Book Review: The Escape Room by Megan Goldin With an exceptionally crafty plot, this financial thriller is loaded with a heavy dose of corporate drama and high-tech gimmickry, builds up intrigue as the development of characters unfold chapter after chapter, and keeps the reader on the edge in suspense through the finale, such that divulging the "real" protagonist(s) and antagonist(s) in this review would be a spoiler. While the story may be in parts implausible, the quality of writing is high and consistent to make for an entertaining read. It certainly whets the appetite to be on the lookout for future creations of this Ms. Goldin! Review based on an advance reading copy provided by NetGalley and St. Martin's Press.
Laeljeanne 3 months ago
Sylvie, Sam, and Jules are summoned, along with their boss Vincent, to a meeting in a remote office still under construction, with no explanation, and no knowledge of who the summoner might be. Following directions, they ride the elevator up, but it stops and the display gives clues to the summoner and instructions in riddle format to escape the elevator. The anonymous summoner has no idea the volatile emotions these four feel for each other. Goldin starts the story off a bit slowly, but builds tension quickly with integrated flashbacks in this scathing take on how corporate Wall Street destroys people. Filling in Dear Reader on their backgrounds invokes sympathy for these unlikable characters, and the end is a gasping surprise. Fans of Liane Moriarty will appreciate this story. I was fortunate to receive a copy from St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley.
Tomasitoreads 3 months ago
I received an electronic ARC from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for honest review. The Escape Room is a fast paced story, that describes the rise, fall, and ultimate revenge of brilliant investment banker Sara Hall. Each chapter alternates between Sara Hall’s past, and the present, in which 4 bankers (Jules,Sam,Vincent and Sylvie) from Sara’s firm Stanhope & Sons, endure a grueling experience inside a trapped elevator fighting for their lives. In order to escape, they are compelled to solve clues which force them to face their awful pasts, and admit to crimes they thought were long-buried. Highly entertaining, with a twist that isn't signalled from too early on in the piece. If you enjoyed Gone Girl, and Grisham’s The Firm, you’ll probably enjoy The Escape Room as well. A very enjoyable read.
Dee_Arr 3 months ago
Author Megan Goldin has created a double thriller, weaving two stories together and simultaneously bringing them both to a nail-biting climax. It was nearly impossible to set this book down. Ms. Goldin expertly creates the convincing story of Sara, a recent grad student who gains employment with a high-flying investment company. The excitement of gaining a prominent job soon evolves into endless days and weeks of mind-numbing work. We are brought along, barely noticing the darker elements slowly mixed with the plot until, just like Sara, the danger has begun to envelop us. The point of view shifts with each chapter, first with Sara and then with the members of her team at Stanhope. They are in the midst of a work crisis, and are worried for their jobs. The mandatory meeting scheduled for late Friday quickly evolves into a challenge, one the coworkers have no choice but to participate in as unwilling partners. This is a gripping read, one that should engage your senses as the mysterious thriller unfolds. The plot shifts unexpectantly more than once, and even though I guessed part of the ending, I did not realize everything and I finished the book satisfied with how everything turned out. Four stars. My thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for a complimentary copy of this book.
Anonymous 3 months ago
5669317 3 months ago
Thank you to the St. Martin's Press and Netgalley for an ARC of this book for my honest opinion. This book is a little out there and far fetched especially the last 1/4 or so. But it is a fun ride along the way. This would make a great movie!! It is truly unrealistic and the characters are kind of caricatures of the people they are supposed to be but its fun and fast paced.
JM Free Kicks Fiction 3 months ago
I wasn’t sure where this book was going at first. When I see “escape room,” I think of the “for fun” rooms that are so popular right now, so I guess I was expecting that. While there were hints of an escape room, this wasn’t the way I pictured it. In some ways, it was much more interesting. I liked how the author alternated time frames, so I was kept off-balance. Once the first reveal occurred, I shifted into trying to figure out the connections. From that point, the author did a great job of leaving hints along the way as the characters also tried to figure out what was happening. My only complaint was that the ending seemed a little bit hurried, especially given the length of the setup. However, I liked that those who were “powerful” had to scramble, while those who were on lower rungs truly held power. That was a significant aspect of the story. I would recommend this book as a good page-turner. Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press, and the author for a complimentary, pre-release digital ARC of this book.
Nycol 3 months ago
The Escape Room by Megan Goldin was a high-octane ride that will make you want to right all your wrongs for fear of future repercussions. It was well-written and the characters were fully developed. However, I was disappointed that this book wasn’t more about the actual escape room but more about the individual’s lives and how they wound up in the escape room. I was hoping to see more action in the actual escape room. Other than that, it was a good read that you will enjoy. I received a review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley for my honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
ShihTzuMama 3 months ago
I am one of those readers who likes to visualize characters and scenarios and cast the parts for a potential movie. With THE ESCAPE ROOM author Megan Goldin has given her readers a not so likable, but definitely interesting, cast with whom to work. My choices for the screen version would include Charlize Theron as Sylvie, Zac Efron as Sam, Bradley Cooper playing Vincent, Andrew Lincoln as Jules, Emma Stone as Sara Hall, and Chloe Grace Moretz as Lily. Now that you have the players imagine this plot. Four cut-throat investment bankers lured to an out of office meeting are duped into playing a game of escape room…….in an elevator…guided by nebulous clues……and with the possibility that failure to escape could have fatal consequences. This is one of those revenge scenarios that tends to strain credulity but fortunately that does not restrict the readers enjoyment since all of the “captives” are a group you’ll love to hate and are eminently deserving of any and all punishments being meted out by their “dead” colleague. A diabolically entertaining tale of betrayal, deception and greed filled with dark twists.
KarenfromDothan 3 months ago
Fresh out of grad school, Sara is desperate for work. Despite top grades and glowing letters of recommendation, she’s having a tough time landing her dream Wall Street job. The economy is in a recession and no one seems to be hiring. A chance encounter in an elevator leads her to the prestigious firm of Stanhope and Sons. She becomes a member of Vincent’s team, and is immediately thrown into the whirlwind world of high finance. This A1 thriller alternates between Sara’s story and the four members of Vincent’s team trapped in an elevator stuck at the 70th floor. When the team members are greeted with this message, “Welcome to the Escape Room. Your Goal is Simple. Get Out Alive,” you just know you’re in for a gripping read. Fraught with suspense from beginning to end, this is one heck of a good story.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for an arc in exchange for my honest review. The Escape Room did not live up to the hype for me. I wouldn't call it a thriller nor is it even an escape room. It starts with four awful co-workers, Vincent, Slyvie, Jules and Sam--summoned to what is supposed to be a team meeting. It turns out that they think this is an escape room challenge--which it is clearly not. Then, the next chapter shifts to Sara Hall, and I am thinking, "Who is this person and why do I care about her?" The chapters go back and forth between Sara's POV of how she came to work at the firm with the four co-workers mentioned above and that of the people in the elevator. I didn't mind it as I found some chapters more exciting than others. A whole bunch of Sara's chapters could have been omitted and/or shortened. I didn't care to read about the high finance world of getting this deal or that. I thought the elevator chapters would be more exciting, but that wasn't the case. The clues were few and far between and it got a little boring. The suspense was lacking. How many times could it be mentioned that it was extremely hot in the elevator? The ending was so far-fetched, ridiculous and unreal. I felt a little let down when I got to that part. I'm giving it three stars, because I did finish the book, though it was so not what I wanted or expected it to be.
ReadABookNow 3 months ago
"They all had good reason to want one another dead. Here in the elevator, it would be easy." Four ambitious, successful and overworked investment bankers follow just one more of the relentless orders passed down to them from their superiors, this time requesting that they meet for a last minute team-building exercise. The four, Vincent, Sylvie, Sam, and Jules find themselves trying to decipher codes and solve their way out of a stalled elevator in a vacant construction site. As time passes, tempers flare and secrets come out. And in the end, who, if any will escape? This was an interesting and enticing thriller, alternating from third person POV to first person, via the voice of Sara Hall, a former co-worker of the four. There are a lot of hints throughout the story as to what's going on, but the details are too complex to figure out entirely, and these made the story an edge-of-your-seat adventure. As the novel progressed toward the end, and the story unfolded, some of the details were pretty unbelievable, but by that time I was thoroughly caught up in the book to care. I just wanted to know how it was going to end! Speaking of the end, there were a couple of things that the author didn't tie down firmly, which leads me to believe there's a possibility for a sequel. I'm not sure I would care for that; I really just wanted a more definitive ending to this one. However, I did enjoy the book, and I think it would make an exciting movie. Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for an ARC in exchange for my honest review. 4 stars
Virginiaw 3 months ago
This book was hard for me to describe. I love the suspense that runs through this whole story. Each of these characters that are all financial advisers are not very likable. Each of them seems to only be after money. I loved to hate each of these people. There were many twists and turns throughout. I was rooting for the “bad”.guy at times. I received a copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
PattySmith87 3 months ago
Many thanks to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press and Megan Goldin for an ARC in exchange for an honest book review of The Escape Room. My thoughts and opinions are 100% my own and independent of receiving an advance copy. The Escape Room. Those popular places for millennials (and now families and birthday parties are jumping in the mix), where you pay to get trapped in a room with a bunch of people. You have to figure out the clues to escape. This is something my kids have expressly forbidden us from doing. They claim we wouldn’t be able to get past the first clue. Too much arguing over who’s right. I’m not sure they’re wrong. In this story, Goldin juxtaposes Sara Hall against 4 people stuck in an elevator by alternating point-of-view chapters. Sara Hall comes from humble beginnings. She is broke, working as a waitress to make ends meet and desperate for a real job. By chance she meets Vincent (in an elevator of all places!). He hires her to work at Stanhope, a Wall Street finance firm. The job is demanding with no room for a personal life. You work 7 days a week, with people who are hardcore, highly competitive, unfriendly and unhelpful. If you make a mistake or can’t keep up, you’re fired. So sweet little Sara goes to work with the sharks. Her story arc shows her climbing up the corporate ladder even though she never fully fits in. The alternate chapters are about four of Sara’s co-workers trapped in an elevator. They were lured there on a Friday night under the pretense of a team-building activity. Nobody wants to be doing the escape room challenge, but all are too scared to not take part in a company-mandated activity. As a reader, you get the sense that this escape room is not all that it seems and it quickly goes to hell-in-a-hand-basket and they start to turn on one another. I felt very good at the end of this book. It was a satisfying read. The kind of satisfaction when people get what they deserve. I feel good when that happens. Sometimes in revenge fiction, the author backs off, so I appreciate it when they go full throttle. It’s fiction, not real life, so I like someone to gets their comeuppance. In the beginning, it is obvious that Sara is not in the elevator with the rest of her team. You know there’s a reason. I felt like it took a long time for the real story to start. I get a little impatient with how long it takes to get to this part of the story. Yes, there has to be the setup. I understand. But why does it have to take up so much of the book? My experience reading is that it feels like preamble until the author acknowledges this and then I can move on. I felt like ninety percent was waiting to get to the last ten percent. Another example is that we know that there is something important inside the record Lucy leaves Sara. So why do we have to wait so long for this to be addressed? I’m not going to forget about it. Not in a mystery/thriller. After a certain point, it just isn’t suspenseful. But, I really liked the ending. So I felt good when it was over. I had other issues, so without giving any spoilers, I will try and explain. I like the whole idea of being ten steps ahead, chess move type situation, that a character will take on. But I thought that many of the chess moves were unnecessary and didn’t even understand why some of them were happening. These issues weren’t major, as they are in some books, so I still overall enjoyed the read. I liked the characters and how they interacted. They were juicy. The rot
Anonymous 3 months ago
I received a complimentary copy of this book through Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. In the world of Wall Street banking, money comes before everything and the Stanhope bankers in this book don't care who they hurt to get ahead. But after a couple deals fall through, they are invited to an escape room challenge to promote teamwork. It takes place in an elevator and as the conditions worsen and personalities clash, the truth about a co-workers' death comes out. This book was pretty good. I liked the chapters about Sara Hall, and the alternating chapters between her story in the past and the events on the elevator made it more interesting. I thought the story lagged a bit in the middle, but the exciting ending made up for it.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Told from multiple character's points of view, The Escape Room is a "can't put down" book. With some of the characters trying to navigate the Escape Room, others provide both the back and future story. It's full of twists, turns, and puzzles. Some characters are so heart-wrenching familiar and others -- you really hope they get what's coming to them. :-) I really enjoyed this book and thought the ending was very fitting and wonderful.
Anonymous 4 months ago
Wow, this was a great book! I have always enjoyed psychological thrillers but this one is the best I have read in a long time and was a real page turner! I found it hard to put this book down and if I hadn't needed to sleep and work, I would have stayed up all night reading it! Is the storyline realistic? No but part of the reason I enjoy books is to have the fun of a non-realistic story, so if you are the type that needs a realistic storyline this isn't the book for you. This is a fast paced book and you are glued to each page. It is rare for me to get so into a book that I actually crave reading it when I am not able to. Even rarer for me is a 5 star review, but this book truly blew me a way. I actually feel a little down that I am done with it. Great characters and a fantastic storyline, Megan Goldin is an author I will be following and I look forward to her next book!