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The worst book I read this year. I hate-finished it. Boring. Cheesy. Terrible finish. Every character - except Lucy - was unlikable. Lots of time spent on describing. clothes and hair. Story was worth perhaps 100 pages. If people like this - the 4 people in the elevator and Sara - exist in this world, then let's read real stories about them and not awful fiction.
If you liked The Firm, John Grisham’s first (and worst) novel, you’ll like this one, and vice versa. Grisham could probably win a copyright violation case, the plots are so similar. The story is told from two perspectives, alternating every other chapter. One set is told by Sara Hall, a brilliant, virtuous, and beautiful young woman who just obtained her MBA from a good business school, but for some reason we are told is virtually unemployable except as a waitress or bartender. Even so, she lands a job at prestigious investment banking firm, Stanhope, in New York, where she is treated well at first and is making good money. It looks like a dream job which she believes she absolutely cannot leave no matter what. (shades of The Firm). The only difference so far from The Firm is Mitch was a lawyer and Sara an investment banker.
Sara’s thread takes place in the past. The current day thread takes place in an elevator. Four members of the Stanhope team where Sara, now dead, worked, have been summoned there by Human Resources for a compulsory team building exercise. They enter the out-of-the-way building late on Friday night and are directed to take the elevator up to the 70th floor. When they do so, the elevator comes to a grinding stop and the monitor over the door welcomes them to The Escape Room. Their job is to get out alive.
As we soon find out, Stanhope is rotten to the core. Things soon go badly for Sara in her thread and things go even worse in the elevator for her former coworkers. Plot-wise I’ll leave the rest to your imagination, but it isn’t hard to figure out where this one is going right from Chapter 1. It’s pure preposterous schlock, but a quick read and entertaining enough in its way.
I could find some major criticisms, but I’ll just pick a couple of nits that struck me. First, like Grisham in The Firm the author has done a shoddy job of research in many simple easy-to-check matters. For example, there is no building anywhere in the Bronx with 70+ floors or even close, and if one were to be built in the Bronx, it wouldn’t be in the South Bronx. Another example is one puzzle, a [spoiler alert] Caesar cipher almost anyone could figure out instantly, yet these supposedly brilliant Ivy League MBAs and lawyers took hours to solve and then called it a simple transposition cipher. It’s not; it’s a substitution cipher. Transposition ciphers are anagrams. Secondly, all the characters are totally over the top to the extent of becoming caricatures. Sara is a complete milquetoast, her teammates arrogant, venal, condescending jerks (in the absence of more appropriate R-rated words). Still, it’s an acceptable beach read if you can find a beach above 40 degrees. Take this one with you to Hawaii.
I agree wholeheartedly with the Publishers Weekly review above about this suspenseful, "if flawed," book. The hook is supposedly 4 Wall St. trapped in an elevator under the guise of an escape room team-building exercise, but the book focuses on new hire Sara Hall and the soul-draining life of 100-hour work weeks devoted solely to making money.
The book was suspenseful enough to keep me reading, but the characters are shallow, the writing's only so-so, and it's filled with unexplained plot holes, twists that aren't remotely believable, and tons of out-of-nowhere action compressed into the last 50 pages ("Quick - wrap it up! We don't want it longer than 350 pages!").
All in all, a disappointment. There are lots of better thrillers out there, like Thirteen and The Chain.
Holy Moley what a ride-of-a-book. Really intense book with fluid, smart writing. An intricate plot about the on-goings and intricacies of Corporate America and how greed fuels the lives and decisions of the people involved. Excellent thriller, topped off with a fabulous ending.
I dont usually write reviews but this book was really good! I read alot and it is hard to find a book that really captivates me but this one kept me reading until i couldn't keep my eyes open anymore. I just hope she keeps writing because I am anxiously awaiting her next book!
Goldin wastes no time in getting the reader hooked on the suspense. Paralleling the story of the need for four investment execs to escape an elevator is the hiring and insight of Sara the new recruit. Questioning one's moral compass, inequality in the workplace and the question of "Is this the life you wanted?" all play a part in this drama. Big theme of exposure and revenge.
A New & Noteworthy pick. A team-building exercise goes awry. Locked in an elevator a team works together to escape. But one of them is a killer and they are fighting for their lives.
Been along time since I’ve read a book where revenge plotted by a victim ends as it should! This story was very entertaining, a page turner with, for me, a satisfying end! Well done!
What happens when you put four high end investment bankers in an elevator and turn it into an escape room? How long does the veneer of civilization last when the dollar signs become part of the equation? Who is pulling the strings? With a prologue to establish setting the remainder of the narrative alternates between the escape room/elevator and the story of Sara Hall (set sometime in the past). Filled with ambition, desperation, sabotage and greed; this is a riveting thriller with some rough edges. I give Megan Goldin high marks for this unique use of the escape room concept. The timing was a bit off, but I look forward to seeing what she writes next.
"Highly successful colleagues Sam, Vincent, Sylvie, and Jules are no strangers to the competitive world of high finance but after they become trapped in an elevator escape room they find themselves having to work together. For readers of Tana French, Karin Slaughter, and Harlan Coben." --KC Davis, Fairfield Woods Library, Fairfield, Conn.
Four coworkers in a high-powered banking firm are trapped in an elevator. As they unravel their connection to each other, things turn decidedly deadly. A great hook provides juice to an otherwise ordinary airplane thriller.
The Escape Room is a compelling tale set in the cutthroat world of investment banking. We follow two threads, one telling Sara Hall’s story of recruitment and employment on Wall Street and the group she works with; the other is set in the present day as her group finds themselves trapped in an elevator in the building to which they’d been summoned for an escape room team activity. Without giving much away, suffice it to say that this book is a total page turner as characters are revealed and the plot develops.
This is a great Book, one of the best "wall street themed" Psychological Thrillers I have ever read. The story line has serious potential to turn into an exceptional, quality movie thriller.,
Four investment bankers are locked in an elevator escape room challenge. But all the clues point to the deaths of two of their coworkers. Will anyone survive?