Thrilling ... There’s a cinematic propulsion to No Exit that commands the reader’s attention, and Mr. Adams times his shocks with a sure hand. Narrative shifts reveal other characters’ histories, but Darby remains the principal player as she seeks an impossible-seeming resolution.
Author Taylor Adams brings left field surprises one after the other at a speed that will force you to stop reading every once in a while so you can catch the breath you're holding and remind yourself it's only fiction ... No Exit is A KNOCKOUT! Readers will press their hands to the sides of their face and wince in alarm! Roadtrippers will never again stop at a highway rest area without thinking of this wowza of a book.
Read if you like the carefully layered drawing-room psychology of Agatha Christie, cross-pollinated with the pure, squishy terror of Stephen King ... Adams nails his setup and builds some truly distinctive characters, though the piled-on revelations of Exit‘s last third can’t help but loosen the grip of its early trapped-animal intensity.
Coming seemingly from nowhere, it is one of the year’s most unforgettable reads ... Adams does for highway rest stops what Stephen King did for shuttered resort hotels, psychotic nurses and clowns under bridges. And yes—air is fair—No Exit stands up with King’s best work. Read it with a hat on. It will blow your brain right through your ears.
Gripping and terrifying ... Adams peppers the tale with twist after twist; these hairpin turns, coupled with a cast of devious characters, drive the narrative and build suspense. At times, one wonders if Darby really can possibly survive yet another perilous situation, but, overall, this is an enthralling tale that features a wonderfully relatable and gutsy heroine. Give it to readers looking for a female-led drama in the mode of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and its sibling works.
Overall, No Exit is a strong thriller by Adams...but while the story moves fast enough to read in one sitting, there are a few minor flaws worth pointing out. For one thing, Jay, who is said to be nine years old, acts mature beyond her years, and not necessarily in an endearing, street-smart kind of way. That’s easy to overlook, though, with the bigger issue being that one of the story’s first twists is super predictable. Even casual readers will see it coming a mile away. That said, there’s far more to like than dislike, and Adams certainly earns points for originality and his ability to hook a reader early and hold their attention until the very end.