Goldin is an excellent storyteller with a terrific knack for setting the pace that keeps her audience unable to turn away, and The Escape Room is a must-read! ... Throughout the chapters that take place in the elevator, the reader can feel the fear, the growing panic, the explosions of rage, the growing hopelessness, and the sense of dread. These chapters display for the reader the constant, and constantly growing, terror of the escape room participants ... excellent storytelling and it constantly pulls the reader further and further inside ... Goldin has the infrequently seen talent of writing likeable and unlikable characters equally well ... engrossing, it’s exciting, and it is a great way to remember just how much fun it can be to 'escape' into a great book.
This all might feel predictable if not for Goldin’s talent. She brings a lovely complexity to what could be trite characters, and a sure hand at ratcheting up the tension. The pages turn themselves ... The relentless hours, the worshiping at the altar of money and the rank chauvinism of Wall Street feel all too real. One starts wanting to rescue these hapless capitalists, and perhaps take them home for some humble soup ... The writing is no frills. One can see Goldin’s background as a reporter in the eyes-to-the-road prose ... As a debut novelist Goldin has room to grow — it would be nice to see her connect more with the joy of language, and take more care with her descriptions, which can veer into cliché...Parts of the novel could have used more research, as credibility stretches to incredulity ... But as a light thriller, The Escape Room delivers all that it promises. It is a sleek, well-crafted ride to a surprisingly twisty conclusion, posing a satisfying and unexpected question at the end: What if escaping the escape room means changing who we are?
Goldin's writing is engrossing, and it's truly difficult to put the book down. You start the first chapter, and suddenly you need to find out what's going on and how it all ends. While part of the conclusion is revealed at the start, it's still not clear exactly what happened, and Goldin carefully shows the shallowness of those who work long hours for the ability to buy more ... While the reader will guess part of the mystery before the end of the book, the fun is in turning page after page to see how bad it gets in the elevator and how good revenge can be ... A clever, insightful look at Wall Street, The Escape Room is thrilling, well written and just plain fun to read.
Australian novelist Goldin spent nearly two decades working as a foreign-affairs journalist but seems to know the corporate world cold, from its Ferragamo suits to the number of figures in a Wall Streeter's sign-on bonus. Her American debut is a shrewd, brilliantly structured thriller doubling as a takedown of corporate culture. While the four elevator captives initially appear to be types, especially philanderer Sam with his shopaholic wife, Goldin lavishes time on their stories, ultimately making them, if not entirely sympathetic, more than a quartet of Gordon Gekkos.
It is not difficult to figure out who has set up the escape room, which is actually an elevator, in this debut from journalist Goldin, and there is clearly no happy ending likely for the four colleagues trapped inside; but fans of JP Delany and Ruth Ware will want to be right in there with them ... A nail-biting tale of a corporate team-building exercise gone horribly wrong, with a credible explanation of how the seemingly undoable is done. And to the victor go the spoils.
Despite the unsavory characters—or perhaps even because of them—this novel is pure entertainment. Offering a modern take on the classic locked-room mystery, Goldin strings the reader along by alternating chapters set in the past and in the present and by peppering the present chapters with riddles and word games. This is a commentary on the cutthroat, hypocritical world of finance, where one must sacrifice everything to stay on top. It provides us with antagonists we love to hate as well as a sympathetic heroine who pays the ultimate price for survival: her own sense of goodness and fair play ... Cancel all your plans and call in sick; once you start reading, you’ll be caught in your own escape room—the only key to freedom is turning the last page!
... riveting, if flawed ... Though both plots start off strong, the elevator narrative slows as it waits for Sara’s story to catch up. Lucky flukes and coincidences stretch credulity, and the unlikability of those targeted for revenge lessens the scheme’s impact. But these shortcomings aren’t fatal. Thriller fans will eagerly turn the pages to see what happens next.