“The Escape Room” Debut Falls Short

Cover of "The Escape Room"

Megan Goldin’s “The Escape Room” is a 2019 psychological thriller that promised to be a page-turner and quite the wild ride. This debut novel slightly missed the mark for me; it was a ride, but I cannot say it was wild. Goldin is known for her psychological thrillers, such as “The Night Swim,” her most recent release, and each one has pretty high ratings. I am in the minority of people who did not love this, but I did not hate it. 

Goldin’s writing style makes it clear that she has a background in journalism, as the writing is a little more formal compared to other novels. The first few chapters are descriptive, which is nice because it helps the readers understand some things that will happen later. The story was interesting enough for me to finish the novel, but the pacing of this story made it feel longer than it was. The book is not a quick read as it is quite hefty, but some parts were quite repetitive. 

I would advise jumping to chapter one and skipping the prologue. It reveals some major spoilers about the ending. “The Escape Room” takes place in an elevator for approximately 95% of the book. This story drew off of the popularity of escape rooms, but with Wall Street characters. I found it difficult to find any redeeming qualities in any of the characters. However, with a completely different set of rules than the average escape room, this book asks the readers to suspend disbelief on many levels. 

The dialogues are also not significantly distinguishable between each character. It is as though the characters have the same personality. If there were not any attribution attached, the reader would not know who was speaking. The positive is that the reader gets the story from multiple point-of-views and it alternates between past and present, which is intriguing. However, each character is so unlikeable that you don’t care about what is happening to them. The synopsis mentions dark secrets get revealed, but that was not the case.

“The Escape Room” is a 377-page novel that is entertaining, but predictable. 

The book can be purchased in different formats, such as hardcover for $13.76, or as an e-book for $9.99. However, I would recommend seeing if your local library has a copy or seeing if it’s possible to do an interlibrary loan. 

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