Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin

Goldin has given readers a novel of slow building suspense around the inner workings of a high power investment banking firm. The narrative points of view alternate between first person Sara, a new hire at the firm, and a universal view of others already working there. We know from a prologue that there is some suspense in the end. The narratives, however, go back in time. Sara's narrative goes back to when she was hired and progresses a few years from there. The universal narrative goes back only a few days to when four of those who had worked longer in the company were told to participate in an elevator escape room exercise. That exercise goes terribly wrong.

The double narratives with different time periods may sound confusing but it does work out pretty well. We know from those experiencing the escape room that by their time Sara was “gone” but not forgotten. In reading Sara's narrative then, we anticipate some kind of trouble. In reading the escape room narrative, we know from the prologue it ends in disaster. The suspense in the novel is mostly psychological as we find out how the prologue comes to pass.

This novel is a good character driven story revealing the pressure and danger of working for a cut throat firm. Designing acquisitions, takeovers, and selloffs can be brutal, exhausting and dangerous. Decisions are made with only profit in mind and not what happens to workers who may lose their jobs. There is stiff competition within the firm as people work toward advancement. Murder is not out of the question.

I recommend this novel to readers who enjoy a character driven novel revolving around individual greed in high finance corporations.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

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 traveling and living all over the world, she resides in Australia with her husband and three sons. (Photo author's private collection)

St. Martin's Press, 352 pages. This novel releases August 2019.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

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