No Exit by Taylor Adams


Goodreads Synopsis:

A brilliant, edgy thriller about four strangers, a blizzard, a kidnapped child, and a determined young woman desperate to unmask and outwit a vicious psychopath.

A kidnapped little girl locked in a stranger’s van. No help for miles. What would you do?

On her way to Utah to see her dying mother, college student Darby Thorne gets caught in a fierce blizzard in the mountains of Colorado. With the roads impassable, she’s forced to wait out the storm at a remote highway rest stop. Inside, are some vending machines, a coffee maker, and four complete strangers.

Desperate to find a signal to call home, Darby goes back out into the storm . . . and makes a horrifying discovery. In the back of the van parked next to her car, a little girl is locked in an animal crate.

Who is the child? Why has she been taken? And how can Darby save her?

There is no cell phone reception, no telephone, and no way out. One of her fellow travelers is a kidnapper. But which one?

Trapped in an increasingly dangerous situation, with a child’s life and her own on the line, Darby must find a way to break the girl out of the van and escape.

But who can she trust?

With exquisitely controlled pacing, Taylor Adams diabolically ratchets up the tension with every page. Full of terrifying twists and hairpin turns, No Exit will have you on the edge of your seat and leave you breathless.

Okay, I had a really hard time deciding what to rate this book. I was sitting at 4-stars for a while but then things got a bit too outlandish for my liking.

I will say, this book is incredibly fast paced and doesn’t hold back any punches. And the trigger warnings. Lots and lots of trigger warnings. I feel like that’s pretty much a guarantee when it comes to a thriller, but just use caution if things like child abuse/sexual abuse are big triggers for you.

We follow Darby, a college student driving to Utah to visit her sick mother in the hospital. While she’s driving through Colorado she gets stuck in a blizzard and has no choice but to pull into a rest stop to wait it out. There are a few other people stuck there as well. They mostly keep to themselves, but soon they realize the weather isn’t going to let up, and without a cell signal, they have to prepare to stay the night. Small talk ensues, card games are played, but Darby doesn’t let her guard down.

Then while she’s outside in the parking lot she discovers a horrific scene: inside the trunk of a van is a cage, and inside the cage is a little girl. So, who inside the rest area is responsible for this nightmare?

This really is such a page turner, and if you’re a fan of a small cast stuck in one place (a la Agatha Christie) then this is the book for you. I really love whodunnits where everyone is trapped in a room and we must figure out the mystery. It’s like a game of Clue. But in reality this book was more like a gory, murder-infused-rage game of Clue. Sounds kind of fun, right?

Well, let’s just say the “bad guy” was really over the top, moving straight into campy mode. I don’t really mind gore or disturbing crime topics, but I expect them to actually be written well and to… have a point. The “bad guy” here was so careless, cheesy, and had zero plan of action. It was such a mess.

I think this book would’ve been better adapted into a movie. On the page, it just didn’t wow me like I expected it to. But I do recommend this book if you’re looking for a fast paced thriller that will leave you wanting to keep reading once you finish a chapter. It really will hook you in!


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