Book Review: No Exit by Taylor Adams

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Publish Date: January 15, 2019

The difference between a hero and a victim? Timing.”  — No Exit

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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?

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This book is a heart-stopping, action-packed, tense, riveting, binge worthy, nonstop thrill!

Imagine getting stuck at a dark, snowy, cold, remote highway rest area with a dying cell phone, no cell service or wifi. That’s bad enough! But then… imagine seeing a little girl bound, gagged, and locked in a dog cage in the back of a van and no way to call for help. And by the way, you’re also stranded with the deranged people that might have kidnapped her. These thoughts strike fear in my heart.

Darby does what most of us would want do in that situation (I would have panicked, froze, and fainted) – she stays calm and tries to solve the problems, knowing that she is trapped and no help is coming. She is mature beyond her years, smart, and resourceful. What this unsuspecting heroine does is a test of character, determination, tenacity, will, strength, and bravery. At every turn, she faces danger, adversity and evil. Will Darby save this little girl, or die trying? This had me on the edge of my seat for the entire book.

Reading this story invoked physical reactions in me: gasping, shaking my head, mild sweating, heart pounding, fidgeting from anxiety and tension, adrenaline coursing through my veins, and an ongoing sense of foreboding. This mood is created through strong and descriptive writing. Taylor Adams does an excellent job at making me feel as if I’m right there with Darby at that cold, dark, snowy, and isolated rest stop.

My favorite quotes from the book:

“Rest area ahead. *  *  * Seen one? You’ve seen them all.”

“The easiest lies to tell are the true ones.”

“Jay, I promise I will get you out of here. I will save you.”

“Don’t fear the pros. The pros know what they’re doing, and do it cleanly. Fear the amateurs.”

“You’re the sum of every trait that I’ve ever hated in a human being. You’re smug, you’re irritating, you talk too much, you’re not half as clever as you think you are, and under it all? You’re pure evil.”

This book is about survival, kidnapping, memories, family, siblings, and character. It’s tense, an easy quick read, and binge worthy. The suspense starts in the opening chapter and continues nonstop all the way until the very end. I can definitely see this book turned into a movie, and it has a cinematic feel to it. If you like wintry, gripping, atmospheric mysteries like An Unwanted Guest by Shari LaPena or Force of Nature by Jane Harper (but with the action and suspense at max levels) you’ll definitely like this book.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars 

Thank you to the Sacramento Public Library for the opportunity to read this book.

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