Published by William Morrow on January 15, 2019
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?
I love a good thriller. The problem is that they tend to be a dime a dozen these days, and 90% of them seem to revolve around a married couple with ~secrets and lies~ that must be uncovered. It’s a fine trope, but sometimes I like to get away from it. I jumped on one of December’s Book of the Month offerings this month, which seemed right up that “unusual thriller” niche – No Exit, by Taylor Adams. I was blown away by this story and can safely say it’s on my top 3 thrillers of 2018 list now. What a rush!
How I’d Describe This Book to a Friend
Darby Thorne doesn’t have the best relationship with her mom. Truthfully, the last thing she said to her was pretty mean. So she’s determined to make things right again on this blisteringly cold December night as she speeds through an encroaching snowstorm to get to her mother’s side as she lays dying in a hospital bed. The snow doesn’t seem to give a damn about anyone’s reasoning for being on the road tonight, though, and so eventually Darby succumbs to the inevitable and pulls over at a rest stop to wait out the storm.
The rest stop is old and almost completely vacant – it boasts a weathered pack of playing cards, an old Garfield wall clock, rapidly-cooling carafes of cocoa and coffee, and vending machines. It also has four other travelers inside – and no cell phone service. Darby eventually goes for a stroll outside in the blizzard to try to find cell phone service – her older sister is at her mother’s side and she’s desperately trying to get information about her condition – but unfortunately, she doesn’t seem to have any luck. As she trudges back into the rest stop building, she passes by a parked van and slows down – if she didn’t know any better, she’d swear she just saw a child’s hand grasping the bars of what looks like a dog kennel. But there’s no way that’s true, it’s got to be her imagination … right?
The Bottom Line
If I say anything else about this book, it will unfortunately ruin the experience for anyone else who picks it up, so I’m not going to. Just suffice it to say that Darby’s story plays out hot and heavy, and I inhaled 90% of it on December 23rd – the day this book just happens to take place. (no, I didn’t plan that, but it was cool to realize that it happened anyway). Adams does a great job at creating a scene, and as I read I felt the cold creeping into the marrow of my bones – I was chilled, scared, and so nervous for Darby and the other (non-kidnapper) denizens of that rest stop. I wanted everyone to get out safe and sound – unfortunately, we know that doesn’t always happen, and it’s not the case in this story either – but it really keeps you on the edge of your seat.
If you like your young women to be unapologetically badass with a flair for sass and a penchant for playing with fire (metaphorically and literally), Darby Thorne is your woman. I loved this book to pieces, and I hope you give it a chance when it comes out across the US on January 15th.
“Whether it was bleach, bullets, fire or the meaty click of a knife striking bone, there’s no dignity in death. Every living creature dies afraid. For all her cunning, Darby would learn this, too.”