**4 Goodreads Stars**
Taylor Adam’s No Exit is a keep-you-on-your-toes thriller that mixes classic storytelling with contemporary high-velocity suspense novel pacing. It’s been forever since I read a thriller that was so scary I had to put it down at night. No Exit had so many skin-crawling twists and turns that I ended up reading most of it during the day!
This book is basically one of my worst fears made real. I used to live in a remote, rural part of the inland Pacific Northwest (United States) and spent a good deal of time driving from one really remote place to another. Rest stops were the only places where I encountered other human beings, and when you are driving for hours on end to get from one small city to another, you have to stop to go to the restroom. I absolutely hated these drives, especially in the winter, because rest stops are usually pretty empty spare a few questionable folks.
The lead character, Darby, is embarking on the same kind of trip in the middle of a snowstorm. The storm becomes so bad that the roads are closed and she is forced to stop overnight at a sketchy rest stop with a cast of equally oddball characters. Darby has been desperately trying to get home to see her mother, who has been diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing surgery for it. Her mind is clouded with regret over things she hasn’t said to her and things she wishes she didn’t say to her mother.
Amid these terrible feelings, she soon begins to suspect that something is gravely amiss at the rest stop when, in an attempt to get cell phone service outside, she sees what appears to be a child trapped in a sketchy looking van. Is her guilt and mind playing tricks on her, or is something absolutely horrific taking place at the rest stop? When Darby goes back inside the rest stop, she must figure out who is lying, who is the owner of the van, and who may be posing a threat to the entire rest stop. This is a very traditional whodunit (like Ten Little Indians or Clue!) in that the lead character must follow clues to decipher the potential killer/child-kidnappers.
My only complaint is that I am not a huge fan of horror writing, and this is a personal preference There are many gruesome parts of the book that I could have skipped. Nonetheless, this book kept me on the edge of my seat during the entire read. There were so many terrifying twists and turns, many of which I did not see coming!
Thank you to the publisher, William Morrow, the author, Taylor Adams, and Edelweiss+ for an advanced copy of this book!