‘No Exit’ by Taylor Adams


No Exit by Taylor Adams is full of twists. Buckle up.

I picked up No Exit a few weeks ago from my local mystery/thriller/crime bookstore on a whim. There it was, stacked on the new release table. The snow-laden cover image drew me in.

The heroine, Darby Thorne, is a college student who gets caught in a blizzard on the way to see her dying mother. At a rest stop, she encounters four other stranded travelers. It’ll be a while before the roads are cleared, and even worse, there is no cell phone signal. How will she survive?

Her call to action is the discovery of a child locked in a cage within one of the vehicles at the rest stop. She has to figure out who the kidnapper is, rescue the kid, and get out alive.

This thriller-horror novel is cinematic in its pacing, and elicits one gut-clenching reaction after another. And then the weapons come out. The author gets creative here. Sure, there’s a gun, but it’s the least exciting piece of the maim-and-kill arsenal that is unleashed at the rest stop.

The reader gets a taste of the villain’s history and understands the why and how of the dastardly deed. Our flawed heroine shows her mettle through one obstacle after the other, giving her an almost super-human flair. But this is an action flick. Uh, I mean, a novel.

I appreciated No Exit as both reader and writer; it’s like a primer on twists and treachery. Beware: the third act gets visceral, but if you can get through that, you’ll be presented with a very tidy ending.