Darby Thorne, a college student with a complicated relationship with her mother, finds herself on a highway in Colorado in the middle of a blizzard. She was hoping to get ahead of the snowstorm to get home to Utah where her dying mother was having surgery. Instead, she finds herself snowed in at a dingy rest stop with no cell phone reception and four complete strangers. Everything changes when Darby braves the brutal blizzard outside for a while and tries to find a cell signal, only to find a kidnapped child in the back of a van instead!
Which one of the strangers at the rest stop was driving the van? Could it belong to the magic man Ashley (apparently, it’s a male name too); or dim-witted rodent-face Lars; or the traveling pair Ed and Sandi, on their way to celebrate Christmas with family?
It’s well below freezing outside; how long can the child survive in the back of a van? Who is the child and where did she come from? What does the kidnapper plan to do with her?
Darby realizes that she must do something to save the child, but what? There is no cell service, and her phone battery is dying. There are no snowplows until morning and the roads are impassable. That eliminates police rescue and Darby driving her car, for now. Back inside the rest stop building, Darby must deduce which traveler is the kidnapper. Her instinct is to trust none of them, but to save the child Darby must share this information with one of them. But who?
Darby suspects Lars as the kidnapper; the reader will suspect someone else. The reader will scream don’t tell anyone! But Darby will go against her instinct and tell one of the travelers what is going on, and it will be a colossal mistake that will creates a volatile and dangerous situation. Just as you think that the story is going down one adrenaline-filled path, the author jerks the reader down another twisted and darker storyline. Just as a thrilling rollercoaster at an amusement park, when you think that the twists and turns and ups and downs are finished, there’s one last scare that you didn’t see coming.
Taylor Adams is brilliant in this thriller. No Exit is full of suspense, drama, and action starting right on the first page and lasting until the very last sentence. Adams’ characters are well-developed with complicated back stories each serving a distinct role in the plot. Unlikely hero with emotional scars, innocent victim, deceitful and devilish villains, naïve accomplice, hard-working professional trying to get his life back on track. All come together at an isolated rest stop by fate, or perhaps on purpose, to take the reader on an unforgettable and fast-paced story that will keep them at the edge of their seat and glued to the pages. I could not put this book down once I started it, and I am confident you will feel the same.