Star rating: 4 stars
After finishing this book I still can’t decide if I seriously enjoyed it or found it lacking. Unfortunately the plotline does not live up to more enticing blurb, which I read and immediately thought “ooooh this sounds right up my street” However the book spends much time meandering about with the past lives of the characters that eventually leads them to take part in a full contact Haunt, in an escape room type scenario at Quigley. it is definitely a quirky horror genre that explores difficult topics including racism, LGBQT, hate , death and revenge, although non are done in a very in depth manner.
Once the action began in each of the cells, that became increasingly more gruesome, I was hooked. I felt the writing began to pull me in and it was as though I was in the cells with them. I found myself thinking ” oh for heavens sake someone shout the safe word” The safe word is “Reprieve” but no one calls out. They are either totally paralysed by fear or determined to get into cell 6 and win the $60,000. It is not to be and murder occurs. Was it part of the game play? was it real? The Characters really don’t know.
The flow of the plot is constantly interrupted by either the court room discussions, which give the game away or chapters going back to the characters past lives. I would have preferred more focus on the actual horror action within the cells as this is excellent and there certainly needed to be more.
The disrupted flow is a bit off putting but I have to say that I enjoyed more of the book that not, hence giving an overall rating of 4 Stars.
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Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (UK and ANZ)
Publish date: 5 Oct 2021
Reviewed by: Niki Preston