On 27 April 1997, four contestants make it to the final cell of the Quigley House, a full-contact haunted escape room made famous for its monstrosities.
If the group can endure its horrors without shouting the safe word, ‘reprieve’, they’ll win a substantial cash prize - a startling feat accomplished only by one other group in the house’s long history. But before they can complete the challenge, a man breaks into the cell and kills one of the contestants.
Those who were present on that fateful night lend their points of view: Kendra Brown, a teenager uprooted from her childhood home after the loss of her father; Leonard Grandton, a hotel manager caught in a series of toxic entanglements; and Jaidee Charoensuk, a gay international student who came to the US in search of his former English teacher.
As each character’s journey unfurls, deceits and misunderstandings fuelled by obsession and prejudice are revealed - forcing all to reckon with the ways in which their beliefs and actions contributed to a horrifying catastrophe.
A startlingly soulful exploration of complicity and masquerade, Reprieve combines the psychological tension of classic horror with searing social criticism, and seamlessly threads together trial transcripts, evidence descriptions, and deeply layered individual narratives to present a chilling portrait of American life.
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