I have a confession. Despite so many of my blogger friends raving about Linwood Barclay’s writing, I’ve never actually read one of his books before, so when I was given the opportunity to read Elevator Pitch, I thought I’d give it a go. I’m so pleased I did and that I have my review to share today.
Published on 5th September 2019 by Harper Collins imprint HQ, Elevator Pitch is available for purchase through the publisher links here.
It all begins on a Monday, when four people board an elevator in a Manhattan office tower. Each presses a button for their floor, but the elevator proceeds, non-stop, to the top. Once there, it stops for a few seconds, and then plummets.
Right to the bottom of the shaft.
It appears to be a horrific, random tragedy. But then, on Tuesday, it happens again, in a different Manhattan skyscraper. And when Wednesday brings yet another high-rise catastrophe, one of the most vertical cities in the world – and the nation’s capital of media, finance, and entertainment – is plunged into chaos.
Clearly, this is anything but random. This is a cold, calculated bid to terrorize the city. And it’s working. Fearing for their lives, thousands of men and women working in offices across the city refuse leave their homes. Commerce has slowed to a trickle. Emergency calls to the top floors of apartment buildings go unanswered.
Who is behind this? What do these deadly acts of sabotage have to do with the fingerless body found on the High Line? Two seasoned New York detectives and a straight-shooting journalist must race against time to find the answers . . .
Pulsating with tension, Elevator Pitch is a riveting tale of psychological suspense that is all too plausible . . . and will chill readers to the bone.
My Review of Elevator Pitch
An elevator accident may be more than it seems…
Never having read anything by Linwood Barclay before I wasn’t quite prepared for the highly effective Hitchcock-like plotting and delivery in Elevator Pitch. There’s a build up of tension in the story that is actually quite filmic and visual that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Having lived in Manhattan and worked around New York for a short while, I found the setting described perfectly so that I felt there was an authenticity to what I hope will only ever be a fictional situation because it is very unnerving!
The narrative is exciting, with what seems at first to be diverse and separate strands woven together cleverly to create a very satisfying novel. Elevator Pitch is a deceptive book too as Linwood Barclay feeds in diversions that wrong foot the reader providing surprises along the way. I really liked the manner in which I found out details at the same time as Barbara, Jerry and Lois. Linwood Barclay’s style is brisk and pacy so that the reader is swept along in events making for an exciting read.
One of the greatest successes of Elevator Pitch for me was the characterisation. Jerry Bourque’s back story gave him a humanity that elevated him (if you’ll pardon the pun) above the usual maverick, world weary, detectives of so many crime thrillers I have read. Here, instead, is a man with heart and a conscience. I’m hoping there will be more involving him in future books. I found the family dynamics between Richard Headley and his son Glover both enlightening and very sad. The effect of a parent on a child – of whatever age – can be deeper than any might imagine. I thoroughly appreciated the feisty Barbara, especially when I was afforded an insight into her softer and more emotional side.
Thematically, there’s much to mull in Elevator Pitch and once the book has been read as a fast paced thriller, I think it would reward a second perusal to concentrate on the concepts of power, politics, corruption, PTSD, revenge, terrorism, relationships and society. Having said that, I thought the premise for the novel was possibly more than exciting enough for me on its own. I am claustrophobic so avoid lifts as much as I can so that I frequently felt physically uncomfortable whilst I was reading. Elevator Pitch has definitely not left me any more inclined to enjoy the enclosed spaces of lifts!
I really did enjoy Elevator Pitch and it has persuaded me that I’ve left it too long to discover Linwood Barclay as a writer. This won’t be my last reading of his books, but I think it was a very good place to start.
About Linwood Barclay
Linwood Barclay is an international bestselling crime and thriller author with over twenty critically acclaimed novels to his name, including the phenomenal number one bestseller No Time For Goodbye. Every Linwood Barclay book is a masterclass in characterisation, plot and the killer twist, and with sales of over 7 million copies globally, his books have been sold in more than 39 countries around the world and he can count Stephen King, Shari Lapena and Peter James among his many fans.
Many of his books have been optioned for film and TV, and Linwood wrote the screenplay for the film based on his bestselling novel Never Saw It Coming. He is currently working with eOne to turn the Promise Falls trilogy into a series. Born in the US, his parents moved to Canada just as he was turning four, and he’s lived there ever since. He lives in Toronto with his wife, Neetha. They have two grown children.