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Elevator Pitch Bets On...

Elevator Pitch

September 2019

ELEVATOR PITCH by Linwood Barclay lives up to its promo copy as “an edge-of-your-seat thriller that does for elevators what Psycho did for showers and Jaws did for the beach --- a heart-pounding tale in which a series of disasters paralyzes New York City with fear.”

It opens briskly with an elevator plunging, killing everyone on it, including a man disguised as a FedEx delivery guy who was there trying to slip his script to an entertainment executive. Yes, this scene quickly becomes the ultimate “elevator pitch.” And the double entendre is perfect Linwood style! This elevator dashing down is just the beginning. Soon there are others, and it’s clear that there is some kind of a conspiracy awry. It is terrorism? There’s no one making claim to what’s going on, which makes events even more disconcerting. Then a man is found dead on the High Line, and he’s missing his fingertips. Was he involved? Who killed him?

What happens next? The mayor reacts by shutting down every elevator in the city, telling people to “take the stairs,” which in a city as vertical as New York brings lots of challenges. Think about the elderly and the infirmed, and you have a big crisis on your hands.

Every elevator ride that I have taken since reading ELEVATOR PITCH has me bracing for a freefall, and I am watching as the doors open to be sure the car really is there. Seriously, this book played lots of games with my head. A signature of Linwood’s writing for me is that we meet a number of characters and then wait to see how they all will come together to ratchet up the drama. Brace yourself, as the last 50 pages are very brisk with many moments of tension all building on each other. #takethestairs

Elevator Pitch
by Linwood Barclay