A “New to Me” Author
Elevator Pitch by Linwood Barclay is a library check-out and one I encourage you to find. The book was released in 2019 and is the first novel of Barclay’s I have read. The story captures interest from the start-I could hardly put it down! The writing flows as the plot thickens with twists and turns only partially foreshadowed.
Barclay falls into the category of prolific author. More than that, the title provides a glimpse of intelligence and wit. There are multiple meanings layered in “Elevator Pitch.” Here is proof that the world has many, many talented authors and time is limited. Too limited to read them all. But if you haven’t yet read any of his work, he is worth discovering. So, I can’t believe I missed his dozens of books and am glad he is now on my radar.
Setting of Elevator Pitch
New York City is the setting of Elevator Pitch. The focus is on the many skyscrapers. Right from the opening pages the reader grasps the significance of the vertical landscape. How necessary is it for elevators to work smoothly if you live more than ten floors up? Twenty? Eighty? And the significance grows with respect to age.
But this is not a story of electrical failure as if the power grid were attacked as discussed in Ted Koppel’s non-fiction Lights Out. Instead, Elevator Pitch focuses on isolated events of domestic terrorism and personal vendettas. Furthermore, Barclay provides plenty of suspense against the backdrop of the city that never sleeps.
A Plethora of Characters
Barbara Matheson is a career NYC print reporter. She covers local politics. Her nemesis is Mayor Richard Wilson Headley. And not much love is lost between them. But things are complicated. Headley has political aspirations beyond the local level and his son thinks Matheson is the perfect person to serve as a ghostwriter. After all, she has that experience as well.
Matheson has a grown daughter. Since the fatherless child was raised by Matheson’s parents, the relationship between the two is fraught with guilt and blame. Arla Silbert (she uses Matheson’s maiden name) catches the eye of the mayor’s son, Glover, on her first day at work for the city. Thus, Barclay has many layers of intrigue. These characters are just the tip of the iceberg.
Other keys to the mystery of malfunctioning elevators include mayoral aides, police detectives, Russian operatives and right-wing domestic terrorists. The plot contains foreshadowing and plenty of misdirection. Everything the author needs to keep the readers turning the pages.
Elevator Pitch Plot
The plot of the novel is basic. And the writing is filled with nuances. For example, the opening scene depicts a screenwriter as a stalker determined to pitch his work. He “succeeds” by cornering the agent in a high-rise elevator on her way to the office. His efforts fail-because the elevator fails and falls. This is just the first of three failures before the mayor shuts everything down. Then even more chaos ensues. A no-win situation for the mayor.
Sub-plots are rampant in the novel. Barclay is a master of connecting the multiple threads and tying them together. The quick tempo of the writing matches the pace of the plotting. Kudos to Linwood Barclay for providing an entertaining evening of reading. Elevator Pitch earns high praise. Read it soon.
This suspenseful novel may have you taking the stairs…whenever possible.