Thursday 7 May 2020

Book ~ "Elevator Pitch" (2019) Linwood Barclay

From Goodreads ~ 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 in 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? Why are they doing it? 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 before the city’s newest, and tallest, residential tower has its Friday night ribbon-cutting. 

Four random people get on an elevator in an office building in New York on Monday.  The elevator doesn't stop when it's supposed to ... and then plunges to the ground, killing the people inside.  The next day a Russian scientist is killed in an elevator malfunction in another building.  The next day there's another incident with an elevator in another building.  Coincidence?  A man is found murdered ... his head is beat to a bloody pulp and his finger tips have been cut off so he can't be identified.  The head of the Flyovers, a domestic terrorist group, and his wife are in town.  There's a lot going on in the city that week!

Barbara is a journalist who doggedly reports about the mayor, which adds extra pressure for him on top of what's happening with the elevators.  He hasn't always been a nice man and doesn't treat his son, who works for him, very well.  Barbara has a strained relationship with her daughter and things get more tense when she starts working for the mayor.

I've read many books by this author over the years ... some I've liked a lot and some not so much. I thought this one was just okay.  Coming in at about 450 pages, it's long ... and it seemed long.  There were lots of characters (it was hard to keep track of them sometimes).  There were side stories that would have been cut out because they didn't really impact the story (for example, many many pages were devoted to one of the cops who needed a puffer to manage his panic attacks from a previous incident ... huh?!).  It's written in third person perspective from many viewpoints.  I thought the "whodunnit" was a bit convoluted and I didn't really buy it.  As a head's up, there is swearing and violence.

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