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 – 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 terrorise the city. And it’s working. Fearing for their lives, thousands of men and women working in offices across the city refuse to 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 ….
Having been a fan of Linwood Barclays for a few years now, and pre ordering his books as soon as I see them advertised, I was delighted to get an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
This book seemed different to the previous ones I’ve read by Mr Barclay. It started off well with a body found, face smashed, ten fingertips removed. Two Detectives on the case Bourque and Delgado, all good. Then skipped to people being in an elevator going up and down missing the floors people wanted to get off on, followed by it falling to the ground.
Three days in a row in New York elevators came tumbling down, was this connected to the dead guy? Or was it something else. Journalist Barbara Matheson who had had a daughter at a young age that her parents raised for her, their relationship is at times very strained. Barbara doesn’t have a food opinion of the current Mayor of NYC Richard Headley believing him to be corrupt. The Mayors son Glover isn’t treated well by his father, he can never seem to do anything right which puts a strain on their relationship.
Then there is a group known as ‘the flyovers’ a domestic extremist group who’s self deprecating name is actually a shot at the so called coastal elitist people who fly from NY or Boston to LA or San Francisco and back again. Where does this group fit in?
The Mayor is forced to stop all the lifts in the City from working, this being the most upright city in the world,until they have been checked. Imagine living on the 30th floor or above, being stuck indoors or if you go out having to go down all those stairs and back up again when you return. Who has brought New York buildings to a standstill, causing havoc, panic, deaths and why?
There was a fair bit going on in this book and quite a few characters I liked the two detectives, some of the other characters I didn’t care for much. Barbara had obviously struggled to get to where she was, falling pregnant at an young age, her parents raising her daughter Arla although the daughter always knew that Barbara was her mum.
There were a couple of loose ends that seemed to be left, which because they didn’t come to anything I had to wonder why they were in there in the first place, one was possibly a red herring, but the other I’m not sure unless it was just to add to the drama. Parts of the book I found my mind wandering, but then the last twenty five per cent it really picked up again and had me turning the pages fast. It has certainly made me think about going in lifts in future!
I have to admit I did think I had guessed the culprit behind things but that’s the thing with Linwood Barclay he does like to slip in some red herrings, just to keep you guessing a little bit.
Overall a good read but I have definitely read better by Mr Barclay. I still give this book 4 stars out of 5 just lost that one star for loose ends and just something missing a bit in the middle.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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.
Many of his books have been optioned for film and tv. 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. Visit Linwood Barclay at http://www.linwoodbarclay.com or find him on Twitter at @linwood_barclay.