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Chilling. I’m Using the Stairs For a While: Read an Extract From Elevator Pitch by Linwood Barclay

September 9, 2019

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The New York Times bestselling author of A Noise Downstairs and No Time for Goodbye returns with 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 paralyses New York City with fear.

If you already have a fear of elevators, this book might not be for you. If however you enjoy a heart racing, utterly chilling and unputdownable thriller… read on.

The book opens on a Manhattan Monday, when four people board an elevator in a high-rise office tower. One of the characters has been trying to pitch a script idea to a high-powered TV producer, and boards the lift to confront her. She tells him that he has until her floor to pitch. His determination to impress her with his script idea adds to the tension as each passenger in the lift 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’s one hellova way to start a book, and I was unable to put it down until I finished.

Initially, 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 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? Why are they doing it? What do these deadly acts of sabotage have to do with the fingerless body found on the High Line?

This fast-paced thriller switches between a number of well-crafted characters. The mayor of New York, Richard Headly, a man who’s made a lot of enemies, who shuts Manhattan’s elevators down, causing chaos in the high-rise city. Barbara Matheson, a smart, complex woman and a reporter for Manhattan Today, who was already asking questions about the mayor, and now turns her attention to discovering who might be behind this. And NYPD Detectives Jerry Bourque and Lois Delgado who look for a link between the elevator tragedies and the murder of an elevator mechanic.

These characters must race against time to find the answers before the city’s newest, and tallest, residential tower has its Friday night ribbon-cutting and party on the top floor of the 100-story building.

With each diabolical twist, Linwood Barclay ratchets up the suspense, building to a shattering finale. Pulsating with tension, Elevator Pitch is a riveting tale of psychological suspense that is all too plausible . . . and will chill readers to the bone.

Linwood Barclay is a master of his genre. Elevator Pitch literally zings along, with tight, polished prose and a well-crafted plot that will leave you breathless through each twist and turn and unable to guess what’s coming right up until the exhilarating final pages. Set over a working week with the first elevator accident on Monday and the party set for Friday night, the pace is relentless. Elevator Pitch is a pitch perfect thriller

I’m using the stairs for a while.

Buy a copy of Elevator Pitch here.

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 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. Visit Linwood Barclay at or find him on Twitter at @linwood_barclay.


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