Book Review // Elevator Pitch – Linwood Barclay // #Gifted

Title: Elevator Pitch
Author: Linwood Barclay
Publication date: 5th September 2019
My rating: ★★
Goodreads rating: 3.96
Pages: 400
Genre: Thriller

I won a copy of this book from the publishers HQ. This book was gifted but all opinions are my own and are not influenced by receiving a copy of this book in any way. I would like to thank the publishers HQ and also the author, Linwood Barclay.

*Trigger Warnings – Mentions of self harm, decapitation, blood, gore, trauma, ptsd, anxiety and terrorism.*


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 ribbon-cutting on Thursday.

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.

Overall opinion of the book:

I was lucky enough to win an ARC of Elevator Pitch from the publishers HQ. As soon as I read the synopses I was drawn in by the book and desperately wanted to find out more. While this book was okay and I did enjoy it overall, it wasn’t quite what I expected and didn’t have me as hooked as I imagined it would. It’s such a shame when you’re eagerly waiting to read a book and it doesn’t quite live up to your expectations, but while this may have not been the book for me, you may love it.

The premise was interesting and I enjoyed figuring out who was behind the attacks and elevator disturbances. Before going into the book, I didn’t realise it was a multiple narrative, instead I thought we’d only follow the investigator’s journeys into uncovering the truth. At times I found the plot quite disorientating to follow as there are a lot of different narratives, from main characters, to those who only feature for a few pages. While I understand why Barclay chose to do this, in order to give us an insight into the bigger picture of what was happening, the book still could have worked from a smaller number of viewpoints.

The way the book is formatted was a little confusing. Instead of having the person’s name that the chapter was focusing on as the chapter title, the chapters were numbered instead. The book would have benefitted from having the name of the person the chapter was focusing on, even if it was written underneath the chapter number. It would have allowed me to refocus my attention far quicker, instead it took a lot longer than expected to get my head around the constant shift in perspective and trying to work out who the book was focusing on.

As there were so many viewpoints in Elevator Pitch, I wasn’t particularly engaged with any of the characters and didn’t a strong feel a connection to any of them. Given this, I wasn’t overly emotive or affected by what happened to them. When reading thrillers, I enjoy being engrossed in the plot and engaged with the characters and their feelings, which is why I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I hoped.

At times, the plot seemed to diverge away from the main plot and focus on something that wasn’t entirely necessary, for example – socks. This really wasn’t important, but Barclay kept coming back to this throughout Elevator Pitch. While I understand giving insights into characters and those stuck in the lifts, this often distracted me from the plot rather than adding to it. The character I liked the most was Barbara, I loved her determination and drive.

I enjoyed Barclay’s subtle humour throughout and also the blood and gore associated to the elevator incidents. The sinister undertones were written brilliantly and Barclay is great at creating an unsettling atmosphere. The ending of the book was interesting and while I did have an inclination of who was behind the elevator incidents, I only figured it out in the latter end of the book and still wasn’t 100% sure.

What’s great and also slightly terrifying about Elevator Pitch is how realistic it is. It’s not miles away from something that could potentially happen, especially given rising tensions and the current political climate. It’s interesting to read how Barclay has incorporated some of this into the book. He does set the book around the time of the Boston bombings and focuses on terrorism and how the mass panic affects the public.

In regards to the spelling, punctuation and grammar, it wasn’t perfect and I did notice some very easily rectifiable mistakes, such as knew being spelled as new. I was reading proof copy however, so it’s likely these errors would have already been picked up before the final prints. There were some words used that were UK English and some American English. From previous editing experience I think only one type should be used, not the two coinciding together. At times writing felt a little clunky for me and the plot could have been moved along at a slightly quicker pace.

Final thoughts:

Overall Elevator Pitch was an okay read, but it wasn’t really suited to my personal tastes. I’ve not read any of Barclay’s previous books, but given he is a very successful author, I have no doubts that the majority of people will absolutely love this book. While it wasn’t for me, it may definitely be the book for you. The book focuses on such an interesting concept which will play on my mind every time I use a lift in the future!

If you would like to pre-order a copy of this book, you can do so here:



Book Depository


Elevator Pitch is being released in hardback on Thursday 5th September 2019 by HQ.

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Linwood Barclay

20 thoughts on “Book Review // Elevator Pitch – Linwood Barclay // #Gifted

    • Ash Williams says:

      Me either, unless they’re done well and the plot moves well between them all, it tends to distract me more than anything, especially if they’re following completely different plots! It was a shame but I suppose no book is good for everyone 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: Autumn Book Tag
  2. Alyssa says:

    This sounds interesting! I would definitely get confused with only having numbers for chapter titles instead of the character’s names. Hopefully you like your next read a little bit more!

    Liked by 1 person

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