Elevator Pitch

Harper. Sept. 2019. 464p. ISBN 9780062678287. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062678300. THRILLER
On Monday, an elevator erases all the floor numbers selected by its passengers, rises rapidly to the top of a 40-story New York City building, and then plummets unimpeded to the basement, killing its four passengers, one of whom is a former intern to journalist Barbara Matheson, a critic of New York mayor Richard Headley. Later the same day, an elevator technician is found dead on the High Line, murdered the previous night. On Tuesday, another elevator “accident” decapitates a famous Russian scientist, and the tabloids and TV talking heads begin to scream. By this time, NYPD detectives Jerry Bournique and Lois Delgado have learned that these fatal events are connected, and the city is in a full-scale panic. Who is responsible? Terrorists? HAL-like computers that have taken control of the many banks of elevators? Attention first turns to the Flyovers, a radical group out for revenge on coastal cities, and then upon the mayor’s son. Barclay’s latest (A Noise Downstairs) combines an engrossing, fast-moving, well-twisted modern-day plot with believable characters.
VERDICT Fans of psychological thrillers and the author’s previous books will love this. Warning: it might leave some readers a bit uncomfortable next time they enter an elevator. [See Prepub Alert, 3/11/19.]
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