It can be enough to drive you mad. You press the button for the elevator. And you wait. And you wait some more. Frustrated, you push the elevator button again, even though it’s still lit from the last time you pushed it. And you wait some more, and you push the button AGAIN.
That’s how I feel about the imminent release of my novel, Elevator Pitch. I can’t wait for it to get here.
It’s not that much longer. The book “drops” into bookstores on September 5th in the UK, and September 17th in North America.
Elevator Pitch might just be the most “nailbitingest” book I’ve ever written. It will do for elevators what Psycho did for showers and
what Jaws did for the beach.
Here’s what Joe Hill, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Fireman and Strange Weather, had to say about it:“This novel moves as fast as a falling elevator and hits with just as much force. Linwood Barclay is a stone cold pro
and Elevator Pitch is a shameless good time.”
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. 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.
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.
So, you might start thinking about taking the stairs now to get in shape, because once September comes, I guarantee you won’t want to take the elevator.
I know waiting until September to read Elevator Pitch feels like a long ways away. Thus, I am doing a giveaway where 5 US, 5 Canadian, and 5 UK readers can win advance reading copies of the book. Enter by Friday, May 31st at 11:59 PM EDT for your chance to win one of the five copies.
When A Noise Downstairs was released in hardcover, it came out pretty much at the same time in all regions. But the paperback release is a little more staggered. The UK paperback edition has been out for several months, and the US mass market paperback release was April 30th. And in Canada, the paperback rollout is August 20th. You’re going to ask why. The reasons behind this, and where elephants go to die, elude me.
That said, whenever you can get your hands on it, I know you’re going to
love it. As you may already know, it’s about a college professor named Paul who nearly dies when he discovers a colleague in the act of disposing of two bodies. Several months later, his wife gives him a beautiful, antique typewriter. Soon, Paul starts hearing chit chit chit in the night, as though someone is tapping away on that old Underwood.
Paul’s either losing his mind, or about to lose his life. Maybe even both.
The Maybe -- Just Maybe -- Promise Falls TV Series
For more than a year now, I have been involved in crafting a possible TV series based on the novels of my Promise Falls trilogy – Broken Promise, Far From True and The Twenty-Three. The series, called, simply, Promise Falls, is in what they call the “development stage” with a network, so it might happen, and then again, it might not. (I’ve been here before, with my novel Trust Your Eyes. Don’t get me started.)
Anyway, fingers crossed.
As often happens when a book is adapted to film or TV, there are some changes, and that’s certainly true with Promise Falls, but many of them have been initiated by me. Some of them I would've incorporated into the books if I had thought of them at the time.
I’ve written a script for the pilot episode, and I will no doubt be doing several more drafts. When there’s news, I’ll let everyone know.
And…I’m still hopeful that Never Saw It Coming, the movie I wrote based on my novel, will be seen outside of Canada soon. It’s currently on Crave, in Canada.
I Can't Wait, I Have to Tell You About Next Year's Book Right Now...
We already know about the book, Elevator Pitch, that’s coming out in September. But I already have a first draft done of the novel that will come out in 2020. My working title is I'll Take You There, but chances are that will get changed to something different at some point.
Anyway, here is the “elevator pitch” for the book: Think Jurassic Park, but instead of dinosaurs, it’s self-driving cars.
It’s something of a departure, this book. It’s a little more like a Michael Crichton thriller, but all the elements you’ve come to expect from me are there.
The book, pretty much all of which takes place in a single day, is about a car company that persuades the residents of a Martha’s Vineyard-like community to give up all their cars, have them sent to the mainland, and in return they’re all given a self-driving car for one month. It’s a grand experiment. Autonomous vehicles work best when every vehicle on the road is a self-driving
car. They all talk to each other. They’re like an ant colony, all thinking together to get you, safely, to where you’re going.
And it all sounds terrific, until the network that controls the vehicles is infected with a nasty virus and all the vehicles turn, well, homicidal. Think one thousand Christines. In the midst of all the mayhem is a real, honest-to-God mystery, with a twist that you won’t see coming.
I had an absolute blast writing this book. Once Elevator Pitch is out, I
may post an excerpt or two from it to get your motor running.
Chase and Escape
Chase and its sequel, Escape, my two thrillers for younger readers, are getting some very nice attention these days. Last year, Chase won the Arthur Ellis Award for best juvenile/young adult crime novel. (The Ellis awards are based in Canada, and honour crime writing,
in various categories, published in that country.) This year, Escape is up for the same award. I’ll let you know, via Twitter and Facebook, who wins after the May 23rd awards night.
I read a lot of books and watch a lot of TV. And when people ask what I’ve read and watched lately, I really have to stop and think.
Some recent excellent reads:
—The Border, by Don Winslow. His epic drug cartel trilogy comes to a conclusion. If Tolkien wrote about the drug wars, this would be it.
—The Nanny, by Gilly Macmillan. I received an advance copy of this book, so, depending on where you live, it may or may not be out yet, but this is a dandy thriller from the author of Odd Child Out and What She Knew.
—Small Great Things, by Jodi Picoult. This was my first Picoult book and won’t be my last. An intricate, powerful story of white supremacy and ethics, it read like a thriller.
—The Other Wife, by Michael Robotham. Michael remains one of my favourite crime writers because he makes you care so much for the characters. And he’s a terrific plotter.
—Cold Storage, by David Koepp. You won’t see this in bookstores until September, but this thriller from the screenwriter who wrote such movies as Jurassic Park and the first (and best) Mission: Impossible movie is scary and fun, a kind of Andromeda Strain on crack. A huge fan of his film work, I was very excited to meet him
recently in London. Here's a photo of the two of us.
And as for TV:
—I had high hopes for the new "Twilight Zone," but have been hugely disappointed. The episodes I have seen (and I bailed after the fourth) all seem to start well, and then when the end comes, I go, “What?” The show feels padded, the conclusions are muddled. Go back and watch the original Rod Serling episodes.
—The new FX series "Fosse/Verdon," based on the lives of director Bob Fosse and actress/dancer Gwen Verdon, is flat out fantastic. If you loved the 1979 film All That Jazz (one of my top 20 movies), you will love this.
—I wasn’t sure about "The Good Fight," the spinoff show from "The Good Wife," back in its first season, but now I can’t wait for each week’s episode. A CBS show that’s not on the regular network (you can get it though a couple of streaming services), it’s daring, goes places a lot of shows would not, and the writing is amazing.
—"Killing Eve." Wow. I love a show where I can’t begin to guess where it’s going.
—I’m still immensely baffled by "Game of Thrones" (“Who’s that guy, again?”), but it doesn’t seem to matter.
The funniest thing we’re watching is "Cheers." We’ve been
rewatching the entire series. On nights when we don’t have the energy for something two hours long, and we simply need a laugh, we watch one or two episodes.
The Moment When You Learn Your Name is Not a Scrabble Word
In what could be an interesting plot point for a guy who writes thrillers, what if you play Scrabble and learn that your name is not a word?
The Elevator Pitch Tours and More...
Details are still in the works, but I will be doing two tours for Elevator Pitch in September. The first will take me to England, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland. I come back home long enough to get my dry cleaning done, and then am off on a short US tour. I know one place I will be is Poisoned Pen, in Scottsdale, which is always one of my favourite stops on any tour.