New York City is always an interesting setting for a novel, but she really takes the lead in this one. Being one of the few truly vertical cities in the United States, it is the perfect setting for a story about runaway elevators. The novel begins with four people plummeting to their death in a Manhattan office building. What seems like a terrible but random accident takes on a new life when more elevator accidents follow. Barclay allows us to get to know the victims before their accidents, which makes their deaths all the more tragic. We also get to know the detectives working on the case, the reporter following the case and the politicians who are involved every step of the way.
The mayor is put in a no win situation. If he takes a wait and see attitude and more elevators fall, how many deaths will be on his hands? On the other hand, if he decides to shut down every elevator in the city, how will the people survive? Commerce will come to a halt, people will be stuck in their apartments or exhaust themselves climbing up and down the stairs.
While none of the characters are major protagonists, Barclay has gotten his readers invested in many different lives as terrorism takes over the city. We even spend some time with the leader of a right wing group known as the Flyovers who is in town with his wife as they celebrate their anniversary. It is obvious that he is a terrorist, but not as clear is his possible involvement with the elevators.
Barclay has always been one of my favorite authors, and this book is a clear example as to why I anxiously await his newest novels each year.
Publisher - William Morrow
Date of Publication - September 17, 2019