I wasn't a big fan of Linwood Barclay's previous novel, Elevator Pitch. While I did feel the novel was well-written, I found the story to be ridiculous. I am sometimes onboard for ridiculous plot devices. I am a horror fan after all. But I didn't think the writing was strong enough to overcome Elevator Pitch's glaring shortcomings.

However, Barclay generated decent suspense in Elevator Pitch, and he obviously knows how to craft a suspense novel. So I didn't hate the book. I felt he was worth another chance.

Find You First concerns a wealthy man who learns that he is dying from a terrible illness. Not only will be perish fairly soon, the condition is hereditary. Years beforehand in his lean years the man sold his seed to a fertility clinic. Now he intends to find the recipients and warn them of the potential danger. He also plans to make them beneficiaries in his will.

The search for his offspring triggers a landslide of events, up to and including deception, kidnapping, and murder.

I was really enjoying Find You First for the first 90% of the book, but Barclay's high-concept finish is ridiculously over-the-top and laughable. Like Elevator Pitch, it would fit in well to a typically brain dead Hollywood movie. There are a couple of whopper coincidences that defy credibility too.

Linwood Barclay is so good at pacing and characters. He just needs to tone things down. A lot. Obviously a lot of people disagree, but I was ready to give Find You First a solid nine on my 1-10 scale, but after the rampant stupidity of the conclusion, it went down to a six or maybe a generous seven.

I may try him again in the future. Hopefully he will learn a few things about the power of restraint.

Written by Mark Sieber

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