Source: Review copy
Publication: 4th February 2021 from HQ
My thanks to the publisher for an advance copy for review
One will change your life.
One will end it.
Who will … FIND YOU FIRST?
It’s a deadly race against time…
Tech billionaire Miles has more money than he can ever spend, and everything he could dream of – except time. Now facing a terminal illness, Miles knows he must seize every minute to put his life in order. And that means taking a long hard look at his past.
Somewhere out there, Miles has children. And they might be about to inherit both the good and bad from him – possibly his fortune, or possibly something more sinister.
So Miles decides to track down his missing children. But a vicious killer is one step ahead of him. One by one, people are vanishing. Not just disappearing, every trace of them is wiped.
Lockdown is a funny old thing and it certainly has an impact on my reading. I find that sometimes I crave an easy, fast, entertaining read that’s going to lift me out of my all-too-familiar surroundings and whisk me away somewhere else. Delightfully, Linwood Barclay’s Find You First does all that in spades.
So where have I been whisked away to? Pleasingly, I am in the world of billionaires, glass and chrome buildings, high tech houses and the foibles of the monied. Miles Cookson made his fortune from the apps that grace every smart phone in America. He has more money that he can keep track of and though he is single, he is content to devote his energy to his company. Until that is, he receives unwelcome news that causes him to re-evaluate his priorities.
Miles employs his brother, Gilbert as a trusted colleague and family member, but he is less keen on Gilbert’s wife, Caroline, a woman he finds to be both greedy and manipulative. As Miles looks back to a time when, in need of funds, he took steps to make money by selling his sperm, he determines that he will seek out those who carry his genes and make sure he looks after them.
But however determined Miles is to find the fruit of his loins, someone is equally determined that he will not do so, and thus young people start disappearing just as Miles tracks them down. All except Chloe, a 22 year old waitress and would-be documentary maker who has been documenting her family history and who has already submitted her DNA to a family tracing site. Through this site she discovers she has a half–brother, Todd whom she visits in his trailer. When Miles finds Chloe and explains who he is, they go together to find Todd, only to find the Todd gone and the trailer completely empty of any of his belongings and reeking of bleach. As others disappear or turn up dead, it is obvious that something very nasty is going on. Chloe and Miles start to bond and soon they are in a race against time to track down the perpetrators of these disappearances.
Barclay weaves a well-plotted, fast paced rollercoaster-ride of a tale. He draws great characters it is easy to warm to and his villains are excellent too. He manages to get quite a bit of depth into his characters by creating light and shade and imbuing them with some interesting moral quandaries, so that, although this is sheer glorious, fantastic escapism, you are still drawn to and fascinated by those characters – though his villains are very clearly wrong ‘uns.
On form here with a plot that changes course in a series of captivating sharp twists and turns, Barclay creates great tension and surprise through unexpected and sometimes eye watering plot moments. Find You First held me in its grip and did not let go until it had squeezed the last drop of enjoyment from me.
Verdict: There’s a lot to be said for rip-roaring escapist entertainment right now and Linwood Barclay is a master of his art in this regard. Find You First is pure entertainment and all the better for it. It swept me up, carried me along and took my mind off the world as I read it. Just what the doctor ordered. A great read.
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Linwood Barclay is an international bestselling crime and thriller author with over twenty critically acclaimed novels to his name, including the phenomenal number one bestseller No Time For Goodbye. Every Linwood Barclay book is a masterclass in characterisation, plot and the killer twist, and with sales of over 7 million copies globally, his books have been sold in more than 39 countries around the world and he can count Stephen King, Shari Lapena and Peter James among his many fans.
Many of his books have been optioned for film and TV, and Linwood wrote the screenplay for the film based on his bestselling novel Never Saw It Coming. He is currently working with eOne to turn the Promise Falls trilogy into a series. Born in the US, his parents moved to Canada just as he was turning four, and he’s lived there ever since. He lives in Toronto with his wife, Neetha. They have two grown children.