Find You First by Linwood Barclay Review

Certain suspense writers have a knack for producing moreish popcorn thrillers, and Lindwood Barclay is one of those for me. Find You First is his latest, and in it, Barclay delivers his usual mix of textured characters, sharp writing, and edge-of-your-seat thrills.

When Miles Cookson (a slightly self-obsessed but essentially good-natured tech billionaire) is diagnosed with a (hereditary) terminal illness, he has (I think we can relate) a bit of a meltdown. He goes skydiving and considers not deploying his parachute before remembering that back in his strapped-for-cash days, he supplemented his income with donations to a sperm bank. Because he’s essentially a good guy, Miles pulls some strings (bribes the receptionist at the fertility clinic) and tracks down his progeny. After all, Huntington’s is hereditary (1 in 2 chance), and his fortune can provide care. Among other things. I mean, who wouldn’t want to inherit millions?

It doesn’t take long for Miles to track down (feisty and we love her) daughter Chloe Swanson. But the rest of his brood? From house fires to vanishing without a trace, it seems like someone’s making his kids disappear. Of course, disappear here (and this is not a spoiler) is a euphemism for kill.

Find You First effortlessly spins a web of dark secrets. With each twist, the net tightens. Each turn cranks up intrigue and pace. Barclay has a way with characters — making you like them as easily as he has you despise them — and not one player is part of the plot without reason. Somehow all strands are connected, tying together into a deliciously disturbing whole with at least one unexpected twist.

Book: Find You First
Published: HQ
Pages: 503
Publication Date: February 2021
Stars: 4/5

Jonathan Ball Publishers kindly sent me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion, rating, or the content of my review.


  1. I\I love Linwood Barclay books but did not think this was up to his usual standard. I struggled with this book. Boring. And the whole concept of hereditary disease and sperm bank and of rich arrogant men trying to make good … or not,
    I had to finish it to see if I was enlightened but was disappointed right to the last page. it came to abrupt and unsatisfying and ridiculous ending. I felt like the publisher was putting pressure on Linwood to wrap it up.

    Liked by 1 person

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