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Find You First by Linwood Barclay

Reviewed by Jim Napier

Todd Coe is a personable young con man. His modus operandi is to call elderly pensioners, glean enough information to plausibly impersonate their grandson, and persuade them to part with a chunk of their life savings to help him out of a jam. Usually, he’s pretty good at his job.

But today is not his lucky day.

Just as he is making a call on a burner phone from his trailer, Todd hears a knock on the door. Identifying themselves as police detectives, two persons enter and begin to question him. Before long, Todd is dead.

Cut to three weeks earlier. Forty-four-year-old Miles Cookson has had a life-changing day as well. Told by his doctor that he has a non-treatable and fatal genetic disease, he is advised to use part of the time he has left to put his affairs in order. Miles resolves to do this, and before long gets some equally life-altering news: sperm donations he made in his youth have resulted in nine offspring.

Miles has done well in life. A tech-savvy billionaire, he decides to track down his children and leave them at least a sizable portion of his wealth. But as he begins to do so, he learns that several of them are either dead or disappearing. It becomes, for the ill-fated benefactor, a race against time.

What he doesn’t know is that someone else is trying to track down the very same people, and for a very different purpose.

Think Bill Gates meets Jeffrey Epstein. In Find You First, Canadian author Linwood Barclay has fashioned an original and gripping tale of good versus evil. But it is not a classic story in which readers can expect that in the end, good will prevail. For evil, in this case, has the face of a sociopath with virtually unlimited means at his disposal, and no shortage of enablers to do his bidding. Find You First has rapidly climbed to the very top of the New York Times Bestsellers list, and for very good reason: it is a dark and compelling story, exquisitely told, and frighteningly apropos for our sometimes twisted times.

Find You First by Linwood Barclay is published by William Morrow and Company (an imprint of HarperCollins).


In addition to being a reviewer with over six hundred reviews to his credit, Jim Napier is the acclaimed author of Legacy and Ridley’s War, in the Colin McDermott mystery series.


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