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2.0 out of 5 starsTerrible, improbable ending
Reviewed in Canada on December 4, 2017
before I bought this a read mixed reviews, but thought the author must not be bad as so many books in the collection. Another reviewer said this was the worse ending ever that ruined the book and I COMPLETELY agree. Completely improbable! The writing was ok and the mystery was slow to evolve but did pick up. It was an easy read I didn't mind and I did get hooked briefly, but then the events and the way characters reacted became increasingly ridiculous. Painful even. A story that read slowly as a Three star with potential to improve disolved into the stupidest plot reveal - with unbelievable character reaction and no redeeming heros I could get behind. Hated the last couple of chapters because it was so unnecessarily improbable. I won't give it away, but can't believe it got published.
5.0 out of 5 starsA real thriller -- you can't guess what will happen next!
Reviewed in Canada on April 7, 2015
Bought this book because Stephen King called Barclay a master of suspense. He was right. Barclay keeps you guessing in a way that few writers can accomplish. The writing is crisp and clean, and Barclay adds just enough humour to leaven the mix. I enjoyed this book so much I picked up No Safe House right away: it has a fascinating twist at the end. If I have one criticism it might be that in No Safe House, Barclay hangs on to his big surprises too long, and I felt like they all came at me at once. I felt the book would have had more momentum had the surprises been paced differently. But these are small details. Overall, I think Barclay is more than a cut above your average mystery writer. I had given up on the genre. Barclay has brought me back. I am definitely adding Barclay to my summer reading list!
Great book. I love Linwood Barclay. I've read most of his books. They're an easy read and keep you guessing till the end. They're real page-turners! I couldn't find this one either in the library or in local stores, so I had to go to Amazon (WoB) to finally find it and they didn't disappoint. Speedy shipping too. Thank you!
Go along for the roller coaster ride. You just get used to one level and another roller comes up. An interesting book by all means. The ending is one hell of a wallop - totally unexpected.One of her best books, by al means.
4.0 out of 5 starsA classic thriller where you don’t know who to believe
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 29, 2018
This thriller by Linwood Barclay had me sitting up late at night, reading just one more chapter, and one more. When Cynthia Bigge is fourteen, her parents and older brother disappear from the house, never to be seen again. No bodies are found, no signs of foul play. It is as if they just walked away. But if they weren’t murdered, why did they leave? Did they hate her so, to abandon her? Twenty five years later, Cynthia takes part in a television programme to publicize cold cases. She could never have imagined what would happen next. First, there is a mysterious letter. Then a phone call, an e-mail. Suggesting something is going to happen, hinting her family is still alive. Cynthia questions her own sanity, her husband [and the main part of the story is told from his point of view] questions it too, and their daughter Grace is seemingly untroubled except she looks through her telescope every night before bedtime to check there is no asteroid heading for earth to destroy their world. This is a classic thriller. Who to believe? Is Cynthia’s family dead or alive? Who is contacting her now, the murderer? Is Cynthia so stressed that she is fabricating things? As the clock ticks, the police seem suspicious and there are more deaths, until a clue, something so ordinary it has been overlooked, suggests the truth.
I brought this book on the recommendation of somebody as I was after a new 'author' to read. My usual authors are Lee Child, a bit of Stephen King, Harlan Coben, Robert Crais and others in a similar genre. This is a great book, the characters are well rounded and (for me at least) the mystery remained until almost the end and of all the possible outcomes, I didn't see this one coming at all. All of it is completely feasible - how many times have you read a book and thought 'that would never happen', I never felt like that with any of this book. I highly recommend this book.
The book has the enticing blurb that draws you to it. And it surpassed all my expectations. The book is narrated by Cynthia’s husband, Terry. He looks at the situation with no bias but has own fears with Cynthia. It is heart-wrenching to wake up to an empty house and your family gone! Poof!
The chapters unravel the life of Cynthia through Terry’s perspective. Things become weird when she receives notes, gifts, etc. around the 25th anniversary of their disappearance. Even though he has a mixed feeling about the whole incident, he investigates for the peace of their mind.
The ending took me by surprise and is very devilish. If you don’t have a copy of this book, you need to grab one immediately.
Loved this book and as usual with Linwood Barclay it’s difficult to predict how it will end. Its an unusual concept as the story jumps 25 years the story keeps developing so it keeps you guessing and changing your mind all the way through. It’s the second of his books I’ve read in succession and I never do that so it says a lot. I’ll be looking out for more of his in the future.
4.0 out of 5 starsHow can three people just vanish?
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 2, 2015
No Time For Goodbye is a mystery thriller about a girl whose family just vanishes whilst she's sleeping off a drunken evening spent with one of the town's bad boys.
Cynthia had to live with not knowing what happened to her mum, dad and brother for 25 years. When a local TV station decides to produce an anniversary program, strange things start to happen and Cynthia's life is thrown into disarray. It's down to Terry her husband and narrator of this story to keep a level head and help Cynthia find out what happened.
The story starts off at a steady pace but it's like there's a switch and suddenly you're zooming along with Terry with more and more jigsaw pieces falling into place.
This is the first Linwood Barclay book I've read and it won't be the last. It kept me guessing with all the twists and turns. Linwood Barclay is a fantastic storyteller; I'd recommend this to anyone who loves a good thriller!