Tag Archives: Linwood Barclay

A Tap On The Window

A Tap On The Windowby Linwood Barclay

There is no denying that Linwood Barclay can write a good thriller. This is the fifth of his books I have read and each one has proven to be a gripping and exciting read. 

There is a sort of formula to his work which I find offers a reliability I find comforting. 

In this story, private investigator Cal Weaver finds himself drawn into a tangled web of deceit, murder and secrets, hidden beneath the thin veneer of the town’s respectability. It all begins when he receives a tap on the window of his car one wet evening. Against his better judgement Cal offers the bedraggled teenage girl a lift home and what follows leaves both of them running for their lives. 

When the girl goes missing Cal finds himself a suspect and going up against a police force that has become renowned for its disregard of procedure and rights. But this is not Cal’s only problem. The recent death of his teenage son has left his marriage on the rocks and his own state of mind in question.

From the very beginning, A Tap On The Window kept me hooked. The story is littered with clues. some of which were more obvious to me than they were poor old Cal who really should have seen what was happening much sooner.

As far as I am concerned, this book just confirms Linwood Barclay’s reputation. 




No Safe House

by Linwood Barclay

No Safe HouseIt is seven years since the events of “No Time For Goodbye”, when Cynthia Archer came to face to face with her past, triggering a series of events that almost cost her the lives of her family. Although the family have managed to rebuild their lives, Cynthia finds it almost impossible to give her fourteen year old daughter Grace the freedom she craves.

But when Grace and her new boyfriend break into a strange house, she finds herself at the centre of a chain of events that once again threaten the lives of the family.

On the face of it, the Archer’s are just an average, all American family, but looks can be deceptive. Circumstances conspire to put them at the centre of another mystery, but this time the body count is starting to get seriously worrying.

We all like to feel that we are safe in our own homes. It is our sanctuary from the violence and traumas of the world outside, our refuge. In “No Safe House”, that sanctity is violated, but in an unusual way.

From its violent opening chapter, “No Safe House” keeps up the pace, and the body count, until it’s unexpected and equally violent conclusion. The book is everything you would expect from Linwood Barclay. I did question why he brought back the Archer family, but once you get into the story it makes sense as their backstory makes them the right kind of family to face this particular ordeal.

I do enjoy Linwood Barclay’s books. His stories are centred around people who on the face of it are nothing special, just ordinary people who find themselves in extraordinary situations. I suppose part of the attraction of his stories is the feeling that these things could happen to any of us. Although, I sincerely hope not.

Like all his previous books, this is a well structured story that keeps you gripped right from the very beginning. It has pace, great characters and just enough twists to keep you guessing without getting lost.

The only thing I will say is that I am seeing a pattern in his books, something that has put me off other writers in the past.

For anyone who has not read his work before, I would recommend at least reading “No Time For Goodbye” just so you get the background to the family. 

No Time For Goodbye

by Linwood Barclay

No Time For GoodbyeI have read a couple of Barclay’s books before and have enjoyed them all. He is a great storyteller who knows how to keep his readers interested and guessing right to the end, or almost!

When fourteen-year-old Cynthia Bigge wakes from a drunken night out with her boyfriend, she finds herself alone – very alone. The rest of her family, mum, dad and little brother, have all disappeared without trace. No note, no sign of a struggle, and with clues, her family’s disappearance remains a mystery.

Now, after 24 years, Cynthia (now Archer), takes part in a TV programme that kick starts a series of events that put both herself and her family in danger, but ultimately look set to answer some, if not all of Cynthia’s questions about that fateful night.

Written with Barlcay’s usual pace, “No Time For Goodbye” is an exciting thriller. Like his other books, it does give the reader enough clues to put the picture together themselves, but not everything. Even though I had worked out the who did what and when, I didn’t get the whole picture until the very end. Tantalising, gripping and a compelling read.

Linwood Barlcay is proving to be a reliable and exciting author whose books I would recommend to anyone who enjoys a thriller or crime novel. 

Great stuff. Ten out of Ten.

Fear The Worst

Fear The Worstby Linwood Barclay

The story starts with a father and his teenage daughter arguing over breakfast, a common enough event in any household. But when Tim Blake’s daughter doesn’t return home after work, it becomes clear that this is no ordinary day. Staff at the hotel where she has been working say they have never heard of Sydney, and there is no trace or clue as to where she has gone or why.

With the police seemingly making only a token investigation, Tim takes it upon himself to find his daughter. But he is now the only one looking for her and he soon finds his own life in danger.

His life is threatened, his home broken into and he even finds himself on the run from the police as his investigation leads him closer to finding his daughter. Linwood Barclay once again takes the reader in a rollercoaster ride. Although I had my suspicions about a couple of the characters, I did not anticipate the ending at all. As with most first-person narratives, the reader only sees as much as the character, so you don’t see what outsiders might and you never get a real insight into other characters in the book. There are occasions when I found myself wanting to shout at our hero, pointing out he was about to do something exceptionally stupid. 

In all it was an engrossing read that I could not put down. The pace is relentless and I had total sympathy with the father. Having a young daughter myself I found it easy to put myself in the father’s shoes as he felt his life begin to unravel. 

“Fear the Worst” is Linwood’s third novel. I now need to get my hands on “No Time For Goodbye”. He is a talented storyteller and someone whos work I will recommend to anyone with an interest in crime thrillers.

Too Close to Home

Too Close to Homeby Linwood Barclay

Linwood Barclay is new to me but I very quickly began to see why so many people rate him so highly. Too Close To Home is the story of a seemingly average family being torn apart as the secrets they have hidden from each other come rushing to the surface. 

It is bad enough to find that your neighbours have been murdered, but when it dawns on the Cutter family that they may have been the intended victims, things begin to get much worse. 

There are ample twists and dead-ends before the truth begins to take shape and with plenty of pace and some tense moments, Lindsay Barclay tells a good tale. It kept me gripped from the very beginning and left me guessing until almost the end. I did kind of work it out towards the end, but had missed a couple of clues along the way.

A really good book. A worthy summer read.