Saturday, August 16, 2014


No Safe HouseNo Safe House by Linwood Barclay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sometimes you read a book you like but aren't inclined to read others by the same author. It was the particular story or setting  or characters that attracted you.

Sometimes you read a book and can't wait to get your hands on the next story that the author writes.

That's how it is for me with Linwood Barclay. I've read or listened to a half dozen of his books and all of them have delivered the goods. His mind works in devious ways that are absolutely delightful in a thriller!

Since I couldn't track down a preview copy of No Safe House, I actually pre-ordered it for my Kindle so I could read it as soon as it was released. Even having read the prequel No Time for Goodbye a while ago, I needn't have worried that I might not be up to speed. Barclay is a master at making sure the reader knows exactly what she/he should be aware of and makes sure the reader doesn't know the rest until the appropriate time.

In No Time for Goodbye, 14 year-old Cynthia awakes to find her entire family gone.  Twenty-five years later, with her husband Terry and young daughter Grace, she agrees to a TV documentary that will reopen the case. The aftermath is terrifying.

It's seven years later in No Safe House and we find the family still coping with issues that are causing problems. Cynthia decides to live apart from Terry and Grace while she struggles with her demons. Grace is hanging out with a young man who convinces her to so something illegal and we are off and running.

Barclay tells his tale in alternating chapters using Terry's voice in the first person followed by third person narrative about what's going on elsewhere. Sometimes the timing overlaps, which is a neat trick to pull off so successfully.

Barclay has been referred to as the 'King of the Suburban' thriller. His characters' lives don't seem much different from ours before unexpected things start happening. The good guys sometimes make questionable decisions and the bad guys sometimes do the right things.

There is  a lot of suspense and threat in his stories but Barclay seems to have a great feel for just how much violent description the reader actually wants or needs.

Some reviewers have found fault with the story for being a stretch. I haven't read a thriller yet that wasn't. A little suspension of disbelief is what makes the story such a roller-coaster ride. It's just plain fun. Can I confess that I actually cried at one point?


Title: No Safe House
Author: Linwood Barclay
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: NAL Hardcover
No. of Pages: 464 pages
ISBN: 0451414209
Copyright: August 5, 2014
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Amazon

Bestselling author Linwood Barclay was born in the United States but moved to Canada just before turning four years old when his father's job took the family across the border.

Linwood obtained an Honors B.A. in English at Trent University, in Peterborough, Ontario.

Initially he began working for a number of local newspapers, eventually landing a job at the Toronto Star in 1981. His break came with No Time for Goodbye in 2007. It became a runaway bestseller in the U.K. selling a million copies there and elsewhere.

1 comment:

  1. I should know by now to never start reading a Linwood Barclay novel until my "to-do" list is at least in single digits. I can't stop reading long enough to do anything else.
    Linwood Barclay's stories are a must-read for aspiring authors who want to learn from a master.