Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Tap on the Window by Linwood Barclay

I'm a nerd and I love to share my reader tales. Humor me for a minute (or you can just skip straight down to the review if you like). So, Linwood Barclay's No Time for Goodbye released in 2007 and one of our DPI speakers that year (likely the ladies from Random House) brought an arc with them as one of their on-hand examples. When I expressed an interest in the book after their talk, they were kind enough to pass it along to me. Which of course earned them a look at my dorky happy dance! I thought the book was fantastic. Just the right amount of keep you up all night suspense (something I quite enjoy although the staying up all night becomes more difficult as I get older). I'd compared him to Harlan Coben at the time and I still think it's an apt comparison - so if you read Coben and have yet to try Barclay, I urge you to do so.

Linwood Barclay's latest, A Tap on the Window, is due out on August 6. The book begins somewhat innocently enough with a girl catching a ride with the father of an old schoolmate, but we quickly learn that things aren't that simple.

It was a coincidence that PI Cal Weaver happened to be driving by when Claire Sanders needed a ride. Course he didn't know she was the mayor's daughter at the time. In fact, he never would have given her a ride in the first place if she hadn't mentioned his son. When the police come knocking the next day with questions, Cal knows something strange is going on. They say the girl has gone missing and Cal doesn't help his case by explaining the events of the previous night. If Cal can't figure this one out, he might soon find himself in hot water with the authorities. And in their little town, no one wants to cross the police.

I love how Library Journal calls Barclay "A master of domestic suspense." It's probably the best description of what Barclay does!

A Tap on the Window is a multi-layered and captivating read. As I mentioned, it starts simply enough but the simplicity is an illusion. Cal is mourning the loss of his son and desperate to find the person he holds responsible. His grief and his own investigation are the primary reasons he agrees to give Claire a ride. But she soon pulls a fast one on him under the guise of eluding someone she claims is following her. There are chapters narrated by a mysterious and unnamed person, there's the corrupt nature of the local police, and then there's Cal's connections to the police. The town is a virtual tinderbox just waiting to burst into flames with the police and their supporters on one side and the mayor and his supporters on the other. Cal and Claire are seemingly caught up in the middle with Barclay twisting the plot in ways I never saw coming!

Rating: 4/5


Jenn's Bookshelves said...

I reviewed this one today as well. Was a bit too long for me, still appreciated it as a longtime fan of Barclay's writing, though.

Becky LeJeune said...

I was kind of pleased with the length. You don't usually get thrillers this meaty - and it went by super quickly for me. Plus, last night was a truly awful insomnia night. Once I gave up on all hope of sleep, Barclay kept me company for a few hours while I finished the book :)

Anonymous said...

I am looking forward to this book so much! I just posted a comment on Jenn's Bookshelves and I guess I quoted something you said and didn't give you credit because I didn't remember who said it! Sorry about that, and yes, I do feel he reads just like a Harlan Coben novel. Thanks for sharing your take on this one.

Becky LeJeune said...

No worries, Rita. I think it's probably a comparison LOTS of people have used. You most likely saw it somewhere else before seeing me do it :)

Lori's Reading Corner said...

I'm about 1/3 of the way through and LOVING it. I'm hoping to make some serious progress later today/tonight.