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Never Look Away
 
 

Never Look Away [Kindle Edition]

Linwood Barclay
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (264 customer reviews)

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Amazon Review

There are several nightmares shared by parents, principally involving the disappearance of their children. It is, of course, the job of novelists who deal in suspense to utilise these fears, and that is precisely what Linwood Barclay does in Never Look Away, which is typically mesmerising fare from a writer who knows how to play readers like a musician plays an instrument. In the new book, journalist David Harwood takes his wife and baby son out for the day to a New York amusement park, but while he is buying ice cream, his wife runs to him in a panic and tells him that their child, Ethan, has disappeared. The distressed couple separates to look for their son. When Harwood gives chase to a man with a pushchair, he finds his son unharmed. But to his horror, he discovers that his wife has now disappeared. Harwood is deeply worried, for a variety of reasons -- his wife has been suffering from depression, and his fear is that she has taken some ill-advised -- and irrevocable -- action. But on investigation, it is discovered that surveillance cameras give no indication that she was ever in the rollercoaster park with her husband.

To some degree, the best crime novelists (and Linwood Barclay is certainly among their number) are well aware that most of the classic plots have been utilised again and again. Certainly, the sudden disappearance of a loved one, and a search for them in the face of suspicion and distrust (usually based on the fact that proof cannot be produced that the missing person was ever in a given place) is a particularly familiar plot; anyone who has seen the film (directed by Terence Fisher) So Long at the Fair will be familiar with it. But the real question is whether or not something fresh and dynamic can be done with such material, and Barclay admirers will not be surprised to learn that is precisely what he's done here. There are other elements involved (including a businessman working in private prisons who has been bribing local officials, as well as the fact that one of Harwood's wife’s colleagues at work has also vanished), and it is this juggling of a variety of elements that makes Never Look Away such a compelling experience. --Barry Forshaw

Review

Author Lindwood barclay just gets better. ... Tense and exciting with an excellent reading by Jeff Harding. (Kati Nicholl DAILY EXPRESS)

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1387 KB
  • Print Length: 425 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0752897446
  • Publisher: Orion (2 Sep 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0042JSN1S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (264 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #6,479 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Linwood Barclay is married with two children and lives near Toronto. He is the author of three acclaimed Zack Walker mysteries, a former columnist for the Toronto Star, and is the author of the Richard & Judy 2008 Summer Read winner and number one besteller, No Time For Goodbye.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
96 of 98 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripped me from start to finish 11 Mar 2010
By Julia Flyte TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
When I started reading this book, I kept having the feeling that I'd read it before. The basic plot - family member goes missing, everyone thinks the hero did it and he has to clear his name while realising that the family member had kept secrets from him - is hardly original, having been used by everyone from Linwood Barclay to Harlan Coben. Having said that, the plot does develop in its own unique way and it is maintains the reader's interest from start to finish.

It opens with a family outing to an amusement park. David's wife Jan has been depressed lately and he hopes that a fun day out will lift her spirits. But almost immediately, their four year old son Ethan goes missing. Ethan is found, but then Jan disappears. David goes to the police, but there is no record of her ever purchasing a ticket or even having entered the park. All the evidence suggests that David is lying about what happened and that he has murdered her.

Linwood Barclay is very good at building little twists into his books: dropping clues that you think mean its going one way, but then it goes another way. Every time I thought I knew what was going to happen, it would surprise me.

Unlike some of his other books, Barclay holds the story together until the end. Yes, the final couple of chapters are a little silly, and yes, by the end the plot has just got too far-fetched - but not so much that it spoils your enjoyment of the book.

This is the fourth Linwood Barclay book I've read and I felt it was his best yet.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Enjoyable Thriller 13 Oct 2010
By G. J. Oxley TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
On a visit to a local amusement park, Jan, David Harwood's wife of 5 years, goes missing and naturally he comes under close scrutiny by the local police.

That's basically it for the starting point and the author develops his plot, drawing a tight strand of suspicion around the husband for her disappearance/murder. It's very much a standard beginning for this kind of thriller, but Linwood Barclay does takes events in a not altogether expected direction.

For me, what prevents the book being close to a modern classic is he stops short of upping the suspense level to the point where you can hardly breathe as you read on. You're never entirely convinced that the police feel Harwood is really responsible. This is an essential component of the Hitchcockian thriller (yes, I know he made films rather than wrote books, but you take my point, I hope!). Having said that it is still a hundred miles an hour read and I raced through it in a day, finding it to be engrossing, well plotted and, ultimately, satisfying.

One large flaw, without giving too much away, is a major character is forced to live a lie for quite a few years and this didn't strike me as particularly believable. Still, the author isn't going for major realism here - it's pure enjoyable escapism.

I haven't read a single other reviewer's take on this book but I just KNOW that they're going to be drawing comparisons with Harlan Coben, because this novel definitely has his stamp on it: let's call it Coben-lite. Thing is, I found 'Never Look Away' to be preferable to quite a few of Harlan's thillers.

Why 'Surprisingly Enjoyable Thriller' for my title? Well, one of Barclay's previous three novels was a Richard & Judy Book Club selection.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Winner! 7 Sep 2010
By A. Lucas TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I couldn't wait for this book to come out, and had luckily finished reading another book the evening before this one arrived in the post. I knew I would be in for a sleepless night or two as once I pick up a Linwood Barclay book, I find it hard to put it down again!

This is another absolutely fantastic read - his books just get better and better. The twists and turns never fail to amaze - the characters are so well described that you find yourself really 'believing' in them and sharing their emotional journey.

I don't want to give any of the plot away, I'd hate to spoil it for anyone. I love this book - and now can't wait for Mr Barclay's next offering.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good indeed 13 Nov 2010
By Andy Edwards TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Linwood Barclay covers a similar territory to Harlan Coben, apparently normal suburban American lives, torn apart by events which they are at a loss to understand. But where Coben has become formulaic and repetitive, Barclay has consistently raised his game from his first thriller, No Time For Goodbye. In that novel, an interesting premise and taut writing was let down by a surprisingly mundane denouement.

That is not the case with Never Look Away. Although starting a little slowly, with the set up taking some time, once the real story kicks in things rattle along at pace, with various plot strands and red herrings appearing on almost every page. The small town American characters are believable and the circumstances credible, with only a couple of creaky elements. Still, ignore those and I defy anyone who is into the thriller genre not to enjoy this book.

Recommended
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rivetting Thriller - Highly Recommended 28 Oct 2010
By Scully Bloke VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have to say this is one of the best thriller books i have read in years. Extremely well written, it twists and turns all the way through. As a reader you do not know what will happen next, you can't even guess !!

David Harwood a journalist is investigating corruption of a private company planning to build a new prison. On his day off he takes his wife and son to a theme park. The son and his push chair disappear, then his wife disappears. Is it connected to his investigation ? is his wife dead ? No matter, David becomes the prime suspect.

Its an amazing novel to be read in one sitting. I thoroughly enjoyed it and heartily recommend it to every reader.
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