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No Time For Goodbye [Hardcover]

Linwood Barclay
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (425 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 Jan 2008

On the morning she will never forget, suburban teenager Cynthia Archer awakes with a nasty hangover and a feeling she is going to have an even nastier confrontation with her mom and dad. She isn't. Instead, the house is empty, with no sign of her parents or younger brother Todd. At first she just thinks it's weird, then more and more scary, until finally the terrifying reality hits her: in the blink of an eye, without any explanation, her family has simply disappeared.

Twenty-five years later the mystery is no nearer to being solved and Cynthia is still haunted by unanswered questions. Were her family murdered? If so, why was she spared? And if they're alive, why did they abandon her in such a cruel way?

Now married with a daughter of her own, Cynthia knows that without answers - however shocking they might prove to be - she will never be emotionally or psychologically whole, living in daily fear that her new family will be taken from her just as her first one was. And so she agrees to take part in a TV documentary revisiting the case, in the hope that somebody somewhere will remember something - or even that her father, mother or brother might finally reach out to her...

First nothing. Then just a few crackpots and scam artists coming out of the woodwork. And then the letter, a letter which makes no sense and yet chills Cynthia to the core. And soon she begins to realise that stirring up the past could be the worst mistake she has ever made...

Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (3 Jan 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752888609
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752888606
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (425 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 105,261 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Product Description


In a world of staggering choice when it comes to your reading material, this chilling little book sits right at the top of the genre - anyone not riveted by this tale and the emotional punch it carries must be made of stone, because despite its dark premise, it has real heart. I loved it. (Ali Karim SHOTS)

Barclay succeeds in both banging the gong and serving up a riveting, rewarding and, for the most part, plausible three courses, though you may need to take a deep breath somewhere around the coffee stage. (Laura Wilson GUARDIAN)

...he has introduced some twists and produced a genuinely mystifying puzzle with tense moments. (Susanna Yager SUNDAY TELEGRAPH)

Nerve-wracking until the very end. (THE HERALD)

Barclay manages the twists and turns of the story effectively (John Williams MAIL ON SUNDAY)

A thoughtful study of relationship paranoia and an engrossing whodunnit. (ESQUIRE)

This is the thriller equivalent of shooting down a sheet of ice clinging to a bobsleigh as it slews round tricky corners and hurtles to a climax. (Alex Gordon PETERBOROUGH EVENING TELEGRAPH)

One of the top delights in book reviewing is discovering a gem; a book that pushes the bar just a little higher, and that is exactly what NO TIME FOR GOODBYE does. (Ali Karim DEADLY PLEASURES)

NO TIME FOR GOODBYE clops along at a good lick... Barclay juggles the flashbacks neatly alongside the fast-moving present-day action... Barclay is undoubtedly a writer to watch. (Sharon Wheeler REVIEWINGTHEEVIDENCE.COM)

...impossible to put down. (CRIMESQUAD.COM)

With NO TIME FOR GOODBYE, Linwood Barclay is now firmly in the major league of thriller writers. (Robert Colbeck Yorkshire Evening Post)

A terrific page-turner that keeps you in suspense until the very end. If you like Harlan Coben, you'll love Linwood Barclay (Peter Robinson)

One of the best thrillers of the year! Utterly riveting, it will grab you on page one and won't let you go until the final, stunning conclusion (Tess Gerritsen)

No Time for Goodbye just flies off the page. It's a one-sit thriller. You sit down with this book and you won't get up until you've turned the last page (Michael Connelly)

No Time for Goodbye is a high-speed emotional roller-coaster. The surprises will leave you breathless (Robert Crais)

A turbo-charged, non-stop thriller that got me with every twist and turn. Linwood Barclay has written a mesmerizing, addictive page-turner that I just couldn't put down. It's one of the best suspense novels I've read in years (Joseph Finder)

Book Description

What could be worse than losing your entire family in a single night? Twenty-five years later, Cynthia Archer is about to find out, in a lightning-paced psychological thriller of secrets, lies and obsessive love

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Runs like clockwork 10 July 2010
When Cynthia is fourteen, her parents and brother disappear. Twenty five years later and Cynthia is married with a daughter, but still haunted by the loss of her family. She agrees to take part in a television re-enactment of the night they vanished from the house, while Cynthia slept and this sets in chain a series of events which will eventually explain why they left without even saying goodbye.

It's a good premise, if a bit farfetched, depending like most of these stories, on a police force who are inept to the point of finding the tying of shoelaces a challenge. That said, Linwood Barclay knows how to spin the yarn - hints and red herrings are placed at the correct intervals along the trail, the writing is unfussy if uninspired and cliff hangers are built into every chapter ending, to keep the pages turning.

I liked it in the way I like watching an ingenious mechanical device - for the sheer enjoyment of seeing how the parts fit together. This is more a piece of clockwork than a work of fiction with the result that at no point did I believe in Cynthia, her husband, her cutely precocious daughter or the story behind her family's disappearance. They moved around the stage and I pretended I couldn't see the strings. If that's how you like your fiction, you will enjoy this too.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ending ruined a very promising book. 26 Aug 2009
I picked up this book after being intrigued by the premise. what started off as a very clever novel suddenly seems to come to a grinding halt about 100 pages from the end when Linwood Barclay explains the entire mystery in one huge clump of a chapter. The pace for the first half of this book was brilliant which i would have given 5 stars but it feels like the author just got bored and decided to splurt out the not particularly clever conclusion as if he were racing to the finish.

wish i had stopped reading and let my imagination run wild with the possibilities of what had happened to Cynthia's family but unfortunately i didn't.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars disappointing 14 Feb 2008
By Dr. Robert A. Josey VINE VOICE
Enjoyed the first two thirds of this book - convinced it might be leading up to some great plot twists. But this is no Thomas H. Cook.

I skip read the last 50 pages too. It would make quite a good movie - if sharply edited - but yet another dismally over-hyped disappointing modern thriller. If you want a great family mystery thriller try Ross MacDonald - the master of the genre.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A book of two halves 7 Oct 2009
While this is not the genre I usually read, I picked this book as a light holiday read. The first half sucked me in. A tense, believable psychological drama. The major plot was well thought out - what appears to be an insoluble mystery becomes a cleverly explained domestic tragedy. However as the book moves into the second half, credibility flies out of the window. The mild-mannered husband becomes some sort of super hero as the body count rises and the caricatures become more exaggerated. Overall, an entertaining read, though it's a pity the subtle but credible tension that builds initially could not be maintained.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good thrilling read 12 Oct 2008
This book grabbed me from the word go. The easy and quick pace throws you straight into the story and takes you on a roller coaster ride to the end. Nearly every chapter leaves you wanting to know what happens next. A good thriller from start to finish.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking read! 26 Jun 2011
By Fat Cat
I really enjoyed this book which I found hard to put down. Its the kind of book that keeps you guessing and I enjoyed this aspect, a bit like watching a two parter on tv - seeing the first part then trying to fathom what is going to happen next / how its going to end in the second part.

I'm surprised at the poor reviews for this book - I thought it was well written and flowed well. No book is perfect but the ending was credible and not a let down. This is an author to add to your wish list.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 31 Jan 2008
By Cam
I don't normally read crime thrillers but I read a newspaper review and thuoght I'd at least try reading this particular book. As the other reviewers say it's captivating and the pace and style of writing is excellent. It has inspired me to read more this type of genre that I didn't used to read.
I can only hope this author is encouraged to writes some more novels.I'll be buying them!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars WARNING - Spoilers included!! 20 Jan 2012
Firstly, the premise for the plot is immidiately intriguing and grabbing. Imagine yourself back to being a teenager. One night you're out doing your usual teenage thing - drinking & making out with the older "bad boy" (granted, this scenario mainly applies to females) and then your father catches you, drags you home and an almighty row ensues. You scream at your parents "I wish you were dead!" before you stomp up to bed. What teenage girl doesn't have a similar version of this in her past?

When you wake up the next morning, groggy & hungover, they're all gone. Vanished off the face of the earth - apparently.

As with many of the other reviewers, I thought Barclay built the initial tension superbly. Where are they? Why are they gone? What happened that night? I do feel he could have dealt with the psychological trauma more thoroughly - expanded a little more on her guilt, etc - but overall the effect of what this night had on the main character's life is nicely portrayed through her paranoia and overprotection of her young daughter. (I also agree with the reviewer that 8 is too young to walk to school alone, however) Thing is, Harlan Coben utilises almost identical plot scenarios and somehow his characters are just more believable. Their thoughts and feelings are a lot more believable.

Then begin my problems with the story. Why is it told through the husband's eyes? I know, an objective perspective, but at first, it's a little jarring. I also agree with the reviewer that said he seems to suddenly turn into a superhero. It's not his mystery to solve! Let the woman be her own hero! Of course, it's also a woman police officer that's assigned to the case, so obviously it falls to him, the man, to solve everything. Please!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent thriller!
Excellent book - I've got Linwood Barclay fever now! I love a good thriller and this one keeps you guessing, and second guessing all the way through. Can't put down book!
Published 4 days ago by B. Knee
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great condition!
Published 8 days ago by Helen Luke
4.0 out of 5 stars a really good read.
This book got me on the first page.a really good read.
Published 10 days ago by Lynny
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Great read. I knew what happened, then I didn't, then I did, then it ended a different way!
Published 10 days ago by Thersa
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun read
A fun read. Predictable but that doesn't take away from the desire to turn the pages. Interesting if stereotypical characters. Read more
Published 26 days ago by Maria Fleming
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant thriller. I've started reading other books by this author and they do not disappoint either.
Published 27 days ago by mr john francis
4.0 out of 5 stars A page turner
Some heart in mouth moments. What.'s going to happen next? Will this ever be resolved? I read all the way to the end and found out.
Published 1 month ago by tropical bird
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reading
really enjoyed this book . couldn't put it down . kept me guessing all the way through . would highly recommend
Published 1 month ago by jill craig
5.0 out of 5 stars Another brilliant tale from the author!
This is the third book I've read from this author and it was every bit as good as the last ones.

As usual the tale is fast paced and there is always something going on... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars you will not put this book down!!!
linwood barclay is an excellent writer, but in my opinion this is him at his absolute best.

Page turner does not begin to describe how gripping this book is - and it... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jemma Hamilton
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