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.