Linwood Barclay

No Safe House

"..Linwood Barclay can tell a cracking good story.."


Seven years ago, Terry Archer and his family experienced a horrific ordeal which nearly cost them their lives. Today, the echoes of that fateful night are still audible. Terry's wife, Cynthia, is living separate from her husband and daughter after her own personal demons threatened to ruin her relationship with them permanently. Their daughter, Grace, is rebelling against her parents' seemingly needless overprotection. Terry is just trying to keep his family together. And the entire town is reeling from the senseless murder of two elderly locals.

But when Grace foolishly follows her delinquent boyfriend into a strange house, the Archers must do more than stay together. They must stay alive: because now they have all been unwillingly drawn into the shadowy depths of their seemingly idyllic hometown.

They will be reconnected with the man who saved their lives seven years ago, but who still remains a ruthless, unrepentant criminal. They will encounter killers for hire working all sides. And they will learn that there are some things people value much more than money, and will do anything to get it.

Caught in a labyrinth between family loyalty and ultimate betrayal, Terry must find a way to extricate his family from a lethal situation he still doesn't fully comprehend. All he knows is that to live, he may have to do the unthinkable.

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Following on from 'No Time For Goodbye' published in 2008, characters Cynthia, Terry and their daughter Grace return. The first book was a real page turner and saw Barclay at his best. I felt Barclay was so determined to use these characters again that he was clutching at straws with the plot. Cynthia's past seems to determine her current controlling behaviour of her daughter which after a while becomes somewhat tiring. She is a controlling, tiresome person who elicits very little sympathy. Cynthia and Terry somehow get drawn into a ring of criminal activity through the unwitting actions of their daughter. There is a large cast of characters, so large that at times it is easy to get lost and I had to re-read parts to remind myself as to who fitted in where. There is a pivotal piece of information that is not revealed until the end, which is so circumstantial and also very unreliable, that to write a story around it felt very weak and ruined the book for me. For all its faults, Linwood Barclay can tell a cracking good story, and can make you turn those pages at full pelt! Sadly, 'No Safe House' is not up there with his best.

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