Linwood Barclay

Too Close to Home

".. a good mix of suspense and humour..."


Promise Falls simply isn't the kind of community where a family is shot to death in their own home. But that is exactly what happened to the Langleys one sweltering summer night, and no one in this small upstate New York town is more shocked than their next-door neighbours, Jim and Ellen Cutter. They visited for the occasional barbecue and their son, Derek, was friendly with the Langleys' boy, Adam. But how well did they really know their neighbours?

That's the question Jim Cutter is asking, and the answers he's getting aren't reassuring. Albert Langley was a successful, well-respected criminal lawyer, but was he so good at getting criminals off that he was the victim of a revenge killing - a debt his innocent family also paid in blood? From the town's criminally corrupt mayor to the tragic suicide of a talented student a decade before, Promise Falls has more than its fair share of secrets. And Jim Cutter, failed artist turned landscaper, need look no further than his own home and his wife Ellen's past to know that things aren't always what they seem. However, not even Jim and Ellen are ready to know that their son was in the Langley house the night the family was murdered.

Suddenly the Cutters must face the unthinkable: that a murderer isn't just stalking too close to home but is inside it already. For the Langleys weren't the first to die and they won't be the last...

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The main plot with the idea of the wrong family being killed really enticed me to read this book. The lead character, Jim Cutter, is a likeable enough man, although I wasn't too keen on his wife, Ellen. The plot had two main threads and plenty of red herrings and twists. And it is not until much later on that the reader can work out who the killer is and why they are committing these crimes. There are a number of other characters in this book, most of who are very well written to enable to reader to either feel empathy or dislike towards them. Despite being very eager to read this book after reading the synopsis, I was left a little disappointed with the ending as I was expecting a rather more complex or exciting motive. However, on the whole, the book was excellently written and a good mix of suspense and humour and I thoroughly enjoyed Barclay's most recent book which comes highly recommended.

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