Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Enjoying A Newfound Thrill

Book Review

No Time For Goodbye
by Linwood Barclay

Linwood Barclay--and particularly his 2008 thriller, No Time For Goodbye--was recommended to me based on my penchant for Harlan Coben, a best-selling writer of thrillers in a similar vein. In fact, Coben's "Caught" was the last book I read & reviewed, and this made for a good follow-up.

It certainly fit the bill of a captivating page-turner, as I got through it in a few days and couldn't readily put it down once I got about 200 pages in. The comparisons to Coben, whose entire oeuvre I've devoured, are certainly apt, as No Time For Goodbye concerns itself with a family crisis akin to many of Coben's stories.

I can't speak too much about Barclay based on one book, but rather than revolving around international espionage or more worldly matters, Coben's thrillers deal much more with individual dramas and things like missing family members. Which matches the plotline Barclay develops here, regarding a woman who is still trying to figure out why her parents and brothers disappeared one night 25 years ago, never to be heard from again nor found dead.

Though it took awhile to really start percolating and wasn't quite as good as much of Coben's best work--Barclay doesn't seem to have the same wit nor Coben's sly knack for beyond-the-story societal insights--No Time For Goodbye involves an intriguing mystery with many twists and once it gets going, it spellbinds like a top-notch thriller should.

I don't yet perceive that Barclay is a writer who I will be inspired to explore in sum, like Coben and Lee Child, but I won't hesitate to check out something else by him next time I'm looking for a cheap thrill. And I fully recommend No Time For Goodbye to anyone looking for a good summer thriller.


Speaking of cheap thrills, this weekend I intend to buy a few second-hand page turners at the Little City Used Book Sale, taking place in the parking lot at Old Orchard shopping mall. The sale is there all week, but the last weekend offers the best bargains (albeit with the most depleted selection). A great cause and a chance to pick up some good reads for next to nothing.

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