A Book Review: A Tap on the Window


If you’ve been following me for multiple posts now, you may well have read my Book Wish List in which I mentioned one book I had technically already bought; that book was “A Tap on the Window” by Linwood Barclay.

When Cal Weaver stops at a red light, he ignores the bedraggled-looking teenage girl trying to hitch a ride. But as soon as he realises she’s one of his son’s classmates, he knows he can’t really leave her, alone, on the street. But nothing prepares him for the consequences of trying to help her out. The next morning he’s gone from Good Samaritan to Murder Suspect. He’s suddenly at the centre of a deadly puzzle.

Well, well, well!

As I’ve mentioned before, murder/thriller/crime type books are my sort of a genre! I love trying to figure it all out, and I love a good story with a twist in the plot. This book was one of those that I was invested in straight away. The main characters, Cal and his wife Donna, have a sad story but it doesn’t make them those unlikeable characters that just seem soppy or un-relatable – they’re real people who are just going through hard times. What I love about Cal is that, whilst he is a private investigator, he’s not one of those that seem tacky or ‘staged’, and you don’t find yourself internally screaming “why would you do that?!” at his actions. He’s not outlandish or over-the-top, and you can understand his motivations, so as a main character he is likeable! I know I might be going on about it, but for me, if you’re constantly at battle with the feature character then I find I can’t fully invest in their story.

“A Tap on the Window” is basically the story of Cal Weaver trying to find out what has happened to Claire, the girl he picked up at that red light after she goes missing and he becomes the main suspect since he was the last one to see her. Its set in a town in which every person has a little ‘something’ about them – no one seems quite so genuine. This even applies to the local police who are not above taking outsiders to their boarders, knocking a few teeth out and telling them never to come back, as well as constantly harassing teens for no apparent reason.

The main story is cut with italicised chapters that are a sort of sub-plot line centred around ‘the man’, ‘the woman’ and ‘the son’. Initially it seems these chapters are completely irrelevant – I thought maybe it was a story that Weaver was writing – but eventually it all starts coming together until the plot lines mingle and the characters names are revealed, and it really does take an exciting turn! Whilst there is resolution to this story, it is a sad one, and I found myself having a little cry (though I cry at everything so I wouldn’t base your experience on mine!), and whilst trying not to spoil anything, I really wanted these characters to have their ‘happily ever after’! You sort of feel like you’ve been through everything with these characters, through their dark story, and you want to see them come out better on the other side.

I found the story in general very entertaining and ‘thrilling’ and there were many a time I was telling myself “just one more chapter!”. I would definitely recommend you read it if you are into the thriller/crime genre, or you want something new to read.

Overall verdict: 4-4.5 / 5

Hope you enjoyed this! Let me know if there’s any books you think I should read – any genre, I need to broaden my reading horizons!

Talk to you later!

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