Oh boy it’s been a while since I did a book review, in fact, my last review was of ‘A Tap on the Window‘ which is in fact by the same author of this book I am about to review for you! This time around I have read Linwood Barclay’s ‘No Time for Goodbye’.
“The house is silent. No sound of her parents getting ready for work, or her brother late for school. Were they punishing her for last night? She’d been out on a date when she should have been studying, and had a huge fight with her father. So where was everyone now? Why had her family disappeared?
Twenty-five years later the mystery is no nearer to being solved and Cynthia is still haunted by unanswered questions. Were her family murdered? Abducted? If so, why was she spared And if they’re alive, why did they abandon her?”
First off I think it’s important to say that there are two main reasons why I chose this book to read next. The first of these being that after ‘A Tap on the Window’, I realised I truly enjoyed Barclays writing and the way in which he reveals his story. He is a great crime/thriller writer. Secondly, on reading the blurb whilst standing in the middle of Waterstones one day, I found this plotline sounds pretty similar to another popular book I had read a few months back; ‘Dark Places’ by Gillian Flynn.
To summarise the main comparisons between what you learn from the blurb of both these stories:
– No Time for Goodbye is the story of a girl who wakes up one morning to find her family is missing. Whilst Dark Places is about a girl who’s entire family is murdered. Both girls are left alone, without a family, as a child.
– No Time for Goodbye is set how ever many years on from the event in which the main character receives a letter detailing more information on her family’s disappearance. Dark Places is also set years on from the traumatic event, she also receives a letter that prompts her to want to find out more about her family’s murder.
I understand these are somewhat tenuous links, and there are probably many more stories that share these aspects, but to me, as soon as I read the blurb of Barclay’s best seller I immediately thought of Dark Places. So in a way I just wanted to see how they compared. I will say straight away that they, in fact, cannot really be compared – the style of story telling is so different. Flynn is very noir and dark within her story and her writing, whilst Barclay leans more towards the crime aspect, focussing on the dramatic reveal of information. Both stand alone, and both are stories I think you must read! If you have read Flynn’s work (‘Gone Girl’ and ‘Sharp Objects’ to name her other big sellers) I think you will enjoy Barclay’s writing also.
I literally just finished reading this book, and right now I feel a little overwhelmed with emotions! At times I thought the storyline was maybe a little far-fetched, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. It was definitely one of those stories where you can’t help but feel sorry for the character and the never ending amount of shit they’ve had to go through in their life. What I quite like about this book is that, surprisingly, it wasn’t written from the perspective of Cynthia, but instead her husband. I think this allowed for more dramatic moments later in the book, and you were sort of left with your own outsiders viewpoint, instead of the author trying to make you connect with this woman who has been through more than you can imagine. By doing this I feel you were able to become more involved with how the mystery unraveled; it was like you were learning everything about this story along with her husband.
For not wanting to ruin the book for you, I won’t comment too much on the ending of this one, but I do want to say I was satisfied. Sometimes I feel authors try to wrap it all up a little too neatly, or try to be controversial by doing something brash, but I felt this was right. I didn’t close that last page and just think to myself, what?! And I think that’s important.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. There were intense parts where I couldn’t read it fast enough to find out what happened, there were emotional moments where I physically cried reading it, and there were ‘oh my god’ moments where something super juicy was revealed. This book was super rounded, and find it’s not too intense or hard going when considering the sort of genre of book. Definitely a much more easy going read than the likes of my much loved Kathy Reichs ‘Temperance Brennan’ books!
Once again, Barclay has left me wanting to read more of his writing, and I already know I will be purchasing ‘Trust Your Eyes’ next (this being the one I originally wanted to purchase, only it was not available at the time so I ended up getting this instead!). Let’s put it this way: I enjoyed it enough to stay up gone midnight to write up this review as soon as I put the book down for the last time!
Overall rating: 4/5
I hope you enjoyed this and that I’ve persuaded you enough to go check out Linwood Barclay’s books! Do let me know if you’ve read anything amazing you think I should read, any genre!
Hope you’re all well!