Linwood Barclay

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Talking About No Safe House by Linwood Barclay with Chrissi Reads

Published July 2, 2015 by bibliobeth

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What’s it all about?:

#1 international bestselling author Linwood Barclay delivers an electrifying novel of suspense in which a family’s troubled past is about to return in more ways than one. And this time, they may not be able to escape.…

Seven years ago, Terry Archer and his family experienced a horrific ordeal that 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.

For there, 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….

What did WE think?:

CHRISSI: This book is a sequel to No Time For Goodbye. How do you think it compares?

BETH: No Time For Goodbye was the first book by Linwood Barclay I ever read and I remember being pleasantly surprised by it. I continued to read his novels although I haven’t read one for a while I have to be honest. At the start, I didn’t really remember No Time For Goodbye too well although bits and pieces came back to me as I made my way through No Safe House. I think both books are stand-out in the genre and kept me turning the pages, eager to find out what was going to happen next.

BETH: Grace has a very difficult relationship with her mother. Discuss this and if it felt resolved to you at the end of the novel.

CHRISSI: Grace was really rebellious and seemed to want to really push the limits and test her parents. Especially her mother. Grace’s family are understandably very protective over her, due to the things that have happened

CHRISSI: This novel is definitely a real page-turner. Discuss how Linwood Barclay structures his novels to create this pace.

BETH: I don’t think the author needs any fancy gimmicks or multiple narrators to tell his story. He has a sterling plot, compelling and intriguing characters, lots of action and bags of mystery which all equal a read that is unputdownable.

BETH: What did you think about Cynthia’s decision to live apart from her family? Did you understand her reasons?

CHRISSI: This is where I have to admit, that I didn’t really like Cynthia as a character. She was so paranoid. I know given her families history it’s only natural to be anxious, but I think it would’ve felt more believable if she wanted to be close to her family and build a better relationship with her daughter. Cynthia moves away to give Grace space after her overprotectiveness almost suffocates her daughter, but I would have preferred to read about a mother who works more on a relationship with her daughter than one that moves away.

CHRISSI: Was there a stand out character for you?

BETH: I loved the father, Terry. His love and devotion to his family were clear to see and I loved that he would go to ANY lengths to protect his daughter, even if she was in the wrong at the time. I also really enjoyed the character of Victor who I remembered from No Time For Goodbye quite vividly once I began reading. He is a crook and there is no doubt that he has no remorse when he kills but he was VERY readable.

BETH: Who was your favourite character and why?

CHRISSI: Terry was my favourite character although in this particular book, I didn’t always feel that his decisions were believable, but like you, I loved his devotion to his family, especially his devotion to his daughter. He wasn’t as overpowering as Cynthia!

CHRISSI: Discuss the ending of the novel.

BETH: I don’t want to give too much away but I was pleased with how it ended. There was some sadness, which I wasn’t expecting but I think things were pulled together perfectly and in a way that would give every reader some satisfaction. I sure hope this poor family gets a break now!

BETH: Would you read another book by this author?

CHRISSI: I would, but at the same time I’m not rushing to read another book by him. I find his books gripping and exciting, but I have to admit I was a little let down by the sequel to No Time For Goodbye!

Would WE recommend it?:

BETH: Of course!

CHRISSI: Yes!

BETH’s Star rating (out of 5):

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CHRISSI’s Star rating (out of 5):

3 Star Rating Clip Art

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On my radar for 2013…

Published February 1, 2013 by bibliobeth

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Due to be published in 2013, these are a few of the books I’m awaiting with glee:

Never Saw it Coming – Linwood Barclay, 31st January 2013

One of my favourite crime/thriller writers, this new offering is about a young woman who “practices” as a psychic but is more interested in money grabbing from troubled families rather than seeing into the netherworld. However, her latest case involves a woman going missing, and after visiting the frantic husband and telling him about her “vision,” it turns out that it might actually be true (and leave her dead).

The Universe Versus Alex Woods – Gavin Extence, 31st January 2013

Alex Woods knows that he hasn’t had the most conventional start in life.  He knows that growing up with a clairvoyant single mother won’t endear him to the local bullies.  He also knows that even the most improbable events can happen – he’s got the scars to prove it. What he doesn’t know yet is that when he meets ill-tempered, reclusive widower Mr Peterson, he’ll make an unlikely friend. Someone who tells him that you only get one shot at life. That you have to make the best possible choices. So when, aged seventeen, Alex is stopped at Dover customs with 113 grams of marijuana, an urn full of ashes on the passenger seat, and an entire nation in uproar, he’s fairly sure he’s done the right thing . . . One of the Waterstones Eleven for this year, this author is described as one to watch.

Human Remains – Elizabeth Haynes, 14th February 2013

Highly intelligent but socially inept, Colin spends his free time collecting academic qualifications and searching for ways to meet women, until he stumbles upon a new technique that proves both potent and deadly. Police analyst Annabel is shocked when she discovers a decomposing body in the house next door and realises that no one, including herself, noticed her neighbour’s absence. At work she finds data showing that such cases are frighteningly common in her own town and sets out to investigate, convinced she is on trail of a killer. I fell in love with this author after reading her fantastic book Into The Darkest Corner.

Lost Boy – Camilla Lackberg, 14th March 2013

Nathalie jumps in her car and flees with her five year old son, her hands slippery with blood on the steering wheel. Meanwhile, Detective Hedström is investigating the murder of Mats Sverin, a financial director – also the childhood sweetheart of Nathalie. Both have recently returned to the island, and Mats visited her just before his death. The locals call the island “The Ghost Isle,” and that the dead have something to tell the living. But will anyone get close enough to uncover the dark secrets that lurk there?

I recently discovered this brilliant Swedish author after reading The Hidden Child, and am in the process of going through her back catalogue.

The Storyteller – Jodi Picoult, 26th March 2013

Sage Singer befriends an old man, particularly beloved in the community. One day he asks Sage for a favour: to kill him. And then he confesses his darkest secret – he deserves to die, because he was a Nazi SS guard. Complicating the matter Sage’s grandmother is a Holocaust survivor.

Six Years – Harlan Coben, 25th April 2013

Six years have passed since our main character Jake Sanders watched Natalie, the love of his life, get married to another man, Todd. When Jake comes across Todd’s obituary, he cannot keep away from the funeral. At the funeral however, the woman posing as Todd’s wife is not Natalie. This story involves Jake uncovering the truth in his quest to find the woman he once loved.

And The Mountains Echoed – Khaled Hosseini, 21st May 2013

Afghanistan, 1952. Abdullah and his sister Pari live with their father and step-mother in the small village of Shadbagh. Their father, Saboor, is constantly in search of work and they struggle together through poverty and brutal winters. To Adbullah, Pari, as beautiful and sweet-natured as the fairy for which she was named, is everything. More like a parent than a brother, Abdullah will do anything for her, even trading his only pair of shoes for a feather for her treasured collection. Each night they sleep together in their cot, their skulls touching, their limbs tangled. One day the siblings journey across the desert to Kabul with their father. Pari and Abdullah have no sense of the fate that awaits them there, for the event which unfolds will tear their lives apart; sometimes a finger must be cut to save the hand.

Crossing generations and continents, moving from Kabul, to Paris, to San Francisco, to the Greek island of Tinos, with profound wisdom, depth, insight and compassion, Khaled Hosseini writes about the bonds that define us and shape our lives, the ways that we help our loved ones in need, how the choices we make resonate through history, and how we are often surprised by the people closest to us.

By the author of A Thousand Splendid Suns (wonderful) and The Kite Runner (I must get round to that soon!!)

Dr Sleep – Stephen King, 24th September 2013

An epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of hyper-devoted readers of The Shining and wildly satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon. King says he wanted to know what happened to Danny Torrance, the boy at the heart of The Shining, after his terrible experience in the Overlook Hotel. The instantly riveting Doctor Sleep picks up the story of the now middle-aged Dan, working at a hospice in rural New Hampshire, and the very special twelve-year old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals. On highways across America, a tribe of people called The True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless – mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and tween Abra Stone learns, The True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the ‘steam’ that children with the ‘shining’ produce when they are slowly tortured to death.  Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him and a job at a nursing home where his remnant ‘shining’ power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes ‘Doctor Sleep.Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan’s own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra’s soul and survival . . .

My all-time favourite author, I cannot wait for this release!