Wednesday, April 16, 2014
No Safe House by Linwood Barclay
Well, I was wrong about this one. I've read every book Barclay has written and my favorite is NO TIME FOR GOODBYE. When I realized that this suspense thriller was going to revisit those characters, I was more than hesitant to read it because I really am tired of sequels and series and, honestly, I was done with the Archer story. Fortunately, I won this book as a First Reads giveaway and decided that I'd go ahead and give it a try. I'm very glad I did because this novel was a very entertaining roller coaster ride that hooked me quickly and didn't let go. Although many of the characters are those from that other novel I loved, the story told here is capable of being a standalone and involves the Archer family in another brush with an acquaintance who is basically a criminal but who had, once upon a time, done them a good turn that prevented a family tragedy.
The action doesn't let up and each chapter switches between characters and events as the reader becomes entangled in a convoluted plot that, at times, can be confusing. Barclay does a really excellent job writing about the average family man who is called upon to do unconventional -- and can we say: illegal -- maneuvers with an unsavory partner in order to save his daughter from peril. Terry Archer is a high school English teacher who usually wants to do the right thing and stay out of trouble. This time, however, his 14-year-old daughter has become embroiled in a situation that will have huge repercussions if the police become involved. Despite the fact that I find the daughter, Grace, to be extremely unlikeable, I do understand a parent who wants to protect his daughter. Wife Cynthia is also a bit of an unsympathetic mess, but a man does what he has to do, right?
I think readers will enjoy this return to Milford and the reconnection with these characters in a "wicked-good story" where the lines between good and evil are a little bit blurred.