Barclay usually writes one off suspense novels, but this latest is a follow up to 2008's No Time For Goodbye.
Barclay grabs the reader from the get go with a prologue that just sets the breakneck pace for the rest of the book. You'd think that after what Terry, Cynthia and their daughter Grace went through seven years ago, life would leave them in peace.
"I don't know where I got the idea that once you've come through a very dark time, after you've confronted the worst possible demons and defeated, them, that everything's going to be just fine."
Uh-uh, it's not... When Grace goes along with a bad idea her sketchy date has to take a Porsche out for a joyride, it starts a domino effect that plunges the family into yet another nightmare.
Barclay cuts the narrative between Terry and others with their own agenda. It did take me bit to figure out that there was more than one group - these chapters are initially quite cryptic. I do enjoy this style of storytelling, but have to hold myself back from flipping ahead 'just to see'.
Barclay's plot is quite inventive - I had no idea where things were going to. The little click when things start to fit together is quite satisfying, but there are many, many pieces to Barclay's puzzle and just as many twists and turns. I did think that the one of the plot devices was a bit far fetched, but it didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book at all.
The writing shoots straight from the hip - there no unnecessary descriptions or involved self explorations, just fast paced dialogue and action. Barclay does the 'regular guy thrown into a crazy situation' story extremely well.
No Safe House was excellent escapist reading. See for yourself - read an excerpt or see the book trailer below.
...And one last thing - you might want to think twice about who has a key and the alarm code to your house - the neighbour, the dog walker, the babysitter, the cleaning lady....
You can keep up with Linwood Barclay on Facebook and on Twitter. Canadian peeps - this just hit number one on the Globe and Mail's bestseller list this week.