Sunday, 28 September 2014

Review: No Safe House by Linwood Barclay

**** 4 Stars

I was so excited when I realised that Linwood Barclay's latest book No Safe House was the sequel to his book No Time For Goodbye. I discovered Linwood Barclay reading that book back in 2008 when it was a Richard & Judy read. I fell in love immediately with Barclay's writing style and have read every book he has written since then.

The Blurb

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...

My Thoughts

In this book we revisit the Archers who we first met in No Time For Goodbye. It is now 7 years later and we see how their lives have moved on from the events that nearly cost them everything. Grace Archer is now a rebellious 14 year old and her mother being so overprotective is a great source of tension. Things have become so bad between mother and daughter that Cynthia decides to move out for a while to try and address her own issues that link back to her past.

With Cynthia moved out, Terry Archer is trying to keep things together when one night Grace lies about where she is going. Her involvement with a new slightly older boyfriend, Stuart throws her and her parents right back into the path of danger when one fateful night, Stuart convinces her to break into a house with him to take the owners car for a joyride. Without realising it the family are drawn back into the murky world of crime once again relying on Vince the man who saved their lives 7 years before. But will they be so lucky this time?

This book took a little while to get into largely because it was told from the points of view of a few different characters. It was also a little slower starting than a normal Barclay book but I feel that was largely down to him having to reintroduce the Archer family and the events of No Time To Say Goodbye to us. 

As always Barclay had me totally on the edge of my seat and once the momentum picked up it became a real page turner. I always enjoy the way Barclay tells a story and No Safe House was no exception. Barclay always plays his cards very close to his chest, revealing things little by little and the major plot twist in this book was totally unexpected. This book is a fantastic thriller that is packed with lots of action however it didn't quite live up to No Time For Goodbye but I am not sure how it ever could because No Time For Goodbye was such an amazingly awesome read. I do however highly recommend this book and it can very much be read as a standalone without having read No Time For Goodbye.

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