Wow. I’d been searching for an un-Stephen King book to read from my bookshelf for a few months. I kept trying to pick one up and start it, to just put it down. That happens to me sometimes if it doesn’t grab me from the beginning. I had purchased some new books that looked good many months back, but one in particular kept calling to me to read it. The book was Linwood Barclay’s newest book, Never Look Away.
Touting itself as a thriller, it certainly lives up to that description many times over. Quickly starting out with a small town New York journalist turning up information about a private prison looking to be built in town, it twists immediately to a family trip (his wife, Jan and their 4 year old Ethan) to the new amusement park that ends up with the almost kidnapping of his son and the disappearance of his wife. Soon suspected in her disappearance, he sets his own journalistic skills to the road to try and uncover what happened to his wife of six years. What he is soon to find out is that his wife is not who she says she is, but is using the identity of a childhood friend of hers that died tragically when they were in kindergarden. From then, she certainly is not who she seems. However, the plot thickens as all these other players come into light. In the end, she certainly realizes that she truly is not who she thought she was, although much too late. The story is also about emotional redemption to me and the realization of true happiness and love is not found in money.
The other thing I liked about this story is the description of small town newspapers, their cuts, outsourcing, doing only politically correct stories in order to keep their door open. The character’s journalistic style is one that all fellow journalists can appreciate (this intrigued me as I have a bachelors in journalism and hold true to the dying career field) and the well-rounded depiction of his character truly was a welcome addition to the story.
I picked up this book a few days ago and it’s 300 pages took me no time to read as I didn’t want to put it down. It’s one of those you just don’t read before bed, but you take it with you in the car (if you are in the passenger seat of course) and sit down to read even while watching a television show you like. It truly grabs you and keeps you investigating right along with the main character.
I had never read any of Linwood Barclay’s (www.linwoodbarclay.com) books before, but be certain that I’m going to add a few more to my list to read very soon. A super read that kept me guessing and thinking, I truly enjoyed it.