Wednesday, 24 December 2008

No Time for Goodbye

Title: No Time for Goodbye

Author: Linwood Barclay

Number of pages: 437

Started: 18 December 2008

Finished: 24 December 2008

Opening words:

When Cynthia woke up, it was so quiet in the house she thought it must be Saturday.
If only.
If there'd ever been a day that she needed to be a Saturday, to be anything but a school day, this was it. Her stomach was still doing the occasional somersault, her head was full of cement and it took some effort to keep it from falling forward or on to her shoulders.
Jesus, what the hell was that in the waste-paper basket next to the bed? She couldn't even remember throwing up in the night, but if she needed evidence, there it was.

Read an extract here

Plot summary:

On the morning she will never forget, suburban teenager Cynthia Archer awakes with a nasty hangover and a feeling she is going to have an even nastier confrontation with her mom and dad. She isn't. Instead, the house is empty, with no sign of her parents or younger brother Todd. At first she just thinks it's weird, then more and more scary, until finally the terrfiying reality hits her: in the blink of an eye, without any explanation, her family has simply disappeared. Twenty-five years later the mystery is no nearer to being solved and Cynthia is still haunted by unanswered questions. Were her family murdered? If so, why was she spared? And if they're alive, why did they abandon her in such a cruel way? Now married with a daughter of her own, Cynthia knows that without answers - however shocking they might prove to be - she will never be emotionally or psychologically whole, living in daily fear that her new family will be taken from her just as her first one was. And so she agrees to take part in a TV documentary revisiting the case, in the hope that somebody somewhere will remember something - or even that her father, mother or brother might finally reach out to her... First nothing. Then just a few crackpots and scam artists coming out of the woodwork. And then the letter, a letter which makes no sense and yet chills Cynthia to the core. And soon she begins to realize that stirring up the past could be the worst mistake she has ever made.

What I thought:

This was a very readable book. Not entirely convincing and not always well written but quite a page turner. It had a fairly decent plot, which did not always ring true and maybe didn’t have the most believable ending, but it was a reasonable read, if you can suspend your belief over certain aspects of it. This was a Richard and Judy Book Club book and you can take that as a recommendation or otherwise as you see fit.

A reasonable distraction if not entirely convincing.

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