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No Time for Goodbye - Linwood Barclay

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Author: Linwood Barclay / Format: Paperback / Date of publication: 12 June 2008 / Genre: Crime & Thriller / Publisher: Orion Publishing Co / Title: No Time for Goodbye / ISBN 13: 9780752893686 / ISBN 10: 0752893686 / Alternative EAN: 9780752888606

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      27.07.2013 11:00
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      Surprisingly Sad Story

      My Dad gave me this book after reading it himself as he thought it would be the sort of story that I would enjoy and from the moment I started it, I found it hard to put down.

      The Author
      Linwood Barclay was born in the US and moved to Canada when he was a young child. He attended Trent University in Peterborough in Ontario which is where he also met his wife. He currently lives in Toronto with his wife and two children. No Time for Goodbye is Barclay's first stand-alone thriller and was published in 2007.

      The Story
      No Time for Goodbye tells the story of Cynthia Bigge, a normal 14 year old girl who lives with her parents and brother Todd - that is until one day, her parents and brother just disappear.
      The book opens in May 1983, the year in which Cynthia's family go missing. From the very first chapter, the reader is quickly drawn in to the story and you are constantly left questioning everything you find out as you progress throughout the book. Cynthia wakes to find the house entirely empty with no trace whatsoever of her family. Twenty Five years later, Cynthia has not managed to find out any more information about the disappearance of her family.

      The story then jumps forward 25 years - Cynthia is now married to Terry and they have a daughter, Grace together. Cynthia begins receiving strange letters and also a telephone call, all of which seem to be related to her family's disappearance. Is Cynthia finally going to find out what happened to her family all those years ago or is the trauma she suffered as a teenagers finally catching up with her and making her insane?
      The first few pages of the book are told in third person. However, the rest of the book is written in the first person from the perspective of Cynthia's husband, Terry. I really liked the fact that the story is told from the perspective of the husband as I assumed it would be told by Cynthia. I found all the characters to be believable. You feel a certain amount of sympathy for Cynthia as all she really wants are some answers as to what happened to her family all those years ago. You also feel quite sympathetic towards her husband Terry as you can sense him becoming frustrated with Cynthia obsession and how this is turn is affecting their daughter Grace.

      As well as the main story which is told by Terry, certain chapters were totally unrelated to this story and consisted of a conversation happening between two people that at first seemed to have no relevance to the rest of the story although as the book progressed it soon became apparent that maybe something sinister was happening elsewhere. I found that these odd chapters really helped to keep you guessing throughout the book. I thought I had sussed out exactly who was having the conversation and what it was regarding and then another piece of information was revealed which made me think again!

      I thought that all the characters are extremely well written. I specifically liked the relationship between Cynthia and her husband Terry. I found it interesting to see how he dealt with everything that had happened before he met Cynthia, a situation that he had somehow managed to live through Cynthia for as long as they had been together.

      The pace of this book is spot on, gently plodding along with some major twists and turns along the way. Towards the end of the story, the pace really picks up and leads you to an amazing twist at the end which I really never could have guessed!

      Extra Info
      The paperback contains 448 pages and the RRP is £7.99. For more information on the author and his other novels you can visit his website www.linwoodbarclay.com.

      Summary
      I found this book absolutely fascinating to read and it literally kept me hooked from beginning to end. The pace of the book was exactly how a thriller should be, moving along with things being revealed gradually and suddenly charging into a massive ending which tied up all the loose ends and questions you have been asking yourself throughout the book. I would certainly recommend this book to anyone who loves a fast paced read.

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        01.04.2012 20:57
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        A well written crime novel, which had me gripped till the end.

        Linwood Barclay is not an author I have read before, but when I saw some of his books in the library I was persuaded to borrow one because it is a name I have read reviews about before, and I got the impression the work would be ok.

        'No Time for Goodbye' is a thrilling mystery novel from the start. We are introduced to the character of Cynthia Archer. 25 years earlier she woke up one morning to find her whole family had disappeared from her house, and they were never seen again. As it is the 25th anniversary since the event, she is filming a TV show to try and get some new information and finally try to get over this horrible event that has shaped her life since then.

        Cynthia, then known as Cynthia Bigge, is now a wife and mother to an 8 year old daughter, Grace. Her husband is an English teacher, and she works part time at a dress shop so she can always be there to protect her daughter.

        Cynthia is a really paranoid character. She is convinced that there is danger everywhere, and that someone is always following them, but is this paranoia as her husband thinks, or a real threat? Terry cannot be sure, as the things that start happening to them could be explained by his wife doing them, or it could be someone else, and he is not sure what to think. Events certainly excalate more quickly when they hire a private investigator, a Mr Abagnall.

        All Cynthia needs is to know what happened, but her determination that this will happen threatens their health, their sanity, and their marriage.

        I found this novel gripped me from the start as it is such an unusual situation. It is not one that you imagine happening, and it does not reach resolution till very near the end of the novel. I could not imagine myself at all having to go through a similar situation. Against this unusual situation is a perfectly regular family who you can imagine.

        I felt the plot was well placed, the characters were well developed and this works very well as a stand alone crime novel. There were some links between characters such as the stepfather of one of Terry's students conveniently also being a face from his wife's past, which felt a little too far-stretched, but overall, this novel was entertaining and kept me reading till I finished. It is a bit less gruesome than some novels I have read. There was some talk of crime scenes, but not graphic forensic scenes like some authors use. This slightly gentler approach worked well here with it being a cold case.

        I would certainly have no hesitation in picking up another novel by this author and seeing if it lived up to this one. I have read more gripping stories, but I have also read a lot worse in this genre, so I am happy to recommend this one to people who like crime thrillers.

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          18.01.2012 11:56

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          A good read but not a thrilling read

          I have read a few Linwood Barclay novels now and, as a thriller fan, usually come away from them feeling slightly disappointed, and No Time For Goodbye was no exception.
          I don't know what it is about this writer...the storylines always sound interesting and grab my attention but on a whole I find them lacking in a certain je ne sais quoi.
          Not a lot of time is spent developing characters so that you get to know them and feel like you're routing for them and they always seem to take a long time to get going.
          In this book 14 year old Cynthia wakes up one morning to find her entire family has disappeared with no clue as to what happened. Have they been murdered? Have they been so disappointed with her that they've left her to start afresh somewhere new without their daughter? Flash forward 25 years to married mum Cynthia, still wondering what happened and living a half life until she can find out.
          Whilst there is a lot of action in the plot, it doesn't really start heating up until about the last quarter of it, when I really did start not wanting to put it down. And, again, I just felt it was all lacking in suspense and the final cliffhangers just didn't have me biting my nails, unfortunately.
          Whilst this would make a good poolside lounger holiday book, it didn't really grab me and left me disappointed. I'm glad I borrowed it from a friend and didn't buy it myself.

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          09.01.2011 21:38
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          Great for one sitting and not too much thought afterwards

          I'm not usually a fan of thriller novels and I have to say this book hardly converted me. It was the scenario that attracted me, a teenage girl, Cynthia, wakes up after a drunken bender to find her entire family gone without a trace. Twenty five years later she is still none the wiser as to what happened and the pain of losing her family with no explanation is still just as raw. Interestingly the story is told through the eyes of Cynthia's husband rather than Cynthia herself allowing the reader to judge her reactions for themselves.

          The story itself was sound and the further I got into it, the more I found myself wanting to know what had happened to the vanished family. Indeed I hardly put it down hoping to find out what had happened to them, but the reading experience was spoiled for me by the overly dramatic flourishes that ended each chapter and the amount of profanity in the dialogue. I'm not a prude, nor do I shirk away from bad language but the idea that every character except an eight year old would express themselves by swearing unnecessarily. As it progressed the scenarios the characters found themselves in seemed increasingly unlikely, though kudos to the author for keeping it exciting.

          On the whole if I had been reading this on a long journey it would have kept me entertained. It was interesting enough but the twist in the tale and the subsequent climax was not particularly enthralling. I did find the end of the story dissapointing, probably because of the build up. The way in which the characters dealt with the resolution did not quite ring true with their outlooks and previous actions but after the initial twist I lost interest fairly quickly in the smaller developments that followed.

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            16.07.2010 20:32

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            Very good book, one of my personal favourites!

            After hearing rave reviews about this book, I decided to give it a go whilst on holiday.

            Right from the outset, after reading the blurb on the back, I decided that this was definitely a 'me' book. Other authors I enjoy reading are the likes of Harlan Coben, Mary Higgns Clark, Karin Slaughter.

            From the first couple of pages, I was undoubtely hooked, it well and truly gripped you right from the word go.

            It is essentially about a girl who wakes up one day to find that her family has disappeared, the story then unravels throughout the chapters, gripping you more and more as the pages went on.

            I found the ending very apt for the book (though I won't give anything away) however, it did leave me wanting more. I had a few unanswered questions and found myself frustrated at the prospect of leaving these unanswered.

            My partner also really enjoyed the book, which is very interesting as it certainly isn't something I would have picked out for him (or indeed, he would have ordinarily picked out for himself) however enjoyed it just as much as I did.

            It certainly has wet my appetite for Lynwood Barclay, and I definitely will be buying his other titles.

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            06.05.2010 01:25
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            Cynthia investigates the disappearance of her family twenty-five years ago...

            In a search for new writers to experience, I stumbled across this debut novel from Linwood Barclay on Bookmooch and decided to give it a go. Reading very much like a Harlan Coben book (the initial premise reminded me greatly of Tell No One), No Time For Goodbye is a competent thriller, and an engaging one at that, but at times far less than perfect and as such the end result is a novel that feels far from polished!

            Cynthia is 14 when her entire world is thrown upside down by the disappearance of her whole family. Cynthia is in the bad books after a night out drinking with the son of a local gangster and has passed out in her bedroom after being dragged home by her dad. When she awakes, her family is gone with no note, explanation or nothing. The year is 1983.....

            Over twenty-five years later, Cynthia still has no answers but is now married with a young daughter. Asked to co-operate with a crime show that wants to do a piece on her tragic past, she finds herself drawn back into the mystery surrounding her parents' disappearance and becomes determined to finally uncover the truth! But as her life begins to unravel around her and as more and more mysterious events begin happening to Cynthia and her family, her husband slowly begins doubting her sanity and wondering if perhaps his wife knows more about what happened than she is letting on!

            As bodies start to mount up, it becomes apparent that someone is trying to keep what happened secret and is eliminating anyone who might be able to shed some light. Are Cynthia's parents dead? Are they alive? And is someone finally trying after all these years to set her up for the fall? One thing is for certain. Terry Archer's marriage depends on him finding out the answers.....

            The main problem with setting yourself up with such a big mystery right at the start is that you need to be able to keep the momentum going for the remainder of the book. And in this, Linwood Barclay manages to succeed. Where he fails is in that some of his characters do not always ring true and that you never really feel any connection with the main protagonists. Still, this is a very good debut and much better than many of the mediocre thrilers that seem to be flooding this genre of late!

            There is a lot of potential in this novel and though some may have lamented the ending, I actually quite liked it! It is clear that Barclay has room to improve but many of the faults here can easily be resolved with experience! Certainly, he manages to carry the whole thing off rather well and I for one would certainly pick up another of his books!!

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              10.04.2010 20:48
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              A don't want to put the book down read 11/10

              No Time for Goodbye has a great premise, and a cast of real people trapped in a terrifying and totally extraordinary situation. Fourteen-year-old Cynthia Bigge is a troublesome young girl, caught out late one night with her boyfriend Vince Fleming -- a bad boy from a family of criminals, whom Cynthia's parents dislike. While fooling around in the back end of a car with a case of booze, this pair are spotted by her father, Clayton, who immediately hauls Cynthia back home. Following a huge family row, fueled by the booze she had shared with Fleming, the girl storms off to her bedroom, locks the door, and falls into an all-consuming slumber. Come morning, Cynthia -- full of remorse, and with her head throbbing from the drink -- struggles downstairs, only to find that her mother, Patricia, her father and her elder brother, Todd, have all vanished. There's no note of explanation, no signs of life, and no clues as to their whereabouts.

              Twenty five years later, and Cynthia still has no idea what happened to her family, she has unanswered questions. Were her family murdered? If so, why was she spared? Did they abandon her?

              Then things start to happen, clues about her family, a letter, a phone call. Cynthia and her family start to realise that looking into the past could be the worst mistake they could make.

              This is the 1st book I have read by Linwood Barclay, but it won't be the last one! From the very first page I could not put this book down, I liked the way the story was told by her husband Terry, I felt he told the story very well and could see everybody's point of view. Normally with books like this I can guess either what has happened or who did it, this time I didn't guess what happened, and I took me till nearly the end to guess who was involved.

              I would definitely recommend this book especially if you like Thrillers/Crime books and be prepared to stay up all night to read it, I didn't want to stop reading the book, I'm going to look for his other books now.

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                14.02.2010 20:42
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                Enjoyable reading

                I have just finished reading 'No Time for Goodbye' written by Linwood Barclay. The genre of this book is somewhere between a mystery and thriller, and therefore this is a genre I have not read in a while. However, this is a book title that is also listed as one of 'Richard & Judy's summer reads' which is usually an indication that it's going to be a decent read.

                I'll start this review by saying I enjoyed this book. I wasn't quite sure what to expect but the back cover sounded interesting - the main character Cynthia, 14 years old, one day wakes up in the morning to find that her mum, dad, brother - her entire family have vanished. Her house is silent, rather than filled with the usual morning noises i.e someone in the shower, the toast popping out of the toaster etc, and Cynthia has no idea why.

                I felt such a beginning to a story was a perfect way to get someone hooked - you can just imagine the weirdness of waking up one morning and all of your family are not there, and you have no idea why. As Cynthia went through the phases of trying to figure out what was happening, I just had to know what had happened too! And because I was pretty sure that the mystery would not be revealed right until the very end of the book, I was in quite a rush to get there!

                Only the beginning of the story is told using Cynthia's viewpoint. Then the story takes a jump into the future, and it is 25 years later. Cynthia is married and has a daughter of her own. Nothing was ever found concerning the whereabouts of Cynthia's family, the police never found out if they were murdered, kidnapped or even abducted by aliens.

                As we go from 14 year old Cynthia to the future, the story is told from the viewpoint of Terry, Cynthia's husband. This put a great spin on things, as it added more to the mystery of what happened to Cynthia the night her family vanished. Because Terry, just like us, the audience, didn't know Cynthia when her family disappeared, it means he asks the same questions that we are asking. I think that by having Terry as the 'first person', it makes the reader feel more involved, rather than what could have been Cynthia simply telling us a story about what happened to her.

                Although Cynthia's life has moved on, the 25th anniversary of her parents disappearing leads a television company to do a documentary on the matter. Cynthia agrees to take part, simply the in the hope that someone out there who knows something, or remembers something might come forward and bring to light new information. Well that's all I will reveal about the story because I don't want to ruin it for anyone!

                It's quite obvious I liked this book. It was easy to read and was written very well. I also liked the fact that we were told the majority of the story from the viewpoint of Cynthia's husband - I think the author made quite a brave move in deciding to do that, as it's a little different, but it paid off and made for an enjoyable read.

                Having the story told by Terry's point of view did probably mean that I didn't get to know Cynthia quite as well as I may have done if she had told the story. But I don't I feel I particularly missed out - Cynthia was always central to the story, not least because she was the 'victim' but also because she was Terry's wife.
                The book moved at just the right pace, and was a good length. It didn't take too long for the story to gain momentum, and just about the right amount of background information was provided before things really got underway. Without wanting to spoil it for anyone, the only thing I will say is that the end disappointed me a little, not because I thought it had an unsuitable outcome, but just because I thought there was too much going on and thus it felt a little messy to me.

                All in all however, this book gets 4 out of 5 stars from me, and I would certainly be happy to recommend it to anyone who enjoys a bit of mystery every now and again!

                Additional info:

                Pages: 320
                ISBN-10: 0752888609
                ISBN-13: 978-0752888606

                You can buy 'No Time for Goodbye' for £0.01 (plus p+p) from Amazon.

                Thanks for reading!

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                  22.01.2010 21:30
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                  Stunning thriller from the pen (or PC) of Linwood Barclay

                  Rarely does a book grab me on the first few pages and make it hard to put down. However, despite being warned that this would be the case, I hesitated starting it. The long and short of it is that when I did finally start it, they were right: I couldn't put it down!

                  Linwood Barclay manages to find a clever little niche in his writing style, providing enough description and detail whilst maintaining a fast and flowing pace to keep the interest levels high from more than one angle. The plot is quite a strong one from the start. Cynthia had a huge row with her parents when she was a young teen - then they disappeared. her father, mother and brother. Years later, married and with a little daughter of her own, she takes part in a TV show that features stories such as hers. Pretty soon, they may wish that the past had stayed buried......

                  What Barclay does really well is keep you guessing. He dangles the carrot. From the very first suggestion of dodgy goings on, he manages to make you suspicious of everyone and everything. Every sentence could hold a clue, every character acts in a somewhat suspicious way, and every occurrence could hold some meaningful clue as to waht happened all the those years ago.

                  The story is told in the first person, with Cynthia's husband, Terry, as the 'narrator'. This lends it a very personal feel, and you get Terry's every thought on the matter. From this angle, Barclay is able to develop the characters, both past and present, to the point where you get a really good mental picture of what people would look like, as well as surroundings. I found that no sooner had one person cropped up in my mind than Barclay would bring someone else into the equation.

                  I suppose in a way it would be a bit too busy, and the story would lose its edge because of the detail. However, the pace of the story, and how he doesn't dawdle on one scene or event means that you're never allowed to spend too much time thinking about things. Suspicion and cynicism reign supreme, and I found myself reading the whole thing far quicker than most books I have ever read.

                  If I had a criticism, it would be that the book is so good, that the ending is almost anticlimactic. It's not perfect. You get a feeling that there are some things that are a bit too full of holes, that don't really make sense. It's hard to really explain this without giving away important plot details that would spoil it for you, but it was one element that I found disappointing, even if the ending was surrounded in some pretty exhilarating and tense action.

                  It's the action, mixed with the dramatic and thoroughly tense humanity of the plot that really break through, and I thought Barclay dealt with some touchy elements really well. Potential developments in finding out what had happened all those years ago rise and then fall, and some lead to danger, or involvement with gangsters, or even money secrets. It seems that people had something to hide, and some are keen for things to stay hidden. Whether or not answers are eventually given, you'll have to find out for yourselves. I'm certainly not going to spoil it for you.

                  No Time For Goodbye is a brilliant book, let down only by a slightly disappointing ending. However, this is only anticlimactic due to the rest being so well written, and I highly recommend you read this. Currently available from amazon.co.uk for well under £5, it's one of the best thrillers I have read in a long time, and I highly recommend you try it out. I'm off to read his next book!

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                    31.10.2009 23:35
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                    Only an 'OK' from me!

                    I bought this book recently having been recommended it to me by a friend. The blurb certainly drew me in and I was looking forward to a clever and intelligent read.

                    The story centres around Cynthia who wakes up one day to find her parents and brother missing. Twenty five years later she receives a mysterious message which stirs up the past and eventually enables Cynthia to uncover the truth of what really happened to her family. The characters , unfortunately for me were a little unsympathetic and dare I say, whiney? Linwood Barclay doesn't develop the villains in detail and I was disappointed to find yet another author using short snippets of italic text from the villains point of view to create intrigue - it does seem like an obvious option.

                    The plot moves along quite quickly and whereas I had not predicted the ending (I like to think I can after the numerous crime thrillers I've read) the ending did feel a little silly. The revelation regarding another character named Rolly seemed to be totally unnecessary and I felt detracted from the quality of the story.

                    Overall, I didn't mind this book - it's light and based on a really good idea but it's a bit cheesey.

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                    16.09.2009 16:18
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                    don't buy this book unless you like cheesy American storylines and ridiculous plots

                    I thought this book was terrible and wouldn't recommend it to anyone unless you really like trashy reads.
                    It's over-dramatic and the writing is pretty bad, particularly the description which is laughable.
                    The plot is unrealistic and ridiculous and the characters are one-dimensional and unlikeable.
                    I found it similar to watching a really bad, cheesy American thriller or horror film.
                    I recently read the story as part of my book club and I have to admit I was outvoted, others really enjoyed it!
                    Some of the members felt the book really built up suspense and the ending was unpredictable.
                    I don't agree and only finished the book because I felt I had to.
                    I certainly wouldn't pick up anything else by this author.
                    No Time for Goodbye charts the experience of a teenage girl whose whole family go missing one night. The novel follows her search for her relatives later in life and her efforts to find out what happened to them.
                    I felt it was without purpose or depth, I certainly didn't learn anything from this read.

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                      10.09.2009 21:10
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                      well written gripping but not too dark

                      I bought No Time For Goodbye for my husband and I to read on holiday. I knew that it was one of the Richard and Judy Books and thought the premises sounded intriguing.

                      14 year old Cynthia wakes up one morning after a drunken argument with her father to find that her entire family has disappeared without a trace. 25 years later, the mystery remains and there has not been a single clue as to their whereabouts in all of that time. Cynthia is now a married mother and the story is told in first person through her husband's eyes. To morbidly mark the 25 year anniversary of her family's disappearance, Cynthia is asked to be involved in a televised re-enactment of events ala Crimewatch. However, this sets off a chain of events involving mysterious messages and psychics. Cynthia is led down a trail which she hopes may give her some answers but equally may put her entire family at risk.

                      I read this easily in one day on the beach. The plot zips along at a really good pace and for most of the story it lives up to its excellent premise. I am not a thriller reader at all so the fact that I enjoyed it as much as I did was a surprise to me. It does get a little more contrived and daft than I would have ideally liked towards the end - particularly the very final revelation. However, I think it would make a very good film or mini-series.

                      I think that this book makes some interesting comments and hints towards the intrusion of the media on the ordinary people who can become victims of crimes; particularly those that are considered high profile or contain elements that are considered salacious enough to warrant a high amount of interest.

                      Connelly is a journalist, this comes through in the way that the text is pacy, the plot well structured and everything is precise, unflowery and unpretentious. As mentioned before this is not my preferred genre but I really enjoyed it and am definitely intending to read his follow-up book "Too Close To Home"

                      All in all, I don't think it pretends to be any kind of literary masterpiece but its that other kind of highly enjoyable literature - a darn good ripping yarn!

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                        09.09.2009 21:20
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                        I wouldn't normally have picked this up but after reading, will definetley broaden my literature.

                        This being my first book by the author Linwood Barclay I didn't know what to expect, I normally only choose authors that I have read before because I know I will like their style of writing (narrow-minded, I know) but I was given this by my dad and after finishing the book I was currently reading, picked up this.

                        First impressions of the book seem good, it's a nice thickness and is letter size, making it comfortable and easy to read, the text is spaced nicely and again, makes it very easy to read. The cover I have is different to the picture shown, it has a blue hue with No Time for Goodbye across the top, pictures of some trees and then the authors name.

                        The Story

                        The book focuses around the life of a family and in particular, one girl named Cynthia. She wakes up to find her family gone, not knowing where or why, the book begins with her as a teenager, not being too long and dragging on but not too short either. You get to make a connection already even before the real story has started.

                        You then jump forward 25 years, Cynthia is married with a child and is still suffering from her families dissapearance, having to have counselling and therapy sessions. As she is getting about her life, a letter arrives at her home which makes no sense, and soon Cynthia begins to realise that stirring up the past could be the worst mistake she could ever make.

                        The whole story is a satisfying and enjoyable rollercoaster, taking you from one emotion to another. The gripping plot and unexpecting twist gives it variety and intrigues the reader to carry on. It's another book that won't let you put it down, making you want to turn the page and read on.

                        I have no negatives whatsoever, it is skilfully written and executed without being too unrealistic and unbelieveable.

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                        27.08.2009 10:45
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                        5 stars

                        I found this book in my local library on Friday, and after finishing last night (with 2 small kids - this is a quick turnaround!), it is clear that it was a fantastic read. I had never read a book by Linwood Barclay before but after having read the back of the book and also a few great reviews on the cover by authors such as Michael Connolly, I was eager to take it home!

                        The book starts in May 1983, when 14 year old Cynthia Bigge returns home after a fight with her parents, to find that her mum, dad and older brother are not home. Being drunk, and totally out of it she thinks nothing of it, and when she wakes the next morning is confused as to the whereabouts of her family, but she still goes to school. On returning home, she realises something is wrong and alerts the police. The story then fast forwards to the present day, 25 years later, with Cynthia having her own family, but still being none the wiser as to what happened to her family all those years ago. Cynthia decides she wants to hire a private investigator after strange things start happening, such as a car following her and a man standing outside their house at night only to run when he is confronted.

                        Terry, her husband is beginning to wonder if Cynthia is emotionally unbalanced and making something out of nothing, a part of him also begins to question whether or not Cynthia had something to do with the disappearance of her family of those years ago. Cue lots of drama, lots of mystery and lots of twists! This book would make a fantastic film.

                        The pace of the book is consistent all the way through the book with a few twists, and it is very easy to read. The story leaves you gripped to find out what happens next. The perfect thriller in every way.

                        I'm off to find Linwood Barclay's next book this afternoon, I am now officially a fan!


                        Paperback version 448 pages
                        RRP £7.99 although look out for it in your local library as I did!

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                          19.08.2009 15:12
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                          Worth every moment spent reading it.

                          Running my fingers along the spines of several books, my hand rested upon one; No Time For Goodbye. My first reaction is always to read the blurb. There were afew lines about the book, but what caught my eye was a quote by author Michael Connelly. I've enjoyed reading his books, so when he said "one-sit thriller", I took the book home with me. And he wasn't exaggerating.

                          I didn't quite manage one sitting for the whole book; I read it in about 6 hours, which is an enormous feat for me as usually I spend a week over each book. This book is such an amazing thriller. I had so much trouble putting the book down.

                          The story opens in May 1983. Cynthia Bigge, 14, had broken her curfew the previous night. Her dad Clayton had found her in her 17 year old boyfriend Vince's car. Drunk. After he literally drags her home, she shouts something about hating him, and then passing out drunk in her bedroom. When she wakes up no one's home. She finds this very odd, but then reasons with herself that her dad has left early for work, and her mum Patricia has given her older brother Todd a lift to school. Which is where she goes. But no ones seen Todd at school either. She goes home, but still no one home. She asks her neighbour whether she's seen her mum, but again no. In the end they call the police. But nobody has any idea what's happened to them. Cynthia even wondered at one point whether as a punishment they all went away, but this was just wishful thinking. As time went on, they were assumed dead. But the questioned always remained: why was Cynthia spared?

                          Fast forward 25 years. Cynthia is married to English teacher Terry Archer and they have an eight year old girl, Grace. To mark the 25th anniversary, Deadline, a sort of reality tv programme, does an episode on the missing family. Cynthia takes part, and the cameras show her going back to the house, asking anyone with any information to get in touch and just desperately wanting to know what happened. At her side is hubby Terry, who is doing his best to support his wife. But thats not so easy when he thinks she is clutching at straws. And when there are odd little incidents happening, Terry finds himself asking whether his wife is finally breaking under the strain.

                          After May 1983, the story is from Terry's point of view. Which is just aswell, as Cynthia has never got over her family's dissapearance. If it was from her point of view I don't think it would be as brilliant. He really wants to be a supporting husband, but some things are just not adding up. When it appears that Grace is now in danger, Terry is forced to take action. I don't think I can say anymore here without spoiling the ending. Just get this book, you won't regret it.

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