Newest Review: ... of husband, wife and son, Adam, get brutally murdered in their home. Their neighbours are the Cutters, consisting of Jim and Eileen, and... more
The Secrets Come Out...
Too Close to Home - Linwood Barclay
Member Name: obscuredbykep
Too Close to Home - Linwood Barclay
Advantages: It is a top read from start to the nail biting end
Disadvantages: A couple of typing errors
Last year, the first book I read was Linwood Barclay's, "No Time for Goodbye", it was a gripping read, full of twists and turns. He became an instant favourite, and his talent for creating an excellent book was clear. In turn, I leant the book to my younger brother, and best friend both of whom also thought it was amazing. I was keen to get my hands on more of his books. From looking at his Waterstones listings, I saw that his second UK release was to be "Too Close To Home" which was released in July this year. When going to Newquay, W H Smiths had it included on their "buy two get one half price" offer, so Jam and I bought it, and another book "The Last Pope" for our reads on the train. He read it first, and was extremely pleased with it. I didn't get a chance to get it from him before I went to university.
In my desperation to get hold of a copy, I bought one from eBay, just before I got back home for Christmas. At the same time, I got back the copy Jam had, so I now have two.
I read a couple of chapters one day, and then couldn't resist shooting through it, so completed it the following day.
The book opens with a Prologue, setting the scene for the night, with the Langley family preparing to go on Holiday. Derek, their neighbour, and Adam Langley's best friend is waiting for them to depart, with a plan to stay behind, hidden, so that while they are away, he can use the house to spend more time with his girlfriend, Penny.
Once the Langley's have left, Derek takes a walk around the house, and rings Penny to come over. But, before she can, the Langley's arrive back home, and Derek has no choice but to shoot downstairs into the cellar and hide, waiting until they go to bed to sneak out. However, the Langley's have a visitor, who turns a gun upon the family, killing all three of them.
The book then slips into the mind of Jim Cutter, Derek's father, by whom the story is told...
"What is more frightening than your next-door neighbours being murdered? Finding out the killers went to the wrong house..."
I had high hopes for the book. I expected twist turns, unexpected events, suspense and all that I had found in No Time for Goodbye. While it did manage to deliver them all, I did feel slightly let down in comparison. But I still think it is a great read.
The story is original, and very entertaining. I quite like stories being told in the first person, as it seems to add some real personal touch to the story, and Jim Cutter was a great person to tell the tale. The writer did really well in building believable characters, and completely bringing them to life through flashbacks to the past and small details here and there. This is what makes a good book.
Each of the three Cutter's has a secret. Something that the other two do not know about, and they have no intentions of sharing. Secrets that could destroy the lives of others if they became public. These secrets are what drives the book, as you gradually discover what they each knew. The whole plot is held together so firmly, and is brilliantly crafted. It is a top read from start to the nail biting end.
What I did find problematic though, was some clear typing errors, in both copies of the book I have. I cannot remember them now, but there were around 5 in total, throughout the book. They were quite clear mistakes too, and I would have thought a proof-reader should have picked up on them - especially if I can. It is obvious what it should be though, so does not affect the pleasure of reading.
One of the things I really enjoy about reading, is new words. Expanding my vocabulary. I always have enjoyed discovering new words to use, from my primary school times writing stories and scouring thesauruses for words like "Gargantuan" and "Antediluvian".
This book through up one word I didn't know, and it bugged me for days before I got around to looking it up. The word, was "Cuckold", which apparently means a married man with an adulterous wife, and dates back to 1250.
You could if you want, buy a copy for the sum of £3.49 from Amazon.
Trust me, you want a copy.
Summary: It is a top read from start to the nail biting end