Newest Review: ... the world via the internet using a website called Whirl360 (Google Street View). He believes he has to store all the information about ev... more
A modern day Rear Window
Trust Your Eyes - Linwood Barclay
Member Name: carlz2001uk
Trust Your Eyes - Linwood Barclay
Advantages: Plot, characters, flow, thrilling, suspenseful
Disadvantages: Reveals spell out a little too much, love interest not needed
Ray and Thomas Kilbride have just lost their father to a tragic accident. Bad enough for Ray to cope with, but he must now be the sole carer for Thomas, a schizophrenic but mild and complex character, with a fixation on internet site 'Whirl 360'. Whirl 360 (basically Google Street View) is a website allowing you to walk the streets of any street in the world, however Thomas spends every waking moment of his entire life memorizing each and every street in every major city of the world. When he sees what appears to be a murder in one of the windows on a street in New York, he convinces older brother Ray to take a look and before they know it they are tied up in a whole heap of trouble.
This book is one of the best books in its genre that I've read in a long time. Barclay has the ability to keep the reader enthralled, and I can't count the number of times I've stayed up too late reading this and have fallen asleep with a swift bang on the head when the iPad falls out of my hands! Each chapter builds up and leaves you in suspense (without having an over dramatic climax at the end of each chapter), especially as the story is split into parts and doesn't necessarily follow on with the same character. Packed full of suspense, the type that punches you in the gut and then runs away, this book will have you hooked from its interesting start to its fantastic ending. Whoa betide the next book that I have to read after this one!
My only negatives feelings that I had towards the book came when the reveals were taking place, and things were explained to the reader a little too simply, rather than Barclay giving the reader the opportunity to connect the dots as it were. Criticism aside, my general feelings towards the book were extremely positive and for this minor irritation I can forgive him!
Ray, as the lead character is extremely likeable. He brings humour to the book, yet you feel for him following the loss of his father and the new found burden that Thomas has become on his life.
Thomas, while less likeable than Ray, is still a character that you warm to, despite his paranoia and odd tendencies. The expectations he has of others (firstly his father, and now Ray) to look after him is quite frustrating to read at times, but has to be taken with a pinch of salt. He has the ability to wear Ray down in a way that I'm sure most of us can relate to in regards to one member of our family or another.
The thing that I liked about the book, in relation to pairing the specific characters with the plot, is that Ray is just a normal guy who is dragged into a whole new world of murder and deceit. Rather than the usual cop who discovers a crime and must work it all out, Ray is just any old guy in the street and that is what makes the book so terrifying.
The introduction of a third character which offers a love interest for Ray, wasn't needed in my opinion, as the two main characters and the plot had enough depth that a romance wasn't integral to the story, but it didn't ruin it either.
The two together work well, and the bond between brothers and the family unit, while unconventional, can be a pleasure to read.
The plot is a little far-fetched and quite complex in areas, however Barclay has such skill that it is completely believable for the reader. It flows well, in fact so well that despite the chapter breaks, it can be quite difficult to pull yourself away from it. A sign of a great book if ever there was one! As Thomas and Ray unwittingly wander deeper into the dangerous situation you know is coming, the book only becomes more addictive, as you start to realise what the implications of certain actions will be. The ending is another thumbs up, just when you think everything is being pulled together to conclude, you are hit with a twist that I certainly didn't see coming.
Although the main storyline is that of Thomas' quest to find out what happened in the window he saw on Whirl360, there are a few other sideline stories happening at the same time, which are also interesting, especially when you see them all skidding towards one another. Despite each chapter being centred on a different character, it is still easy to follow, and there isn't the need for the lazy 'Thomas' or 'Ray' headers at the beginning of each chapter to differentiate between the characters.
I thought about trying to summarise my feelings towards this book, but when I stumbled across this recommendation of the book from Stephen King, I couldn't help but think he said all I wanted to say but so much more eloquently! .... '"My idea of a sweet ride is three days of rain, a fridge filled with snacks, and a new Linwood Barclay. I just had all three. Trust Your Eyes is the best Barclay so far, a tale Hitchcock would have loved. It has more spins than the Whirl360 computer program Thomas Kilbride is so fascinated with. The book is riveting, frequently scary, occasionally funny, and surprisingly, wonderfully tender. I could believe this might happen to people living two streets over from me. Great entertainment from a suspense master."
Kindle edition £9.99
Summary: 5 stars