Thursday, 29 April 2010

Review: No Time For Goodbye by Linwood Barclay

I got this book from a thing we do...a pass a book around thing. We choose a book, read it, then pass it on to turn they must pass it on, and so on and so on. It's a thriller. I do enjoy a good thriller/mystery and the summary was enough to get me really interested.

Suni Cynthia is 14 years old. She has a fight with her father one night after breaking some rules. She wakes up the next morning and her entire family is gone. Twenty-five years later, the mystery seems just that...a mystery.
Cynthia is still feeling the loss of her family and the affects it has posed on her life. Are they dead? Why was she spared? Did they leave? If so why leave her behind?
One day a letter arrives which sets the mystery solving wheels in motion. Before long it seems delving into the past may completely shatter her future. It could be her worst mistake yet.

There are many reasons to read this book as there are many aspects of the book I loved. But as much as I enjoyed, there were things that annoyed me, took away from the suspense and damn near pissed me off. I suppose all things considered that's what makes a good...great book exposing the reader to a myriad of emotions whether they be good or bad. It must draw you in like a good drug to the point where you must either get your lit fix in one sitting or at any free moment you can get.
Well that was a mouthful ;)

It's written from Cynthia's husband's point of view. and is a roller coaster book. It's a meticulous puzzle-with small details that seem pointless at the time but all add up to the ending This meant the pace of the story was slow at the start....real slow as in the first half of the book was merely scene setting. This bored me to the point where I had to take occasional  breaks...then all of a sudden it just started happening. Bam! Bam! Bam! I couldn't put the book down! I'd prefer it if it had me like that from the start as oppose to general boredom at the start, then have it all happening at once.

Towards the end I was able to predict some of the ending...not everything only a little. The ending lacks in probability to me...which pissed me off! I mean I read all of this book for that! I wish I was more surprised but it did leave me feeling smug at my mystery solving abilities. I enjoyed the sarcasm and dryness but would prefer less cursing though...some of it was unnecessary but then again so many people swear every 2 words these days.
There was more focus on the story/mystery itself rather than the characters. I suppose this is a result of the limitations of a first person narrative. Being told from Cynthia's husband's POV means not much time can be spent fully going in depth with most characters and more importantly Cynthia's POV she is after all the whose family's gone. I wanted to know what was going through her mind, her exact feelings. This book is ALL about the mystery. I wasn't interested in Cynthia's husband either. Him narrating the story annoyed me. My favourite character is Grace...Cynthia's daughter. Yeah she's eight but I love her! She's precocious, witty, very attentive and pure comedy!

What I don't understand is Cynthia's husband is an English teacher but the grammar used was bad in some instances and some things he says are not what you'd expect an English teacher to say. Another issue is the lack of exploration into red herrings. There are hints at things but they are not fully explained, so while I was busy turning pages as pining to get to the end, I was a little confused throughout my journey.

This book could have been amazing but the execution let it down. I wanted to lurve this book...I was going to load this review with more good than bad because of all the rave reviews...then I realised that would be DISHONEST. I'm not so I'm unleashing it all. I loved the idea but not how it was written.

Verdict: As a cover-whore...for me, the cover could have been better. It was a boring, funnish ride. I loved the entire whodunnit storyline. It reads like a film and in fact should become one! Perhaps that's the's more of a movie book than a book book. It has the potential to better than it was. While it is a captivating read that I enjoyed, I felt a little used. I wanted more.
Cover: Sigh
Story: Phwoar
Characters: Lush
Writing: Hmm
Ending: Meh

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Guinevere said...

Hm, this book doesn't sound great, but I must admit to being curious about the plot and what happened to the family. If this WERE a movie, I'd be checking out spoilers right now. lol

Sa Toya said...

Yeah it's not great. As a movie it would be really good!

Cheers for commenting :)