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Years ago, when I worked on the city desk for The Toronto Star, every once in a while someone would phone in with a hot tip. Something they’d heard from a friend of a friend. The story was that children were being spirited away from a local theme park. Grabbed, disguised, thrown into a van and driven away so fast their parents hadn’t even noticed they were gone yet.
And the kicker was, the story was being suppressed because the theme park owners didn’t want bad publicity.
There was never, ever anything to it. I’d worked in the news business long enough to know that when a kid goes missing. That story gets out. Big time.
Our theme park was not the only one where this urban myth played out. I’d heard the same story about a number of big attractions. But never with any real names attached. It always happened to the boyfriend of someone’s cousin’s brother’s boss.
But the story stayed with me just the same. I started playing around with it in my head. I thought, okay, let’s start with the myth, but then let’s do something entirely different. Someone’s going to disappear, all right, but not the person you’re expecting...
As I began working out the storyline for my new thriller, Never Look Away, the amusement park scene became a way in to a very different kind of tale for me. One about secrets, about past, hidden lives, about how sometimes the people we’re closest to are the ones we know the least. One significant way in which it differs from my previous novels is that it is not told entirely in first person. This time, there were things I had to keep from my protagonist that the reader just had to know.
That time on the city desk was part of more than 30 years I spent working in newspapers. It was a period in which papers mattered a great deal. They still do, but it’s hardly news to point out they’re facing tough times, a perfect storm of changing technology meeting harsh economic realities. So when it came to deciding what that protagonist would do for a living, I decided to make him a reporter at a small daily that’s more concerned with maintaining revenues than breaking scandals, especially if breaking them will hurt the bottom line. (I like to point out, I never encountered anything like that at The Star.)
I was well into writing this novel when Michael Connelly’s terrific novel The Scarecrow came out, which is also set against the backdrop of a newspaper in decline. I suspect these will not be the only two novels to explore--either in depth or in a tangential way--the significant changes this institution is going through.
Another urban myth that used to get called into the paper now and again was that some unscrupulous developer was building houses so cheaply, someone’s piano went right through the living room floor. We never found that house, but there might still be a murder mystery in that story, especially if there was some poor bastard in that basement. --Linwood Barclay
There were time while reading this book, that I couldn't put it down even when my eyes were burning.
It's definitely a page turner, suspenseful with lots of twists and turns that keep you engrossed to the very end.
I would highly recommend it if you like thrillers, which I do so plan to read more books by this author.
I've found a new favorite author. The more you read the more you are captivated and the plot continues to twist and turn in even more unexpected directions. Read morePublished 12 hours ago by Bonnie F. Beechler
Linwood Barclay is one of my very favorite authors. I must be his biggest fan read all of his books.Published 1 day ago by Tehya
I didn't finish this book, life is just too short. The main character is just dumb. When faced with the fact that his 'wife' isn't who she says she is, and that she is missing... Read morePublished 6 days ago by A.Baker
Another good thriller, making you wonder where Mr. Barclay is going with the story next. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good who don it.Published 13 days ago by Carolyn Conklin
It seemed that the book was going nowhere when it took off and took me on a roller coaster ride of twists and turns. Very well done.Published 19 days ago by surfcitygal
Gripping twists and turns that keep you riveted to your seat. Great read to the end!! Can't wait to read his other books. DPublished 25 days ago by drb1961
As always, Barclay writes great thrillers, I've read many of his books and this one was great!Published 1 month ago by BeckyM
A thrill a minute. I could hardly put it down. He is such a talented plot master and writer.Published 1 month ago by Deborah Goodall