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Never Look Away: A Thriller Mass Market Paperback – July 19, 2011
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Amazon Exclusive: Linwood Barclay on Never Look Away
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
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
In this novel, newspaper reporter David Harwood is investigating what might be corruption with regard to a new privatized prison that is being hawked as the next best thing for the small town of Promise Falls, New York. He's married to Jan and they have a 4 year old son named Ethan. One day, while they're at an amusement park, one of them disappears!! David races from place to place to figure out what is going on and, although several subplots are brewing simultaneously, the energy and the narrative keep the reader glued to the pages. Even though the reader knows what is happening and why, it's a fun romp to the end.
If you like a good mystery thriller, you'll enjoy this one. Recommend.
In "Never Look Away", David Harwood is a reporter with a wife, a son, two loving parents who babysit their son and a hot lead on signs of corruption in local government that will make an explosive story. Suddenly, his wife disappears at a local theme park and he is accused of causing her disappearance.
More problems pile on and the pressure makes David and his world crumble.
There is a point in which the reader says, "What? Even more happens to this guy?"
Does it get ridiculous?
More importantly, does the story work?
This is a real page turner. I found myself losing real chunks of time if I picked this book up during my morning routine. I was nearly late to work two days in a row because I had to keep reading a little bit more.
I look forward to the next one, Mr. Barclay.
One day, David, his wife Jan, and their four year old son, Ethan, go to an amusement park. As they approach the front gate, Jan remembers something in the car and tells David she'll meet him inside. She never shows.
After alerting park officials and doing an extensive search, police are called in and after a bit begin to suspect that David did something to his wife.
Things are baffeling and the reader wonders how they could be. But the author is providing a cover for his clever plot.
David is a smypathetic character. His plight is tragic but we also witness what his wife is up to and wonder how a reporter like David can't see things more clearly. Jan is a true Machiavellian figure, out only for herself. She's totally unlikable but this is part of the author's intent so we feel worse for her husband.
The plot is magnificent. Barklay is like a master fisherman, casting lines in different spots and then reeling them back with a story that catches the reader's breath.
Ok, this book was just silly and not worth really reading. The beginning was suspenseful because you really, really, wanted to know what happened to his wife and find out the truth about his wife's parents...but then once you found out mid-section of the book that this chick was alive and had a stolen identity even then it was like okay...understood...still can be interesting...but what just did it for me was his wife had the nerve to leave her husband and her SON to be with some sorry loser fresh out of prison from a 5 year bid and they both on the run over some diamonds nonsense and because she just wanted some money to relax on a beach...who chooses a life like that, unless she has some serious mental issues...it's just crazy. The only thing that was interesting about this story was how a lot of the characters all seemed to be connected to the mystery.
Told from the viewpoint of various different characters, the reader soon learns that there is more to the mystery behind Jan's disappearance than first meets the eye. Which is probably the biggest issue I had with this book. After having revealed the central "mystery" very early in the book, the story lost a lot of its momentum as David struggles to discover what the reader already knows - which takes up the entire second half of the book. And whilst there are a few lose ends and questions left unanswered, they did not pack enough punch to keep me captivated. Once the element of surprise was lost, the many parallel storylines and false leads running through the book may have provided background information, but had lost their power to carry any weight.
There is also the danger of revealing the dark side of central characters to soon - rendered unlikeable too early in the piece, I no longer really cared what happens to them. So whilst I did finish the book, there was no longer any real urgency to do so. All in all, "Never Look Away" was a readable albeit somewhat disappointing story. It filled in time on a long plane flight, but will certainly not make it on my list of memorable reads.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I found this book riveting because of all the perp' intricate planning to make someone else look guilty,Published 11 days ago by Anne Dart
Never read anything by this author before, but it is defiantly a must read.Published 12 days ago by Barb Colrud
It really keeps you guessing with all of the twists and turns. I really enjoyed it and have started another book by this author.Published 27 days ago by duckfan
This was a trilogy of small town drama in today time but what hit me was my second biik took enough liberties with characters to keep me guessing. Read morePublished 1 month ago by David M Angell
It was slow getting into the meat of the storyline, but was powerful in the twists and turns up until the very end.Published 1 month ago by Sondra Fowler
Linwood Barclay never lets you down! A great mystery/thriller writer. Just discovered him and have read all his books but one!!Published 1 month ago by Jeana