Saturday, March 16, 2013

Review of Too Close To Home-Linwood Barclay

Every now and again I become ambitious when it comes to the books I read. Whether I try reading more often, reading classics, or devoting my time to a particular genre, or even reading new authors. I do try to organize what I read.

One summer in my past I tried reading authors I've never experienced before, and Linwood Barclay's Too Close To Home was introduced to my library. This actually was a book that I took with me on a camping trip. I figure I could pay close attention to the story, characters, plot, subplots, and still provide a play by play for my wife. Something that always thrills her. That last statement was dripping with sarcasm.

I'm glad that this author and book came into my life because it was a tremendous one. Linwood Barclay was able to take an ordinary family, get you to relate to them, make their lives realistic, and then turn their world upside down. The family he writes about are the Cutters. The seemingly happy family made up of Jim, Ellen, and Derek have a life-altering experience. One that places their own lives in danger.

Derek Cutter, who is Jim and Ellen's son, is the catalyst in changing his family's life, perhaps forever. The story focuses on Derek hearing and witnessing the murder of his boyhood friend and family while secretly hiding in their basement. Derek sneaks into his friend’s basement to be able to spend some private time with his girlfriend. The unexpected murders takes place and nothing is the same for the Cutter family.

I know as a guy I was able to relate to both Jim and Derek. I could see any teenage boy concocting a scenario like Derek to be alone with his girlfriend. I then tried to imagine how Derek felt hearing and seeing the murders and corpses of people he liked. The imminent danger he felt, knowing that life would never be the same because friends lives have ended, the emotions sweeping through his mind, and then wanting to hide what he knows because he was never supposed to be at his friend’s house to begin with.

Add mistaken identity, a plagiarized novel, a possible suicide, and a diverse, deep variety of characters to the story and you have a fast paced, action packed, suspense story that should be experienced. If Linwood Barclay is a new name to you like he was for me you won't be disappointed by giving him a try.  

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