No Time for Goodbye – Linwood Barclay

Where I came upon this title, heaven knows, since I roam across tons of different book blogs throughout my week, but this was actually really good. I say “really good” with some surprise, as it is not usually the type of book that I would typically pick up: a thriller packed with suspense and intrigue. Even though not my usual fare, I had been reading quite a few hard books (i.e. books where you have to concentrate quite a bit to get through them), and since I have found a way to work out at the gym and read, I needed to find a book that would not be too taxing, font-wise or mentally-speaking, for the gym. No Time for Goodbye fit the bill exactly.

The novel starts off with the basic premise of a young teenaged girl who wakes up one morning only to find her parents and younger brother gone, leaving no note and no clues as to their whereabouts. Were they murdered? Did they run away (and why without her)? Also, their disappearance meant that she would have to live with people who suspected her of being involved with their disappearance…

Twenty-five years later, married with a family of her own, Cynthia Archer (the name of the girl left behind) suddenly receives a bizarre clue about her missing family members. But did she dream it? Invent it? And what should she with the information? Pick off the old scabs and reopen her family’s case?

Barclay, a Canadian author, has written several mysteries in the past, so this who-dunnit format is not new for him. However, he keeps it all fresh with an irreverent humor and the PoV of Cynthia’s husband as he veers from doubting his wife’s sanity to his own to a riveting and unpredictable conclusion at the end.

I did find that I had to keep my wits around me when I was reading the last third of the book; a lot of new characters were introduced and it was a bit tough to keep them all straight in how they fit into the story. But they all fit in, and when you have read the conclusion, it becomes absolutely clear who is what to whom.

As I mentioned, I don’t have a lot of experience reading thrillers and the like, but this was a fun, light-hearted read (due to the humor), although it’s a bit of a heavy topic. I was looking for a fast summer read, and this read like a hot knife through butter. (See the post on The Sea to read what was NOT an easy title for me to complete…)

Complete bubblegum, but fun all the same.