No Safe House by Linwood Barclay

Linwood Barclay

I have enjoyed every book by Linwood Barclay that I have read. He is an American-born Canadian author who was born in Darien, Connecticut, USA in 1955. Barclay is a noted as a novelist, humourist, and columnist. His popular detective novels are bestsellers in Canada and internationally, beginning with No Time for Goodbye in 2007. Several of his books, including No Time For Goodbye, are reviewed on this site. See: It was my older daughter who recommended No Time for Goodbye to me when we were on holiday in Majorca. Since then, I have enjoyed several of his books. The most recent was No Safe House.

No Safe House picks up the story of Terry and Cynthia Archer and their daughter, Grace, No Safe Houseseven years after No Time for Goodbye leaves off. The first book does not have to be read to understand this one, but the events of the first book are mostly disclosed here making reading No Time for Goodbye first, for the sake of enjoyment, advisable. The whole roller coaster ride of the story of No Safe House spans the course of only 24 hours. It is a tense thriller that winds threads of several stories into an exciting whole.

Although several years have passed the Archers, and especially Cynthia, are still struggling with the ordeal they lived through. The criminal, Vince Fleming, is still on the periphery of their lives, Indeed Terry taught Vince’s stepdaughter, Jane Scavullo, who was a few years ahead of Grace at high school. Vince’s continuing presence in the Archer’s lives is to the discomfort of Terry Archer, and the continuing guilt of Cynthia. When their teenage daughter Grace gets involved in a break in and possible shooting, Vince re-enters their world and this time Terry is determined not to be dependent on him to solve their problems.

bloody scotlandLinwood Barclay has a great ability to juggle several storylines and still make room for a twist at the end. He is also able to portray ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events and what that unaccustomed pressure causes them to do. So, as to the solution, Barclay got me once again and came so out of the blue that I would never have seen it coming: still, it made perfect sense.

I enjoy Linwood Barclay’s writing and was very pleased to meet him at last year’s Bloody Scotland Crime Writer’s Festival. If you enjoy a good thriller, No Safe House is for you.

Valerie Penny


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