This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Never Look Away by Linwood Barclay

I have no idea where I picked this one to add to my book list. But I requested it from the library about 3/4ths of the way through HP and the Goblet Fire, where I was ready for something else. By the end of the book, I had a change of heart and wanted to go on to book five...but since I had to wait for that book too, I decided to read this one.

It is a mystery? thriller? both? about a man who's wife disappears during a trip to a local amusement park.

It actually starts with the abduction of their young son at the park, then when the wife and hubby were supposed to meet up, she never shows up.

Along with the mystery is that the husband works for a local paper investigating whether a proposed private prison system is paying off city council members. Is this what caused the abduction of his child and the disappearance of his wife?

Things are not looking good for the husband, who naturally, because people like to believe in statistics 100% of the time and never actually attempt to THINK for themselves and look at evidence, he is looked upon as murdering his wife -- despite the fact that there is no body.

It was an OK book to read. I wouldn't say it was predictable, but it was in an unpredictable way. Does that make any sense? Probably not but my point is: it's not original. It's not bad but it's not great. It's like the "chick lit" of thriller books. Something to pass the time but I could have passed it on...

The writing was a bit annoying. I was able to forget it for awhile until close to the end when I was reminded about how annoying it had been. There are way too many details and while I am not even remotely close to being a writer of any kind, or have earned the right to scrutinize a professional...I will anyway. It read more like an inexperienced writer. The detail was unreal. Just over the top for no reason.
Jan was opening a small canvas bag next to it that was actually a soft-sided cooler. Inside were a small ice pack and half a dozen juice boxes, cellophaned-wrapped straws stuck to the sides. She handed me one of the juice boxes and said "Give that to Ethan."
I took it from Jan as she finished up in the trunk and closed it. She zipped up the cooler bag and tucked it into the basket at the back of the stroller as I peeled the straw off of the sticky juice box. It, or one of the other juices in the cooler, must have sprung a tiny leak. I took the straw from its wrapper and stabbed it into the box.
This goes on a couple more sentences but there is no significance in these paragraphs *at all* to the story. Just writing this annoyed the shit out of me.

Then toward the back end of the story, this reminded me of what I didn't like:
Oscar sat on a leather stool at the kitchen counter. A silver laptop lay there, its screen black. He hit a button on the side, and while he waited for the machine to get up and running, he reached for a remote and brought the flat-screen TV to life. It was already on CNN, and he left it there.
 The only thing relevant is the CNN story. But the amount of detail about the laptop is just, amateurish.

Sorry to Mr. Barclay. But he doesn't need my apology since it seems that one of his books No Time for Goodbye has been "optioned" for a film.

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