Thursday, August 28, 2014

Trust Your Eyes by Linwood Barclay


First Line: It was just by chance he turned down Orchard Street and saw the window when he did.

Ray Kilbride has come home to Promise Falls, New York, to take care of the details of his recently deceased father's funeral and will-- and to see that his schizophrenic brother Thomas has the proper care. It's not going to be easy. Thomas spends almost his entire day on his computer logged into Whirl360, his self-appointed task to memorize the details of every street in every city.

When Thomas sees what he believes is a woman being murdered in an apartment window in Manhattan, he insists that Ray do something about it. Ray is well-acquainted with his brother's illness, and he knows that if he doesn't make at least a token effort, Thomas will make life impossible. But what Ray doesn't realize is that, by going to the art supply store and stopping by a Manhattan apartment building, the world is going to come crashing down on the two Kilbride brothers.

Many readers think of thrillers as the wham, bam, thank you ma'am genre, with everything sacrificed to an adrenaline-charged plot. That's not the type of thriller that Linwood Barclay writes. Trust Your Eyes is filled with wonderful, nuanced characters and a thick, meaty plot that knows when to take it nice and easy.

Thomas's illness is sympathetically and realistically drawn. His memory is prodigious, his routines are set in stone, he can be charming, frightening, infuriating, and endearing. No less real is his older brother Ray, who's made a home and a career for himself away from his father and brother. When he finally loses patience with his brother, it's all right, because we've lost patience, too. When he feels shame for giving in to his anger and feeling of hopelessness, we do, too. Barclay has drawn us completely into the lives of these two brothers.

And these two (basically) ordinary men are rapidly drawn into an extraordinary, life-threatening situtation. The author has created a tightly woven mesh of subplots. There's the worry about Thomas and his obsession with Whirl360 and talking to people who aren't there. Did he really see a murder? Who was murdered? Who are the killers? Is there something wrong with that riding lawnmower at the bottom of the slope? So many questions unfold themselves and spread their wings that you'd think I'd get hopelessly lost. But no, I didn't because I was so immersed in the story that I remembered every character, every plot twist, and I read faster and faster to see how Barclay would bring all these elements back into some sort of resolution.

The mood in Trust Your Eyes gets increasingly tense, and it was good to see the flashes of Barclay's humor that I enjoyed so much in his Zack Walker book, Bad Move. The author knew to place his hilarity in just the right spots so it would surprise a laugh out of the reader and relieve the almost unbearable tension.

I don't know what kept me away from Linwood Barclay's books for so long, but I do know one thing: I've got a lot of good reading ahead of me as I catch up. 


Trust Your Eyes by Linwood Barclay
ISBN: 9780451414175  
Signet © 2013
Mass Market Paperback, 592 pages

Thriller, Standalone
Rating: A
Source: Paperback Swap


 

15 comments:

  1. Cathy - Oh, it's good to hear you enjoyed this one! I like Barclay's wit too, and he's able to integrate it in just the right way so as not to take away from a solid, tense plot. I'd heard this one was a good 'un and it's nice to know I heard right.

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  2. I really enjoy Barclays' books, they are the best.

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    1. That's what I've finally been finding out, Marjorie!

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  3. This was a page turner for me!!! Loved it!!

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    1. I was so engrossed in this book that when Denis came out to ask me a question, he startled me so badly I almost jumped out of the pool! LOL

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  4. I'm so glad you liked this book since I had recommended it. No Time for Goodbye is also among his best.

    I just took the newest book out of the library and have to force myself to finish another book first as I know once I start a Barclay, there's nothing else doing until I'm finished with it. No bill paying, no trips to the grocery store, nothing.

    Yes, Barclay is very good with his characters. They're usually ordinary people who fall or get sucked into extraordinary circumstances beyond their control. And then we go with them as they finish the story. His books are not fast-packed action with no human interest. They delve into characters' personalities and lives, which make his thrillers stand head and shoulders above many authors' books.

    Well, there are a lot more to read. And I must get Bad Move.

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    1. Barclay is definitely an author I need to stick with, as I've discovered this summer. I just finished another thriller that I couldn't put down because of the main character-- Gregg Hurwitz's Don't Look Back.

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  5. I've read a few by Hurwitz. Can't remember if I read Don't Look Back. I may have.
    I don't put those down either once I start.

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    1. Don't Look Back has just been released.

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  6. I'm now reading the lovely Ordinary Grace. You have read it, and I gather, liked it. I'll look for your review after I finish it.

    I find it unputdownable even though it's not fast-paced. It's interesting.

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    1. I found it to be a pitch-perfect evocation of a time and place. I loved it.

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  7. Yes. Ordinary Grace is an excellent book for a particular time and small-town U.S. life, and a 13-year-old boy. It kept me riveted for the weekend, and when I came to after I finished, I wondered if I could just sit here and read and do nothing else. I haven't had such a relaxing reading experience in quite awhile. I could feel the pace of that life, so different from living in a big city where one has to contend with crowds and sometimes rude people just walking around the corner to get groceries, and seeing lots of people one doesn't know.

    I also like the author's sensitivity toward Native people and some of their history, which he brings up in a low-key way.

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    1. Krueger deals well with Native Americans in his Cork O'Connor series, too.

      Small town life can be idyllic in many ways, but I had to get out of mine. I've never regretted my decision.

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  8. I don't think I could live in a small town. I live in the middle of a big city, although I try to avoid rush hour crowds in the street and the supermarket.

    I like to sit on my stoop and watch people and dogs walk by. And I love that grocery stores are open all night nearby and restaurants will deliver food all the time, too.

    Am spoiled here, but wish I could have mountains, creeks and animals outside the back window, too.

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