Thursday, February 11, 2016

No Time for Goodbye by Linwood Barclay

First Line: When Cynthia woke up, it was so quiet in the house she thought it must be Saturday.

Rebellious fourteen-year-old Cynthia Bigge fights with her father, storms up to her room, and goes to bed. When she wakes up in the morning, she discovers that she's the only one home. Her parents, her brother, they've all vanished, never to be seen again. Twenty-five years later, Cynthia is married and has a small daughter. She is still haunted by the disappearance of her family, and she turns to television to help her find some answers. What she's going to find out will shake her to her core.

I came late to the Linwood Barclay party, but I'm enjoying catching up. I enjoyed the "voice," the story, and the pacing of No Time for Goodbye, although I did have a problem or two with the book over all. 

This plot is very carefully constructed. Seemingly unimportant objects mentioned casually are mentioned for a reason, and the same holds true for characters. Speaking of characters, my favorite was young Jane Scavullo, a troubled teen with so much potential. I don't know if she shows up in another Barclay novel, but I certainly wouldn't mind seeing her again.

Now for the two things that rubbed me the wrong way. Quite frankly, I found main character Cynthia Bigge to be a royal pain in the neck. Everything is about her. No one can voice an opinion if it might be "against" her, and she's in real danger of smothering her young daughter. Yes, it's realistic behavior for someone whose family vanished without explanation, but that doesn't mean I have to like her.

The other thing that bothered me was the explanation for what actually happened to Cynthia's parents and brother, so I can't say much about it without giving it away. I'll just say that Barclay's solution was a bit over-the-top for me, and I had trouble suspending my disbelief enough to accept it all.

But Linwood Barclay can write like a house afire. I love his plots, I love his voice, and just because I didn't like one of his characters doesn't mean I'm going to stop reading his books!

No Time for Goodbye by Linwood Barclay
eISBN: 9780553904222
Bantam Books © 2007
eBook, 468 pages

Rating: B+
Source: Purchased from Amazon. 



  1. I'm glad you're enjoying getting to know Linwood Barclay, Cathy. He's done some great stuff. And this one, despite your reservations, sounds like a compelling story.

  2. I like Linwood Barclay's books and this reminds me to check to see if the library has any new ones by him.

    I liked this one quite a bit and the characters didn't annoy me. Yes, the bad events that befell Cynthia's family seem far-fetched, but the world of crime fiction seems to do that sometimes.

    1. Yes, it does. Sometimes that "far-fetched-ness" bothers me; sometimes it doesn't.

  3. Linwood Barclay is a big favorite for a bunch of my book group members. He can certain write a page-turner. I've read this one and a few more and I'm trying to remember more about this one. You do know that there's a sort of sequel to it. It's called NO SAFE HOUSE and I have not read it yet. My group read TRUST YOUR EYES and enjoyed that one very much.

    1. Yes, I know about the sequel because I got to meet him at The Poisoned Pen when he came to town to talk about No Safe House. If Cynthia is a character (can't remember), I might give it a pass because that woman rubs my fur completely the wrong way! LOL

      I loved Trust Your Eyes!


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