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Publisher's Summary

On the morning she will never forget, suburban teenager Cynthia Archer awakes with a nasty hangover and a feeling she is going to have an even nastier confrontation with her mom and dad. But when she leaves her bedroom, she discovers the house is empty, with no sign of her parents or younger brother Todd. In the blink of an eye, without any explanation, her family has simply disappeared.
Twenty-five years later Cynthia is still haunted by unanswered questions. Were her family murdered? If so, why was she spared? And if they're alive, why did they abandon her in such a cruel way? Now married with a daughter of her own, Cynthia fears that her new family will be taken from her just as her first one was. And so she agrees to take part in a TV documentary revisiting the case, in the hope that somebody somewhere will remember something - or even that her father, mother or brother might finally reach out to her...
Then a letter arrives which makes no sense and yet chills Cynthia to the core. And soon she begins to realise that stirring up the past could be the worst mistake she has ever made.
©2007 Linwood Barclay (P)2007 AudioGo Ltd
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Caroline on 07-21-15

Excellent plot

Really enjoyed this. Interesting twist. Thriller without being police based. Will try another one from Linwood Barclay.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By H. Bacon on 11-01-15

Terrible! Amazed there are so many gushing reviews

I'll start with the positive: The narration was pretty good. Not sure i could fault that particularly.

Now on to the rest of the book... just about every single character acted and reacted to situations in a way that was entirely unbelievable. Barely a single key scene took place that wasn't in some way ludicrous. Almost everything the main character did/said/thought was so preposterous that it was clearly a plot device to lead to something.

Which unfortunately leads on to the next problem with this book; the whole story was so obviously signposted and laid out that there was no element of suspense or wonder. I tend to listen to books while I'm doing DIY or cooking - i.e. while I'm distracted with something else - so I tend to like books that are not too difficult to follow. However, this book was a bit too straight-forward. Once I'd realised that all characters were ridiculous, then it was impossible not to know where the story was going. Imagine playing Tetris where the only shapes falling down are square blocks... it gets dull after a while, despite your success.

I can suspend dis-belief as well as the next person, but there has to be some context. This book is set on earth and is a story based around humans. The events depicted in this book do not sensibly reflect those two facts.

The biggest mystery about this book for me is that there are so many incredibly positive reviews. This is a similar result to a time I listened to a James Patterson novel who gets all of his writing done by bought in authors. This felt similarly lacklustre and missing the attention and detail required.

If it helps understand my review, I'll tell you a few authors in a similar vein (i.e. gripping/tense thrillers) that I have really enjoyed:
Michael Connelly, Iain Banks, Iain M Banks, Christopher Brookmyre, Stieg Larsson, Vince Flynn
and some I thought were okay:
Craig Russell, Val McDermid, Jo Nesbo (could potentially have been in the first list)

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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