No Time for Goodbye

No Time for Goodbye

No Time For Goodbye by Linwood Barclay is the story of Cynthia Archer who when she was teenager has a fight with her parents only to awake and find that the house is empty. There is no sign of either of her parents or her younger brother, Todd. Cynthia frantically begins searching for a note, remarking that her Mum would always leave a note, even if she was angry. Fast forward to twenty five years later and Cynthia has a family of her own, overprotective towards her daughter Grace, she is still haunted by her past. Frantic to find out answers she appears on a US TV show. Cynthia’s appearance on the TV show is used by Barclay as a catalyst for the past to intrude on the future and Cynthia’s new life. As a reader by this point you are already beginning to formulate your own assumptions, such as why was Cynthia the only survivor? Are they still alive? The main narrator, Terry, Cynthia’s husband is unreliable as he does not trust his own wife and should we as readers trust that Terry is innocent.

After the TV documentary a letter arrives, followed by a hat and the appearance of someone Cynthia swears is her brother in the mall food court. Even after the arrival of the letter the book struggles to gain momentum, it is not until someone is murdered that I become hooked and the pace quickened. There are small clues as to what is going throughout the book, arguable some of these are bit to transparent. In particular I found one character immediately suspect, although credit to Barclay as his role was not what I had imagined.

No Time for Goodbye is an easy read, I picked up and put it down a few times before I reached the stage where I just had to curl up and finish it. When the book reaches the final scenes I found some of it just a bit too melodramatic, yet I can imagine that this book would transfer incredibly well to a TV series. Overall I would say that it is a good enough thriller but some of it is just not believable and I found the ending to be a little unlikely. I would be interested in reading more of Barclays work but No Time For Goodbye was not quite sharp enough to really grip me and for the characters and story to have any lasting effect. 

By Eleanor Boyce

by for
find me on and follow me on