2 December 2009

Review: TOO CLOSE TO HOME, Linwood Barclay

Orion Books, 2008, 341 pages, ISBN 978-0-7528-9740-0

17 year old Derek Cutter has it all worked out. When his neighbours the Langleys go on a week's holiday, their house will provide a perfect lovenest for him and his girlfriend Penny. All he has to do is hide in their house, wait for them to leave, and then persuade Penny to come over. Except things go wrong. Donna Langley takes ill a short way from home and they come home soon after leaving. Derek is trapped in the house and has to wait for them to go to sleep. Within minutes all three Langleys are dead, killed by a gunman.

Derek Cutter lives right next door, but instead of rushing to get his parents, he leaves the Langley house quietly, shuts the door, and runs off into the night. It's a hot night and Jim and Ellen Cutter, next door, have their airconditioner turned up, and don't hear a thing. The death of their neighbours comes as a huge shock next morning.

Albert Langley was a lawyer, and while he may have made enemies in the course of his work, there doesn't seem any obvious reason why someone would have killed the whole family. Rather inevitably Derek has left traces next door, and he falls under suspicion. Trying to clear his son's name, Jim Cutter has the horrifying thought that the gunman may have shot the wrong family...

I found TOO CLOSE TO HOME an enjoyable read, although there was a sort of inevitable progression in the linking up of all the threads. There were a couple of twists to the plot that I didn't see coming and red herrings threw me off the scent occasionally.

My rating: 4.3

My friend Bernadette on Reactions to Reading didn't enjoy TOO CLOSE TO HOME as much as I did. For other reviews check Material Witness, Peeking Between the Pages and A Bookworm’s World.

I read and reviewed Linwood Barclay's NO TIME TO SAY GOODBYE last year.

Linwood Barclay is a Canadian writer with 8 books to his credit. Check his site here.


Anonymous said...

Kerrie - Thanks, as always, for your careful and thoughtful review. I continue to be so impressed with the variety and number of books that you make the time to share with us : ).

Teena in Toronto said...

I read this last year and wasn't all that crazy about it.



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