Never Look Away
By Linwood Barclay
Hatchette, Rs 295
This is a review that is long overdue, a review of a book that was begun, put down because other, more pressing reviews came up, but a book that begged to be returned to, because frankly, it was so very compelling. In fact, it was so compelling that I was forced to dig it out the other day and finish it in one sitting.
The story goes something like this, David Harwood is battling issues at work with the newspaper he works with on the verge of a shutdown and at home with his wife in the clutch of a severe depression. His wife gets them tickets to a theme park for a day trip. They go with their young son, for a day at the theme park, where he hopes they could have some fun memories and his wife could get back to a happier place. The action begins when his wife just suddenly disappears and there, coincidentally, seems to be no footage of her entering the park or evidence of her having come along with them. David automatically becomes a prime suspect for her disappearance.
David, in a twist of fate, needs to prove that he is innocent, and he has to unravel tangled skeins to do so, and saying anymore would give away the whodunnit and why, so I’m just going to zip up here and now and tell you to go read this book. But anyway, the way it is written, this book just has major motion picture stamped all over it, so if you’re feeling lazy to read it, you might just wait for the movie.
What is appealing about this book, is that in true Hitchcock style, the accused is a man you know is innocent but must prove himself so, without any special skills in terms of detective abilities or help from the authorities. The plot moves along quick and believable, the narrative moves between David’s first person point of view to a dispassionate third person narrator’s voice. The characters are well fleshed out, and David, his son Ethan could be characters you and I know in the real world.
A good quick read, that is perfect for a long flight, or a day at home.