Monday, November 24, 2008

Too Close To Home by Linwood Barclay and Another Challenge

I became a fan of Mr. Barclay when I began reading his series featuring a stay-at-home dad and the mysteries he gets thrown into. His books always seemed to have a honest, down-to-earth, and slightly humorous side to them and Too Close To Home was no exception. It was a great read and I give it an A-.

From Amazon:
“The night they killed our neighbors, we never heard a thing.” In a quiet suburban neighborhood, in a house only one door away, a family is brutally murdered for no apparent reason. And you think to yourself: It could have been us. And you start to wonder: What if we’re next?Linwood Barclay, critically acclaimed author of No Time for Goodbye, brings terror closer than ever before in a thriller where murder strikes in the place we feel safest of all. Promise Falls isn’t the kind of community where a family is shot to death in their own home. But that is exactly what happened to the Langleys one sweltering summer night, and no one in this small upstate New York town is more shocked than their next-door neighbors, Jim and Ellen Cutter. They visited for the occasional barbecue and their son, Derek, was friends with the Langleys’ boy, Adam; but how well did they really know their neighbors? That’s the question Jim Cutter is asking, and the answers he’s getting aren’t reassuring. Albert Langley was a successful, well-respected criminal lawyer, but was he so good at getting criminals off that he was the victim of revenge—a debt his innocent family also paid in blood? From the town’s criminally corrupt mayor to the tragic suicide of a talented student a decade before, Promise Falls has more than its share of secrets. And Jim Cutter, failed artist turned landscaper, need look no further than his own home and his wife Ellen’s past to know that things aren’t always what they seem. But not even Jim and Ellen are ready to know that their son was in the Langley house the night the family was murdered.Suddenly the Cutters must face the unthinkable: that a murderer isn’t just stalking too close to home but is inside it already. For the Langleys weren’t the first to die and they won’t be the last.

Mr. Barclay is an excellent writter. He allows the reader to really place themselves into the middle of the story and really understand where everyone is coming from. For example, the author never describes what the inside of the Cutter home looks like, but through his honest descriptions and feelings of the characters, I began to imagine a house decorated in the way I thought the Cutters would do so. All of the characters are flawed but not so much that it is unbelievable. I also love that Mr. Barclay always tells the story through the dad's point of view and I appreciate that. I can't think of another book that is like that and it is interesting to read about. The mystery was also well written and there were a lot of twists and turns that keep you on your toes trying to figure everything out. I did figure out some of it but it was only with about 30 pages left. I will continue to be on the lookout for more of Mr. Barclay's books, but am disappointed I have to wait a year for another one.

I have three more library books to get through and the next one up is Blood Lies by Daniel Kalla. I read one of his other books and I really, really enjoyed it so I am hoping this one is just as good. Discussing library books brings me to the next challenge I am going to sign up for. It is called 2009 Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge. The rules are the following:

** The first is to read 12 books from your local library in 2009.
** The second is to read 25 books from your local library in 2009.
** The third is to read 50 books from your local library in 2009.
You decide which one of the three challenges is best for you. Here are the guidelines:
1) You can join anytime as long as you don’t start reading your books prior to 2009.
2) This challenge is for 2009 only. The last day to have all your books read is December 31, 2009.
3) You can join anytime between now and December 31, 2009.
4) When you sign up under Mr. Linky, list the direct link to your post where your library books will be listed. If you list just your blog’s URL, it will be removed. If you don’t have a blog, leave the URL blank.
6) Our goal is to read 12, 25, or 50 books checkout from our local library in 2009. Please decide which when you sign up and don’t change it
.7) These can be audios, downloads, children’s, YA. As long as it’s a book, format and target age group does not matter.
8) Feel free to post a link to your reviews in the comment section below. That way, we can visit your blog and read your review.
9) If you have any questions, feel free to ask below or email me at Comments usually get a quicker response.

Because I am trying to read more of my own books for another challenge, I am only going to pledge 25 books for this challenge. I am sure I will read more, but I am not sure which ones they will be yet. Probably more of the newest releases that come out in hardcover. I am a huge lover of my library, and I encourage everyone else to do the same!


J. Kaye Oldner said...

I have "No Time For Goodbye" that I am reading now. Pretty good book!

Welcome to the challenge!! :)

Kristie said...

Thanks! This is my first year of entering challenges, so I hope I will be doing well.

I thought Too Close To Home was even better!

J. Kaye Oldner said...

Then I won't pick it up...too bad.