Linwood Barclay is one of my favorite suspense writers. He never disappoints. A lot of thrillers have the hero as a cop, P.I., lawyer etc that gets involved with the story because it is their job. Not so with Barclay's heroes. They are for the most part average American family men who get tossed into a unique situation that they didn't see coming. Barclay knows how to write riveting suspense but along the way he tosses in a bit of humor and even a dash of tenderness from time to time to make a great read. The twists and turns in the plot will keep you turning pages way into the night.
4.0 out of 5 stars - Most people don't look up...
This is a suspenseful thriller that grabs the reader immediately and propels you along in a story that requires a bit of suspension of disbelief but is nevertheless compelling to finish quickly to see how this author pulls it all together.
From the onset, Barclay introduces some interesting characters that come to life slowly as the narrative progresses. Thomas thinks that he sees something suspicious in an upstairs window on a nondescript street in New York, and his brother, Ray, is talked into doing an investigation. Someone finds out that the brothers have happened upon a mistake that they thought they had covered up. What follows is a roller coaster of reactions as the novel flips from one character's viewpoint to another and gives the reader a picture of the complex machinations behind the vision in the window - a frozen moment in time that produces fallout beyond what the brothers (and the others) ever imagined.
I read this in one day as I found it just too hard to put aside. Although my favorite Barclay novel is No Time For Goodbye, I rank this one close to that. I do think that sometimes the author gets a little carried away with the number of deaths per book, and the endings are always pretty neatly tied up, but you'll need to read it for yourself as there might be a few surprises that even a savvy reader might not predict.
I recommend it!
Many readers think of thrillers as the wham, bam, thank you ma'am genre, with everything sacrificed to an adrenaline-charged plot. That's not the type of thriller that Linwood Barclay writes. Trust Your Eyes is filled with wonderful, nuanced characters and a thick, meaty plot that knows when to take it nice and easy.
Thomas's illness is sympathetically and realistically drawn. His memory is prodigious, his routines are set in stone, he can be charming, frightening, infuriating, and endearing. No less real is his older brother Ray, who's made a home and a career for himself away from his father and brother. When he finally loses patience with his brother, it's all right, because we've lost patience, too. When he feels shame for giving in to his anger and feeling of hopelessness, we do, too. Barclay has drawn us completely into the lives of these two brothers.
And these two (basically) ordinary men are rapidly drawn into an extraordinary, life-threatening situation. The author has created a tightly woven mesh of subplots. There's the worry about Thomas and his obsession with Whirl360 and talking to people who aren't there. Did he really see a murder? Who was murdered? Who are the killers? Is there something wrong with that riding lawnmower at the bottom of the slope? So many questions unfold themselves and spread their wings that you'd think I'd get hopelessly lost. But no, I didn't because I was so immersed in the story that I remembered every character, every plot twist, and I read faster and faster to see how Barclay would bring all these elements back into some sort of resolution.
The mood in Trust Your Eyes gets increasingly tense, and it was good to see the flashes of Barclay's humor that I enjoyed so much in his Zack Walker book, Bad Move. The author knew to place his hilarity in just the right spots so it would surprise a laugh out of the reader and relieve the almost unbearable tension.
I don't know what kept me away from Linwood Barclay's books for so long, but I do know one thing: I've got a lot of good reading ahead of me as I catch up.
I figured things out just a handful of pages before everything was explained in the story, but that in no way detracted from the wild ride of a tale that Barclay weaves here. It's woven, thread by head-scratchingly disparate thread, from a whole array of memorable people and events. In particular, the depiction of the often strained relationship between the brothers was just about perfect--anger, confusion, frustration, and love, all in the right measures.
Some of the other characters are fairly flat, many plot elements are too coincidental and far-fetched to be believable, but Barclay makes everything work in the context of his story, and I simply couldn't stop reading. Even the constant skipping from one thread to another, one time to another, one character to another (a technique I generally don't care for), didn't slow down the flow of the book. Complex, clever, enjoyable, one of the best books I've read this year.
Amazing story, many twists and unexpected turns. One of those books I was sorry when it ended. This was my favorite Barclay book so far!!