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Too Close to Home by Linwood Barclay

Too Close to Home (original 2008; edition 2009)

by Linwood Barclay

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652None14,704 (3.73)29
Title:Too Close to Home
Authors:Linwood Barclay
Info:Bantam (2009), Edition: Reprint, Mass Market Paperback, 512 pages
Collections:Your library, To read
Tags:Fiction, mystery/thriller

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Too Close to Home by Linwood Barclay (2008)


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Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
There is nothing better than a Linwood Barclay novel to keep you glued to your seat and turning pages well into the night. "Too Close to Home" is a stunning piece of writing; a thriller of the best kind. Barclay has this way of keeping you guessing right to the last page. Loved every bit of it! ( )
  KerryMarsh | Jan 22, 2014 |
A thriller by Canadian author. The setting is upstate New York town of Promise Falls where the entire next door family is murdered. Did the murderer get the wrong house, is there a secret someone is trying to protect? Soon the Cutter family is not only next door but under suspicion. This is also a good story of family relationships. ( )
  Kristelh | Nov 16, 2013 |
Promise Falls, NY isn't the kind of community where a family is shot to death in their own home. But it 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. Thet visited for the occasional barbecue, and their son, Derek, was friends with the Langley boy, Adam; but how well did they really know their neighbors. Brett Stockwell a young high school boy wrote a novel the was published under the name of Conard Chase, the President of Thackeray College, which was his only best selling novel "A Missing Part." ( )
  Gatorhater | Jun 26, 2013 |
Teenager Derek Cutter has a plan. He’ll hide in his next door neighbour and best friend Adam Langley’s house when Adam and his parents go on holidays. Then Derek will have a venue for hooking up with his girlfriend Penny. Things go awry when the Langley family returns home only an hour after leaving but while Derek is trying to work out how to sneak out without being discovered the entire Langley family is killed by intruders. The next morning Derek’s parents, Jim and Ellen, are shocked to learn of their neighbours’ fate and Derek says nothing about what he saw or heard the previous night. However, Jim Cutter learns some things that make him wonder if the Langley family were killed mistakenly.

I read, and thoroughly enjoyed, Barclay’s [b:No Time for Goodbye|1225261|No Time for Goodbye|Linwood Barclay|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1182031065s/1225261.jpg|2906898] earlier this year and what grabbed me most were the thoughtful depictions of a couple’s individual and joint struggles in a time of crisis for their family. In Too Close to Home the characters were not nearly as engaging. Jim Cutter, whose point of view occupies most of the book, is superficial and he didn’t seem to react authentically to much of what was going on in his life. His response to people he didn’t like (punching them) was juvenile and became dull (he did it four times that I can recall) and overall I was bored by him. I never bought Ellen’s character at all but I can’t really say why without giving away spoilers but I think she waited far too long in terms of the internal logic of the story to share her secret with her husband. The only person who I really thought was depicted well was their teenage son Derek but he wasn’t enough of a pivotal role to hold the book together for me.

I also struggled to maintain interest in the plot. It seemed to take forever to get going and, aside from a few minor surprises, was quite predictable. The killer was obvious to me at the moment of their introduction and, even though it had three twists too many, the end of the convoluted plagiarism thread was easy to forecast. There seemed to me to be too many ideas jammed into this one story and so nothing really got explored terribly deeply and the fact that one thread was a very (very) long and obvious red herring didn’t really work.

The book is not terrible. But, as is the way of things, if something grabs my heart in some way I forgive its flaws and when something doesn’t grab me I do admit to becoming overly picky. For tangible and intangible reasons this book just didn’t grab me and so I’ve undoubtedly gotten hot under the collar about things that don’t really matter. However if you haven’t tried Linwood Barclay yet I’d recommend [b:No Time for Goodbye|1225261|No Time for Goodbye|Linwood Barclay|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1182031065s/1225261.jpg|2906898]. ( )
  bsquaredinoz | Mar 31, 2013 |
This is a thriller that builds slowly but it kept me up at night. I'm a little disappointed that Barclay chose to situate this book in New York State rather than Canada but it does make some sense given how the story develops.

Derek Cutter is your typical teenage boy. That is he thinks about sex all the time and especially how he and his girlfriend can have some place where they can have sex. When his next door neighbours, the Langleys, decide to go away for a week he figures he has hit the jackpot. All he has to do is slip into the basement after he has said goodbye to them and wait until they have left. Then he can call his girlfriend and she can come over to their love nest. Unfortunately his girlfriend has been grounded and won't be able to get out of her house until much later. Derek hangs around the house hoping she will be able to get over. He is thus quite shocked when the Langleys unexpectedly come home. That shock is only intensified when, while he is hiding out in the basement, someone comes to their home and shoots Mr. and Mrs. Langley and his best friend, Adam.

Who has committed this horrible crime? Derek didn't see the person and just heard a few words one of which was "Shame". Derek can't face telling anyone he was in the house and so he lies about his whereabouts that evening. When forensic evidence proves he was there and he is charged with the murders his father, Jim, decides to follow another line of investigation. This line involves his wife's boss (and former lover) and a book that he plagiarized from a former student. Everyone has a secret they don't want exposed but did this secret lead to murder?

It's a taut and well-written book. On the cover Peter Robinson is quoted as saying "If you like Harlan Coben, you'll love Linwood Barclay." I didn't really care for the one Harlan Coben book that I have read but I do like Peter Robinson so I guess I could say "If you like Peter Robinson you will like Linwood Barclay. ( )
  gypsysmom | Feb 10, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
This book follows last year's acclaimed No Time for Goodbye..This also has some unexpected twists and turns, not to mention some very good red herrings, but while I was kept guessing right to the end, the surprise finale was unconvincing.
added by vancouverdeb | editguardian.co.uk (Jan 15, 2011)

» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Linwood Barclayprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aurstad, ToreTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Barfoed, ErikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fredholm, ElisabetTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Derek figured, when the time came, the crawlspace would be the best place to hide.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 055359043X, Mass Market Paperback)

Critically acclaimed and bestselling author Linwood Barclay brings terror closer than ever before in a stunning thriller in which murder strikes in the place we should feel safest of all….

In a quiet neighborhood, in the house next door, a family is brutally murdered for no apparent reason. You can’t help thinking, It could have been us. And you start to wonder: What if we’re next?

Promise Falls isn’t the kind of community where families are shot to death in their own homes. But how well did Jim and Ellen Cutter really know their neighbors—or the darker secrets of their small town? They don’t have to look further than their own marriage to know that things aren’t always what they seem. Now the Cutters and their son, Derek, must face the unthinkable: that a murderer isn’t just stalking too close to home…but is inside it already.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:31:21 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Using his neighbor's house to spend some private time with his girlfriend while the Barclays are on vacation, Derek Cutter suddenly becomes the prime suspect in a small-town murder case when the Barclays return home early and are unexpectedly killed--with Derek still hiding in their basement.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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