Linwood Barclay is my new favorite thriller author! I was hooked from the very first page of Never Look Away when someone’s had gets cut off to detach it from a briefcase, and it only gets better from there.
David Harwood, wife Jan, and four-year-old son Ethan spend a Saturday at Promise Falls’s new amusement park. Jan sends David and Ethan into the park while she goes back to the car to get the backpack she forgot. After meeting up with her family, when David goes to get an ice cream and Jan turns away briefly, Ethan has suddenly disappeared. Frantic, the two split up in search of their son. David eventually locates the stroller and upon his approach, sees a bearded man take off. Relieved that Ethan is safe, David calls Jan to tell her everything is okay, but he cannot contact her.
In fact, Jan isn’t with the park security or at their meeting place. With the police involved, they review the security cameras and there is no evidence of Jan even entering the park at all. Taking the police’s advice, David returns home but doesn’t feel he can stay idle while is wife is missing. He remembers a birth certificate he found behind the baseboard in their linen closet who listed who Jan’s parents are, who Jan has been estranged from before they even met. Wondering if Jan somehow contacted her parents, David goes to Rochester to meet them and discovers that their daughter, Jan Richler, died in an accident when she was a child. Then who is his wife?
Meanwhile, David, a reporter for the local paper the Standard Times, is being harassed by the owner of a private prison who is trying to build a new location in Promise Falls. David has a lead regarding the owner paying off councilmen to get the prison approved. Could they somehow be involved in Jan’s disappearance?
I stayed up until 12:30 am last night to finish this book because I couldn’t put it down. Can’t wait for your next book Mr. Barclay!