This isn’t my favorite Barclay, but still a page-turner with his signature twist ending. In A Tap on the Window, PI Cal Weaver is driven to find the drug dealer who sold his son Scott the “X” that led to his death. On a rainy night driving through the small town of Griffon, NY near Niagara Falls, Weaver is waiting at a stop light when he receives a tap on the window. It is a young girl from Scott’s class needing a ride.
Weaver realizes that an adult male picking up a teenage girl isn’t the smartest idea, but maybe she has information that will lead him to finding Scott’s drug dealer, so he takes the risk. This sets in motion a chain of mysterious events that lead to murder.
Barclay is adept at balancing plot with several layers that keep his story moving at a swift pace, and this book is no exception. Besides what transpires with Weaver, the readers learns that in the background tensions are rising in Griffon between Mayor Bert Sanders and the chief of police, Auggie Perry, who is also Weaver’s brother-in-law. There is rumor that the police meter out their own personal brand of justice. Some residents support Perry’s team if it gets the job done and keeps the town safe, while others, especially Sanders, do not.
What is troubling to Weaver is that Claire, the teenager he gave a lift to, is not the girl who returned to her car after he pulled into a burger joint so she could go to the bathroom. And now both Claire, who is Mayor Sanders daughter, and Claire’s impostor are missing. Not sure who he can trust, especially the police, Weaver takes a personal interested in finding Claire, which may ultimately lead to answers about his son.