Thursday, August 09, 2012
TRUST YOUR EYES by Linwood Barclay, forthcoming September 2012 from Doubleday Canada, 498 pages
I've been a longtime fan of Linwood Barclay's thrillers including THE ACCIDENT, NEVER LOOK AWAY, FEAR THE WORST, TOO CLOSE TO HOME and NO TIME FOR GOODBYE. In each he creates characters that seem so real and situations that are terrifying yet plausible that you believe what befalls his fictional folk could very well happen to you or to people you know just down the street or only a block away.
In his forthcoming novel TRUST YOUR EYES, Barclay is a storyteller at the height of his powers. The set up feels like a heady cross between RAIN MAN and Hitchcock's REAR WINDOW. The Kilbride brothers--men in their mid-thirties--have just lost their father to a sudden accident. One of them, Thomas, is a schizophrenic who seems to also be an agoraphobic, rarely leaving the security of his bedroom in the home in which he was raised. He's got important work, as he sees it: memorizing the maps of the world, city by city, street by street, so that one day when the CIA needs him because the online world implodes, those patterns will have been imprinted in his remarkable brain. And, he will be their essential resource. Thomas spends his days and nights on a website, Whirl360 (Google maps, anyone?), where he witnesses what he thinks might be a murder of a woman in a New York City apartment. Hitch is nobody believes him. Not even his brother Ray, an illustrator, and his caretaker. It takes a woman from their shared past, a local journalist who has always treated Thomas kindly, to help convince Ray that there is definitely something rotten that has been accidentally captured and posted online for the entire world to see.
Ray's journey leads him not only to the scene of the crime but also unwittingly among political spin masters who will stop at nothing to protect their candidate.
Barclay had my heart thumping with suspense and gasping with unexpected tenderness. If you haven't yet found your way to his books, TRUST YOUR EYES is a heady place to begin.