No Time for Goodbye


Author: Linwood Barclay

Published: 2007

Genre: Thriller

About No Time for Goodbye: A fourteen-year-old girl wakes up one morning to find that her entire family has vanished.

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Review of No Time for Goodbye

Fourteen-year-old Cynthia Bigge was annoyed and embarrassed when her father dragged her out of her boyfriend's car and took her home. More than a little drunk, she told her parents she wished they were dead before escaping to her room and falling asleep. When she awoke in the morning, her entire family was gone.

This detective seemed nice enough, but he wasn't asking the questions Cynthia was wondering. Why would her mom and dad and brother just disappear? Where would they go? Why wouldn't they take her with them?

Suddenly, in a frenzy, she began to tear the kitchen apart. Lifting up and tossing placemats, moving the toaster, looking under the chairs, peering down into the crack between the stove and the wall, tears streaming down her face.

"What is it, sweetheart?" the detective asked. "What are you doing?"

"Where's the note?" Cynthia asked, her eyes pleading. "There has to be a note. My mom never goes away without leaving a note."

...from page 14

Twenty-five years later, Cynthia is married with a daughter of her own. But she still has no idea what happened to her family that night.

I had been hearing a lot about Barclay and the premise of this book was particularly fascinating so, when the opportunity arose, I picked it up, fingers crossed that it would live up to the hype. It did.

Barclay had me hooked right from the beginning. I figured things out faster than the main characters but not so fast as to take away from the tension. There were some details that I didn't figure out at all which guaranteed I would read the book straight through to the end. Also, there were short bits placed in between chapters which seemed to be one side of a conversation. At first, I had no idea what they were about and I found them to be rather unsettling.

Most of the book was narrated by Cynthia's husband, Terry, as he tried to support his understandably screwed-up wife. At first he was completely on her side, if a little bit skeptical about ever finding the answer to the mystery, but as the story progressed and truly odd things kept happening, even he started to question his wife's sanity and what, if any, part she may have in what was going on.

I liked Terry a lot. He was a sensible schoolteacher with an entertaining sense of humour. I didn't like Cynthia as much. Although I felt sympathy for her, she seemed to be near hysteria for most of the book.

I love thrillers and this book was fun to read. It was the first thing I'd read by Barclay but it definitely won't be the last.

Reviewed by Lynn Bornath on 11 May 2009 from the paperback edition.

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More Reviews

Ali Karim, January Magazine, November 2007
“Anyone not riveted by Barclay's tale and the emotional punch it carries must be made of stone.”
Material Witness, 19 November 2007
“This is a terrific thriller, and one that should herald the arrival of Linwood Barclay.”
Clare Swindlehurst, Blue Archipelago, 15 July 2008
“This is a fast-paced novel with many twists and turns...”
happyanddandy, BCF Book Reviews, 27 July 2008
“I haven't read a book so rapidly for a long time.”
Kathrin, Secret Dreamworld of a Bookaholic, 8 April 2009
“...there were some plot twists that were simply unbelievable.”
Raidergirl3, An Adventure in Reading, 31 August 2009
“Great story if you have a night where you can stay up late reading.”
Tess Gerritsen
“The twists and turns are mind-bending, and the solution to the mystery is a shocker.”
The Bookbag
“It's a compelling, nail-biting, crime-thriller that comes through on the initial chapter's promise to deliver.”
Lesley Dunlap, The Mystery Reader
“...hooked me from the first page and wouldn't let go even at four a.m.”


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Added 11 May 2009.
Updated 04 September 2013.