“No Safe House” (New American Library), by Linwood Barclay
A family’s past continues to haunt Terry Archer and his family as they find it impossible to move on with their lives in Linwood Barclay’s latest suburban thriller, “No Safe House.”
Cynthia Archer still remembers a tragedy in her upbringing, and she promised herself that her husband, Terry, and her daughter, Grace, would be trauma-free. That hope was shattered seven years ago when her past came back with a vengeance. Now the three of them are trying to go on with their lives.
Grace has become a teenager and the angst associated with that has created a rift between mother and daughter. In a moment of anger, Cynthia makes a mistake, and the guilt forces her to move out.
One night, Grace decides to be a bit dangerous with an older boy, and the events that unfold seem to indicate she shot someone. While a father searches for answers, he also tries to keep what happened from his wife, whom he desperately wants back in his life. He knows that if she learns about what happened with Grace, Cynthia will be gone forever.
While this is a sequel to “No Time for Goodbye,” familiarity with that earlier thriller isn’t required to enjoy this look at a family trying to maintain cohesion. What makes the story work is the depth and strength of the Archer family and their love for each other that oozes off the page while bad things continue to happen around them.
Parents will be hugging their kids after turning the last page.
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