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Monday, 3 February 2014

‘A Tap on the Window’ by Linwood Barclay

Published by Orion Fiction,
10 October 2013.

If you were a bloke driving home late at night and some blonde teenager asked you for a lift, you'd be a complete idiot to give her one, even when she said she went to high school with your son.  But because of that latter fact, you don't think about the possible consequences, even when she asks to stop at a rest-room, and when she comes back, she's somebody else.

The next day, the second girl is found brutally murdered, and Cal Weaver is in it up to his neck.  Not just because of a possible murder charge, but also because he finds himself completely ensnared in ruthlessly played-out local politics. At the same time, he is trying to come to terms with a marriage on the verge of destruction, and the recent suicide of his son, Scott, who jumped off a roof while high on drugs.

So what exactly is going on?  Why did the two girls swap?  What happened to the first one?  Who sold Scott the drugs which killed him?  Why are the Mayor and the Chief-of-Police at loggerheads?

In a perhaps slightly over-long exposition, Linwood Barclay leads us through a maze of clues and suspicions to a surprising and satisfying conclusion.

Reviewer: Susan Moody  

Linwood Barclay  was born in the United States, but just as he was turning four, his parents took him to Canada.  The family eventually settling in the Kawartha Lakes region of Ontario. Linwood studied English Literature at Trent University. His father died when he was 16, and Linwood essentially took over running the family business (an experience he wrote about in his memoir, Last Resort). At the age of 22, Linwood left the resort and got his first newspaper job, at the Peterborough Examiner.
In 1981, he joined the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest circulation newspaper. For twelve years he held a variety of editing positions, becoming the paper’s humour columnist in 1993. A few thousand columns later, he retired from the paper in 2008 to write books full-time.

Susan Moody was born in Oxford is the principal nom de plume  of Susan Elizabeth Donaldson, née Horwood, a British novelist best known for her suspense novels. She is a former Chairman of the Crime Writer's Association, served as World President of the International Association of Crime Writers, and was elected to the prestigious Detection Club. Susan Moody has given numerous courses on writing crime fiction and continues to teach creative writing in England, France, Australia, the USA and Denmark.  In addition to her many stand alone books, Susan has written two series, on featuring PI Penny Wanawake (seven books) and a series of six books featuring bridge player Cassie Swan.

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