#BookReview: Take Your Breath Away by Linwood Barclay @linwood_barclay @HQstories
Hi everyone! Today, I have a book review for a read I picked up via NetGalley. This novel is from a writer new to me, Linwood Barclay >>>
About the Book:
It’s always the husband, isn’t it?
One weekend, while Andrew Mason was on a fishing trip, his wife, Brie, vanished without a trace. Most people assumed Andy had got away with murder, but the police couldn’t build a strong case against him. For a while, Andy hit rock bottom – he drank too much, was abandoned by his friends, nearly lost his business and became a pariah in the place he had once called home.
Now, six years later, Andy has put his life back together. He’s sold the house he shared with Brie and moved away for a fresh start. When he hears his old house has been bulldozed and a new house built in its place, he’s not bothered. He’s settled with a new partner, Jayne, and life is good.
But Andy’s peaceful world is about to shatter. One day, a woman shows up at his old address, screaming, ‘Where’s my house? What’s happened to my house?’ And then, just as suddenly as she appeared, the woman – who bears a striking resemblance to Brie – is gone. The police are notified and old questions – and dark suspicions – resurface.
Could Brie really be alive after all these years? If so, where has she been? It soon becomes clear that Andy’s future, and the lives of those closest to him, depends on discovering what the hell is going on. The trick will be whether he can stay alive long enough to unearth the answers …
I haven’t read this author before, but the book cover and description pulled me in, so I requested a copy.
[Disclaimer] First up, because the ARC is an uncorrected proof, it’s impossible for me to know whether or not the many issues I found in this copy will be corrected by the time the book publishes, such as mixed up sentences, spelling errors, and–most importantly of all–the overwhelming amount of repetition. The number of times the author repeated whole sections of the story so far is mind numbing. Then we have each character’s relationship followed by their name right up until the end of the book. When you only have one sibling, you don’t need to be told “Your sister, Jayne”. And there simply aren’t that many characters, so it’s way easy to keep track without this level of redundancy. Therefore, this review is based upon the assumption that this will all have been edited out and proof corrected by the time this book goes on sale.
The book opens with the main character Andy and his wife, Brie. Andy goes away for a guy’s weekend, and when they FaceTime each other, it’s obvious the marriage has its issues. Then something happens to Brie. The next chapter opens six years later and brings us into the aftermath of Brie’s disappearance. Quickly, the narrative moves into a scene where the missing wife is seen by an old neighbour, and this has knock-on effects galore.
I kept thinking I’d worked out whodunnit, but no, the author foiled me every time with some great twists to this plot. As mentioned in the above disclaimer, with the removal of repetition and back story sections, I would say the pacing is fast and the plot intriguing. The read will hold your attention and keep you guessing up until the penultimate moments. Sometimes, I failed to follow some of the reactions and actions of the characters, but on the whole, I connected with the characters, and the whole set-up felt believable and realistic. The ending was wrapped up nicely, and I could see why a certain character had set in motion the things he did. Take Your Breath Away gets 3.5 stars from me, rounded up to 4 for rating purposes.
NOTE ON RATINGS: I consider a 3-star rating a positive review. Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me.
5 STARS: IT WAS AMAZING! I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! — Highly Recommended.
4 STARS: I WOULD PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER — Go read this book.
3 STARS: IT WAS GOOD! — An okay read. Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it.
2 STARS: I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS —Lacking in some areas: writing, characterisation, and/or problematic plot lines.
1 STAR: NOT MY CUP OF TEA —Lots of issues with this book.
I’d love to hear what you think of this review. Thanks for stopping by 🙂
For anyone interested, here are the Amazon links …