cover image A Tap on the Window

A Tap on the Window

Linwood Barclay. NAL, $25.95 (512p) ISBN 978-0-451-41418-2

Early in this intricately plotted stand-alone from Arthur Ellis Award–winner Barclay (Trust Your Eyes), middle-aged PI Cal Weaver hesitates to pick up a teenage girl hitchhiking one evening outside a bar in Griffon, N.Y., just across the Canadian border. He decides to give her a ride after she says she was a friend of Cal’s teenage son, Scott, who died a few months earlier while under the influence of ecstasy. The girl, who gives only her first name, Claire, soon feels sick, so he pulls over at a burger place he knows. The girl who returns to his car resembles Claire, but is not Claire. When confronted, the second teen demands to be let out. The next day both girls are missing, and Cal feels honor bound to find them. To complicate things, Claire turns out to be Claire Sanders, the daughter of Griffon’s mayor. Barclay offers one surprise after another in a mystery that unfolds with the mundane heroism and tragedy of a local news story. Agent: Helen Heller, Helen Heller Agency (Canada). (Aug.)