cover image Too Close to Home

Too Close to Home

Linwood Barclay, . . Bantam, $22 (404pp) ISBN 978-0-553-80556-7

Canadian author Barclay’s previous novel, No Time for Goodbye (2007), a Thriller Award–finalist, showed that he knows how to put ordinary people into extraordinarily dangerous circumstances. Barclay works some of that same magic in his second stand-alone thriller, which opens with the shooting deaths of Albert and Donna Langley and their teenage son, Adam, in their Promise Falls, N.Y., home one hot summer night. Bill Cutter, a neighbor who works as a gardener and was once the driver and “glorified gofer without an ounce of self-respect” for the town’s nasty mayor, and Bill’s wife, Ellen, soon find themselves wondering who would want to kill the Langleys and what part their sullen 17-year-old son and Adam’s friend, Derek, may have played in the tragedy. While this one isn’t quite up to the standard of No Time for Goodbye —its convoluted plot creaks occasionally—readers will zip through it with delight. (Oct.)