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A Tap on the Window    by Linwood Barclay order for
Tap on the Window
by Linwood Barclay
Order:  USA  Can
Doubleday Canada, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Misdirection and surprises abound from first page to last in Linwood Barclay's new thriller, A Tap on the Window. It all happens in upstate New York, in the small town of Griffon, where most citizens support and trust their police force, but some have good reason not to. There have been allegations of excessive force.

Private investigator Cal Weaver and his wife have been distant from each other for two months, each grieving in their own way since their teen son Scott died - he came off a roof while on drugs. Donna draws pictures of Scott constantly while Cal has been harassing any teenager he thinks might have supplied his son with ecstasy.

One rainy night as Cal drives home, there's a tap on his window - Claire, a friend of Scott's, asks for a ride and he foolishly consents. But after he stops to let her throw up at a roadside diner, a different teenager gets into the car - Hanna is disguised to look like her friend Claire. When Cal challenges Hanna, she leaps from the car and runs off into the rain.

The police question Cal about Claire (the mayor's daughter), who has gone missing, but why is the mayor so unconcerned? Feeling responsible, Cal starts digging. After he finds the body of a teenage girl, the police question him again. There are more deaths. Cal himself comes close, with an unlikely rescuer. And, when it's all over, he finally learns exactly how his son died.

I absorb a lot of mysteries and usually have an inkling of where they're heading well before the ending. This one caught me off guard again and again. Well worth reading!

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