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No Safe House    by Linwood Barclay order for
No Safe House
by Linwood Barclay
Order:  USA  Can
Doubleday Canada, 2014 (2014)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Linwood Barclay's No Safe House is a sequel to his thriller No Time for Goodbye, in which horrors from Cynthia Archer's past came back to haunt her and her family. Cynthia is married to Terry and they have a daughter, Grace. Their next set of challenges come seven years later when Grace is fourteen years old.

Though they all survived those earlier events - thanks to Cynthia's childhood friend Vince Fleming, a career criminal who was shot and left permanently damaged - Cynthia has become even more paranoid about protecting Grace from every imagined risk in life. This comes to a head after Cynthia inadvertently causes Grace to burn her hand. As a result, Cynthia decides that she needs a time-out and moves into a friend's apartment for the summer.

Of course, this is when Grace gets into real trouble. Her boyfriend Stuart eggs her on to join him in borrowing a car from a home that's 'on a list' his dad has. They break into the house, Grace reluctantly holding the gun Stuart forced on her, and there's a shot. Grace flees and calls her dad. Terry does not call the cops, but starts looking into the situation himself, his only concern to protect his daughter no matter what happened.

Before she called her dad, Grace contacted Jane Scavullo (Vince Fleming's beloved stepdaughter) - Terry had taught Jane and she was the one who persuaded Vince to help the Archers the night he was injured. Vince gets involved now, and tells Terry to back off - but will he listen? In the meantime, vicious thugs are shooting people in the area, their motives obscure. When these plot threads all come together, it's Vince who needs Terry's help, well outside the law.

As always, Linwood Barclay delivers an intriguing, wheels-within-wheels mystery in No Safe House, in which ordinary people face - and must come to terms with, and overcome - extraordinary problems. Well worth reading.

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