No Time for Goodbye by Linwood Barclay.


No Time for Goodbye is a "thriller" novel written by Canadian author Linwood Barclay.

Married and with a daughter of her own, it has been twenty five years since her family vanished without a trace but Cynthia Archer has never given up hope that they might one day all return and, as a result, has not been able to bring herself to move out of the town that she grew up in. Just in case. When a reality television show offers to go over the events of that fateful night, taking Cynthia back to her childhood home, she jumps at the chance. What if a television special jogs somebody's memory? What if her parents and brother are still alive and see it?

When the show airs and nothing more than a few cranks and side-show freaks come out of the woodwork, Cynthia begins to give in to despair. Then the 'messages' begin to appear, followed by strange phone calls and the feeling that she is very definitely being followed. Is this just a strange coincidence or could someone know something about that night? Is there someone shadowing Cynthia and her family or is she just so desperate to discover the truth, that her mind is playing tricks on her?

Points made by the group were:-

 This book does have some page turning quality, but any hint of excitement at the mystery unfolding was completely overshadowed by the terribly poorly executed and unbelievable narrative.

 There was no connection to the characters or their stories.

 The story is told by the husband, Terry and he is quite possibly the most uninteresting character. Dry, drab and monotone in his dialogue where any hint of feeling is executed in a cliche and considered fashion. There were points where it was exasperating because of the terrible writing, considering he was an English language teacher.

 What lies at the heart of the mystery is totally ridiculous and unbelievable.

 The tone slips. When Vince comes on stage, we move from creepiness to slapstick

 The reason the ending is surprising is because it's improbable not because it's surprising.


The storyline did, I suppose, have some merit as the book was finished by all members of the group despite the painful narrative. However nothing about it was actually believable. I understand thrillers often are not of the truthful nature, but I feel that no character was developed enough for the reader to understand motive or action. We only gave the book a 3 out of a possible10.

As usual we spent the remainder of the evening enjoying tea, coffee and cake provided by Helen.