Today, I’m excited to be on the blog tour for Take Your Breath Away by Linwood Barclay. Thank you so much to HQ Stories for inviting me to take part in the tour and providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
One weekend, while Andrew Mason was on a fishing trip, his wife, Brie, vanished without a trace. Most people assumed Andy had got away with murder, but the police couldn’t build a strong case against him. For a while, Andy hit rock bottom – he drank too much, was abandoned by his friends, nearly lost his business and became a pariah in the place he had once called home.
Now, six years later, Andy has put his life back together. He’s sold the house he shared with Brie and moved away for a fresh start. When he hears his old house has been bulldozed and a new house built in its place, he’s not bothered. He’s settled with a new partner, Jayne, and life is good.
But Andy’s peaceful world is about to shatter. One day, a woman shows up at his old address, screaming, ‘Where’s my house? What’s happened to my house?’ And then, just as suddenly as she appeared, the woman – who bears a striking resemblance to Brie – is gone. The police are notified and old questions – and dark suspicions – resurface.
Could Brie really be alive after all these years? If so, where has she been? It soon becomes clear that Andy’s future, and the lives of those closest to him, depends on discovering what the hell is going on. The trick will be whether he can stay alive long enough to unearth the answers…
TW: blood, violence, murder, stalking, cheating, obsession
Take Your Breath Away lives up to its name with a slick, sharp thriller that will leave you reeling.
Linwood Barclay proves why he is a force to be reckoned with in the genre. This is such a well-constructed and executed book that constantly keeps you on your toes. The mix of narrative perspectives and disruption of linear timelines means that there’s a lot of information to wade through at a time, but Barclay keeps it clear and digestible. Obviously, you have to work to uncover the truth before the characters, but this is a tricksy and highly entertaining puzzle to solve.
Every time you think you have it all pinned down, you really, really do not. There’s just twist after excellent twist that keeps you racing through the pages. I also really loved how much misdirection and smoke and mirrors Barclay employs, adding to that sense of confusion and paranoia. You are always second-guessing everything and everyone presented to you, even as you occupy their headspace. There’s so many intriguing secrets and lies to be unveiled.
Barclay keeps that tension razor-sharp and constantly raises the stakes. The book feels like lightning in a bottle, with that charged atmosphere and pacing that keeps you constantly engaged and intrigued. It is so tightly done and constantly fast paced. However, at the same time, Barclay makes sure he creates nuanced and three-dimensional characters with far more to them than may be obvious at first glance. This is a deeply intimate and fascinating story about the effect of the past on the present, that delights in the moral ambiguities of life. No one leaves this story unscathed and there are genuine consequences for most actions.
Take Your Breath Away is a break-neck read, constantly keeping you on your toes and utterly hooked on Barclay’s immaculately plotted story.
Thank you again to HQ Stories for inviting me to be a part of the tour and remember to check out the other amazing stops!