Review: No Time for Goodbye

A roller coaster of emotions, suspense and crime.

Author: Linwood Barclay

Publisher: Orion Books

Genre: Thriller/Crime

Pages: 437

Format: Paperback

Rating: 4/5

Blurb:

Fourteen-year-old Cynthia Bigge woke one morning to discover that her entire family, mother, father, brother had vanished. No note, no trace, no return. Ever. Now, twenty-five years later, she’ll learn the devastating truth

Sometimes better not to know. . .

Cynthia is happily married with a young daughter, a new family. But the story of her old family isn’t over. A strange car in the neighborhood, untraceable phone calls, ominous gifts, someone has returned to her hometown to finish what was started twenty-five years ago. And no one’s innocence is guaranteed, not even her own. By the time Cynthia discovers her killer’s shocking identity, it will again be too late . . . even for goodbye.

My Thoughts:

A thriller that made me sit at the edge of the bed as I frantically kept turning pages, inhaling and exhaling and letting out deep sighs while wanting to finish the book but not wanting it to end, No Time for Goodbye, is a treat to thriller/crime lovers out there. I picked this book on a whim at a Trade Fair last year since the blurb sounded pretty interesting. Well, I wasn’t wrong.

Cynthia, a 14 year old girl, wakes up one day after a night of drinking and partying to find a deserted house. Her parents including her brother Todd seem to have vanished from the face of the earth. No one has any clue where they are or if they’re even alive. Fast forward to 25years later, Cynthia is now married to Terry Archer and they have a beautiful daughter named Grace and Cynthia still doesn’t have any idea what happened to her parents.

Cynthia does not give up and seeks the help of a popular reality TV show in the hopes of finding any leads about her parents. This shakes things up. Suddenly, she starts getting mysterious calls from people, her daughter is being followed by someone, a hat (probably her fathers) is found on the kitchen table all this adding to the suspense of the novel. To make things even more complicated, Cynthia’s aunt is murdered right when she was about to reveal something closely linked to Cynthia’s past. The detective, Abagnall, is also murdered while investigating the disappearance of Cynthia’s family. There’s an eeriness when you read this book, and you can feel something’s not right but you can’t put your finger on it.

If we talk about the characters then I’d wish the author would’ve chosen the POV of Cynthia herself. That way we’d have an insight into the psyche of a daughter trying to put together the missing pieces. The story has been narrated from the POV of Terry Archer, Cynthia’s husband, who is an English Teacher trying to maintain a balance between being a supportive husband, caring father and a professional. He is the calm to Cynthia’s storms and I loved the chemistry between the two. Despite, the trust and understanding between the husband and wife, Cynthia’s breakdowns made Terry question her sanity. It was a conflict for him; is Cynthia making things up or is something really wrong? This, I feel, added to the tension even more and gave a unique angle to the story. Although there were certain instances in the book that seemed implausible, the plot packed with high emotions and dark nature more than made up for tiny plot holes.

Sometimes we think we know other people, especially those we supposedly are close to, but if we really knew them, why are we so often surprised by the shit they do?

The writing style is effortless, easy to adjust to and is fast-paced. Linwood Barclay is a brilliant writer who has sketched a mystery that’s hard to decode.

Was I able to put together 2 & 2? NO. I wasn’t good at math anyway. I kept guessing and failed but I believe that’s what made the story entertaining. It kept me alive and wanting to know and get closure. No Time for Goodbye is my first Barclay book and safe to say it won’t be the last. Grab your copies and start reading and let me know so that we can discuss and dissect the book!

Also, your favorite thriller?

Review: My Father is a Hero

My Father is a Hero is a story about a father who goes out of his way for his daughter’s happiness.

Author: Nishant Kaushik

Publisher: Srishti Publishers & Distributors

Format: Paperback

Pages: 198

Rating: 3.8/5

Sometimes you read a book that fills your heart with warmth and a love so strong that its effect lasts a very long time. The simplicity and innocence of a father-daughter bond has been beautifully captured by the author Nishant Kaushik in his novel.

My Father is a Hero is a story about a single father who despite his shortcomings ensures his daughter an easy and fulfilled life. His daughter, Nisha, a 10 year old girl is the apple of his eye and the only source of happiness in Vaibhav’s otherwise dark world. He instils invaluable life lessons in her daughter who excels in all her academic fields and aspires to be a musician someday. They’re happy in their own little world, far away from the harsh realities, finding joy in the littlest of things. But things start to change.  Nisha, who is a cheerful, bubbly 10 year old, suddenly starts getting into a shell. She stops communicating, loses her friends, acts very distant and displays poor academic performance. Not just this, she stops singing, too. So what really happened that transformed her? This behaviour upsets Vaibhav who tries his hardest to get to the root of it. The only concern is to bring back his daughter’s smile which seemed to have been lost. How and what led to the change is described subtly in the book.

The conversations between Vaibhav and Nisha were my favourite part of the story more so because I could relate to them on a deeper level. I think that’s what good books do, they take you along on a journey filled with emotions and leave you wanting for more.

Be it real life or reel life, every parent tries their hardest to give the best to their children. Vaibhav is no different. He goes out of his way to become a superhero in the eyes of his daughter and I must say he fares pretty well. His daughter’s opinion of him matters the most. Aren’t all dads just adorable?

I would have loved to know more about Vaibhav’s past and the circumstances in which he coped. The ending was predictable and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Besides, who doesn’t like a mushy ,happy end to a father-daughter story? All in all, I enjoyed reading My Father is a Hero and would recommend it to anyone who wants to feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside.

 

I received a copy of My Father Is A Hero from Writers Melon in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

 

 

 

 

BOOKS THAT WENT OTT

images (1)OTT- Over the Top

Apart from the books that eat up your entire soul by its enriching storyline and charismatic characters, there are some books that eat up your brain due to a not-so-promising storyline and equally dull characters. I understand that writing a novel, figuring out the plot and carefully selecting the characters to fit the circumstances without making it over-dramatic and absolutely genuine is NOT easy (No offence, writers). So, I, like many others have stumbled upon some books that we didn’t quite really erm enjoy?  I have been a part of such a sad situation before and trust me when I say this; it is definitely not an experience worth looking forward to. I mean, come on, nothing is perfect. We mess things up and so do the writers (AHEM).  These books failed to make an impression as far as I’m concerned and my reviews, although brief, are solely based on my experience as a reader.  (I might sound a little too blunt but then it’s the disappointment talking).

  • 3 MISTAKES OF MY LIFE: The greatest mistake of my life, probably. If you’re a Chetan Bhagat fan and you’re reading this then please go hide your face somewhere and do not come back. If a movie has to be described in words then it’s a Chetan Bhagat novel.  The movie ‘Kai Po Che’ was quite a success at the box office and Chetan Bhagat’s script writing skill was brought to light. He should just stick to writing movie scripts and that is it. Equally nerve-wracking was his apparently national bestseller ‘One Night at the Call Center’ and ‘Five Point Someone’. He saved himself with his book ‘Two States’ which was without a doubt a Bollywood flick but not as horrendous as his earlier works.  ‘What Young India Wants’ is a book I haven’t read and neither am I planning on reading it. In other news, I’ve heard he is FINALLY writing scripts for Bollywood directors. WAY TO GO BHAGAT!

 

  • THE ZAHIR: Quite carried away by Paulo Coelho’s ingenuity as a writer and his philosophical knowledge that was boldly displayed in his international bestseller ‘Alchemist’, I decided on reading this novel. Little did I know, I was going to be left puzzled and not very sure of where I was heading with the story or if at all I understood the story? This made me reach a conclusion that there was NO storyline. I couldn’t figure out what the whole book was about.  Was the protagonist searching for his wife? ERR. Oh and I haven’t finished reading ‘Veronica Decides to Die’ yet. No more Paulo for the time being.
  • THE ACCOMPLICE: I have no idea how and when I got hold of the book. I also have no idea what Eirrean Corrigan was thinking when she wrote the book. The plot was something that has been written and enacted in movies since time immemorial. Nothing new there. I guess it was more suited to the age group 16-17 since the story and the psyche of the characters was custom made to fall under the teenage years.
  • Oops I fell in love: Before you judge me, I got this book cause’ I really wanted to read a light-hearted story You know the kind of books you prefer reading when you’re taking a break and you want to just lie down and relax on your couch. Well, things never go as planned. It was just another failed Bollywood script. The author, Harsh Snehanshu, didn’t quite nail it. The other day I read a review on his book that said it was a cute love story and that the writing was fresh and humorous. Sorry to burst your bubble, it was anything but cute or humorous or even fresh.

(That’s it for today. I can’t recall any other novel falling under this category as of now)

“The worst memories stick with us, while the nice ones always seem to slip through our fingers”

 

On a brighter side, I’ll be posting a review on ‘The Fountainhead’ shortly which is one of the greatest books written in the history of writing books. Stay tuned!

Have you had any bad experience as a reader? Feel free to share and comment!

REVIEW: RAINWATER

Author: Sandra Brown

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

256 pages

Sometimes you read a book that completely changes the way you think, the way you would normally think. You come a cross a book which effortlessly describes every emotion, every situation in a way you had never imagined. Sandra Brown in her rather unusual novel has given her readers a taste of what it is like to survive in a time where economic depression, prejudice and racial discrimination have had people kill themselves. Rainwater is a book that teaches life lessons learnt the hard way. I have not read any of Sandra Brown’s novels and since it was my first, I was quite intrigued.

The year is 1934 and Ella who is a single mother works day in and out to take care of her ten year old son, Solly. Ella runs a boarding house, earning as much as she can to ensure her son, an autistic child, lives a hassle free life. The behavior and abnormality of Solly is misunderstood since the story is dated back to 1930s where handicaps and oddity were not known of. Solly’s demeanor becomes uncontrollable and there comes a point where you would want to reach out to Ella and help her in any way you can.

Mr.Rainwater is a boarder who comes to stay at Ella’s house. Much to the readers bewilderment, he is diagnosed with terminal cancer and does not have enough time in his hands. It is amazing how Sandra Brown has pictured Mr.Rainwater’s impeccable character in her readers minds. His arrival also marks the beginning of an untold mystery. Even with an illness, he shows great courage and grandeur. In no time, he manages to develop an unnatural bond with Solly. A bond that only the two of them can understand. Ella, surprised by Solly’s show of affection towards Mr.Rainwater comes to realize that there is something about him that is very powerful. They start sharing an intimacy that is unknown to them. Solly, if I may say, unites the two. The other characters have an important part to play and add a sense of closure to the story.

Time does not favor them, situations backfire and you will see the characters struggling through circumstances. Although the ending is extremely shocking and uncalled for, I would definitely recommend reading this piece of fiction. It is not always that you pick up a book which keeps you glued till the very end. I, for once, enjoyed reading every page. It is a perfect blend of  a love story with captivating drama, life events illustrating hazards and cruel dispositions of the earlier time. Highly enthralling and equally devastating, Rainwater is a must read.Image