Never Look Away: A Thriller
by Linwood Barclay

Published: 2011-07-19
Mass Market Paperback : 528 pages
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A warm summer Saturday. An amusement park. David Harwood is glad to be spending some quality time with his wife and their four-year-old son. But what begins as a pleasant family outing turns into a nightmare after an inexplicable disappearance. A frantic search only leads to an even more ...

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A warm summer Saturday. An amusement park. David Harwood is glad to be spending some quality time with his wife and their four-year-old son. But what begins as a pleasant family outing turns into a nightmare after an inexplicable disappearance. A frantic search only leads to an even more shocking and harrowing turn of events. Until this terrifying moment, David Harwood is just a small-town reporter in need of a break. Now the only thing he cares about is restoring his family. Desperate for any clue, David dives into his own investigation—and into a web of lies and deceit. For with every new piece of evidence he uncovers, David finds more questions—and moves ever closer to a shattering truth.

Editorial Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, March 2010 With a storyline that's wound tighter than a rattlesnake's coil, author Linwood Barclay returns to play upon our deepest fears with Never Look Away. Journalist David Harwood is left only with questions after a family outing becomes a terrifying nightmare in the mere blink of an eye. Someone, it would seem, is out to get him, and when suspicious evidence labels him a â??person of interestâ?? in a mysterious disappearance, the unassuming Harwood is forced to bare his teeth in pursuit of the truth. Fans of Fear the Worst, Too Close to Home, and No Time for Goodbye should already know the drill: Barclay refuses to grant readers any respite with gut-wrenching plot twists that keep firing until the final page. But those unfamiliar with his work would be wise to clear their calendars for this engaging non-stop thriller. --Dave Callanan

Amazon Exclusive: Linwood Barclay on Never Look Away

Years ago, when I worked on the city desk for The Toronto Star, every once in a while someone would phone in with a hot tip. Something theyâ??d heard from a friend of a friend. The story was that children were being spirited away from a local theme park. Grabbed, disguised, thrown into a van and driven away so fast their parents hadnâ??t even noticed they were gone yet.

And the kicker was, the story was being suppressed because the theme park owners didnâ??t want bad publicity.

There was never, ever anything to it. Iâ??d worked in the news business long enough to know that when a kid goes missing. That story gets out. Big time.

Our theme park was not the only one where this urban myth played out. Iâ??d heard the same story about a number of big attractions. But never with any real names attached. It always happened to the boyfriend of someoneâ??s cousinâ??s brotherâ??s boss.

But the story stayed with me just the same. I started playing around with it in my head. I thought, okay, letâ??s start with the myth, but then letâ??s do something entirely different. Someoneâ??s going to disappear, all right, but not the person youâ??re expecting...

As I began working out the storyline for my new thriller, Never Look Away, the amusement park scene became a way in to a very different kind of tale for me. One about secrets, about past, hidden lives, about how sometimes the people weâ??re closest to are the ones we know the least. One significant way in which it differs from my previous novels is that it is not told entirely in first person. This time, there were things I had to keep from my protagonist that the reader just had to know.

That time on the city desk was part of more than 30 years I spent working in newspapers. It was a period in which papers mattered a great deal. They still do, but itâ??s hardly news to point out theyâ??re facing tough times, a perfect storm of changing technology meeting harsh economic realities. So when it came to deciding what that protagonist would do for a living, I decided to make him a reporter at a small daily thatâ??s more concerned with maintaining revenues than breaking scandals, especially if breaking them will hurt the bottom line. (I like to point out, I never encountered anything like that at The Star.)

I was well into writing this novel when Michael Connellyâ??s terrific novel The Scarecrow came out, which is also set against the backdrop of a newspaper in decline. I suspect these will not be the only two novels to explore--either in depth or in a tangential way--the significant changes this institution is going through.

Another urban myth that used to get called into the paper now and again was that some unscrupulous developer was building houses so cheaply, someoneâ??s piano went right through the living room floor. We never found that house, but there might still be a murder mystery in that story, especially if there was some poor bastard in that basement. --Linwood Barclay


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