In a modern society where time is precious and every second counts, we can I think be forgiven for not spending more time reading books. Why spend days reading when all we have to do is rent a dvd or Blu-ray from Blockbusters and it’s all over in two hours with very little effort required. (As a book reviewer I obviously don’t condone this sort of abominable behaviour!)
If you do happen to be that way inclined then you will certainly miss out on one of the most frenetic, atmospheric and imaginative books I’ve read this year. “No Cry For Help” by Grant McKenzie is one of the quickest page turners I have at the pleasure of reading in quite some time. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
When I first began reading “No Cry For Help” I couldn’t help but compare the storyline to that of Linwood Barclay’s “Never Look Away” – a woman goes missing and her husband investigates her disappearance. If you liked that book, you’ll love this one.
Wallace Carver and his family live in Canada and as one, they cross the longest unprotected border in the world for a well-earned break – the 49th parallel. Alicia, his wife, has her eye on shopping and together with her two boys they plan to meet up with Wallace later that day before checking in to the overnight hotel in Bellingham, Washington. Available from The Book Depository & Amazon.
The agreed rendezvous time passes and Wallace becomes anxious when his family fail to turn up. Unable to contact his wife (joint decision to leave their mobile phones at home) he begins to fret. As another hour passes and still no sign, he finds his way to the small security office and they begrudgingly place a call out on the tannoy.
Eventually the police are called in and he is suspected of wasting police time, escorting him back across the border and told never to return to the United States.
Wallace Carver is a regular Joe, a bus driver. His best friend and co-worker, Crow Joe, has known Carver for 15 years. With Carver in the States, Crow pulls up outside the Carver residence to find a hive of activity and flashing police lights – the police have discovered a pool of blood in the house. All traces of Alicia and the children have vanished; clothes, toys, passports and family pictures – it’s as if they never existed.
With an outstanding arrest warrant Carver has no option but to enlist Crow’s help and disappear back across the border. Determined to find his family and make those responsible pay, he begins a perilous journey full of danger – but will it all be in vein?
The narrative is engaging and fluid and to be honest never lets up until the climactic dénouement. I read the book in one day; I couldn’t put it down. The characters are well thought out and realistic with Carver, a likeable hero, taking the lead. He is well supported by an eclectic cast of supporting characters, each playing their part in a thrilling quest for justice, discovery and survival.
I remember thinking to myself at one point, early on in the book I may add, that I would have preferred a little more brutality with certain aspects of the story. However, as the book progressed the brutality intensified alleviating any fears I had. I really am nit-picking here because I found very little to fault this book.
McKenzie building on a solid foundation plays the story like a concert pianist; faultless anticipation and an all engulfing plot; this is one not to be missed. Powerful stuff – Semper Fi.
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