When Cal Weaver stops at red light on a rainy night while driving home, he ignores the bedraggled-looking teenaged girl trying to hitch a lift. Even when she starts tapping on his window. But when she says, ‘Hey, aren’t you Scott’s dad?’ and he realizes she’s one of his son’s classmates, he can’t really ignore her. OK, so giving a ride to a teenage girl might not be the smartest move, but how much harm could it do?
Over the next 24 hours Cal is about to find out. When the girl, Claire, asks to stop at a restroom on the way home, he’s happy to oblige. But the girl who gets back in the car seems strangely nervous, and it’s only when they get nearer their destination that Cal realizes she no longer has the nasty cut that he noticed on Claire’s hand. After he’s finally let her out of the car he remains puzzled and intrigued. But it’s only the next morning that he starts to really worry. That’s when the police cruiser turns up at his door and asks him if he gave a lift to a girl the previous night. A girl who has now been found brutally murdered.
If Cal is going to clear his name he’s going to have to figure out what Claire was really up to and what part he played in her curious deception. But doing so will involve him in some of the small town of Griffon’s most carefully kept secrets – and a conspiracy as bizarre as it is deadly.
If someone were to ask me who I look forward to reading more than anyone else I couldn’t exactly limit it to just one author it would be unfair, I’d have to name a handful of people, but just like a football manager contemplating his big game team, Linwood Barclay would be one of the first on the list!
I thoroughly enjoyed A Tap on the Window even though the beginning made me squirm just a little. In this day and age you have to second guess everything. A man can no longer innocently sit in a park without raising suspicions from protective parents and neither can or should a man pick up a young girl in the dead of night, pouring rain, in the middle of nowhere. The world has changed and lost its innocence forever, Linwood Barclay taps in to this dilemma from the very beginning when Cal stops and gives Claire an ill-advised lift.
Cal Weaver is an interesting character; it took me a long time to warm to him. I can’t quite put my finger on it but there was something about him in the early stages I didn’t like. Suffering from the loss of his teenage son, he and his wife were struggling to cope – as any parent would. He’s in a dark place as is his relationship with Donna. Slowly but surely my opinions of him changed and as I got to know him I found his harsh exterior eroding only to be replaced by a concerned father who just wants to do the right thing.
There are two plots working simultaneously throughout and I love reading a book when – at the beginning at least – you have absolutely no idea what the author is trying to say or where the secondary storyline fits within the main plot. The pace is exceptional and before you know it you’ve reached the end of the story and everything is put to bed. The second half of the book comes into its own and the story takes on a life of its own with numerous twists and turns and red herrings to satisfy the most ardent of critic.
One scene melted my heart and I defy anyone to feel any different! Called in to pick up his eight year old from school after fighting with a schoolmate, Cal quietly sits down with his son to find out what happened. It’s not a long scene, there are no police chases or bullets fired, it’s a simple yet effective scene that took my breath away. It was also the scene that began to change my perception of Cal Weaver.
A terrific book, I thoroughly enjoyed A Tap on the Window and I can’t wait for his next one! Oh and before I forget the emotional ending – without giving too much away I had a lump in my throat reading the final line. You can’t ask for much more than that. Highly recommended brought to you by the master of suspense.
Hardcover: 512 pages
Publisher: Orion (10 Oct 2013)
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