Thomas Kilbride is a map-obsessed schizophrenic so affected that he rarely leaves the self-imposed bastion of his bedroom. But with a computer program called Whirl360.com, he travels the world while never so much as stepping out the door. He pores over and memorizes the streets of the world. He examines every address, as well as the people who are frozen in time on his computer screen.
Then he sees something that anyone else might have stumbled upon—but has not—in a street view of downtown New York City: an image in a window. An image that looks like a woman being murdered.
Thomas’s brother, Ray, takes care of him, cooking for him, dealing with the outside world on his behalf, and listening to his intricate and increasingly paranoid theories. When Thomas tells Ray what he has seen, Ray humors him with a half-hearted investigation. But Ray soon realizes he and his brother have stumbled onto a deadly conspiracy.
And now they are in the crosshairs…
When I was first introduced to Linwood Barclay – Never Look Away – I did wonder how he could beat the story, it was a magnificent title – I think I called it stunning at the time – and the book was rightly in my top 10 of 2010. The Accident followed and although it was enjoyable I didn’t think it was as strong as Never Look Away and didn’t quite live up to my expectations so when his latest novel Trust Your Eyes rolled up I wasn’t sure what I’d be getting. Now that I’ve finished the book I can confirm that Linwood Barclay is back and on top form and boy am I glad!
Most of us, at one time or another, have used Google Maps “street view” to either find directions, look at our own house or put in a location/city and just explore. Whirl360 is Barclay’s very own Google! Whether it’s curiosity, voyeurism or a calling from a former President it’s so easy to waste countless hours wandering unknown neighbourhoods, waiting to see what’s around the street corner or confirm street level directions. For Thomas Kilbride this is his job, he’s working on behalf of the CIA and President Bill Clinton. He takes the job seriously and just so happens to be the right man for the job – gifted and incredibly proud to be working for The Agency – he takes his role seriously and will not let anyone stop his progress. But does he?
A simple yet original concept I absolutely love the way Barclay has written this story. He had me hooked from the very first page and I never once waivered. With strong characterisation he weaves his magic effortlessly and it kept me on the edge of my seat for the entire novel. There were a couple of implausible moments but I’d be seriously holding a grudge if I can’t suspend reality for a few moments. Exciting, thrilling and well written Barclay kept me guessing throughout and the final page was the veritable icing on the cake.
Without going into too much detail – wouldn’t want to spoil it for anyone – the ending is written in such a matter of fact way that I wonder if Barclay meant to write the reveal. It was such a throw away comment for a crucial reveal that I sat back and thought what the hell just happened there?! A terrific way to end the book and although we do get closure, Barclay tying all the loose ends up nicely, I had a vested interest in the main characters and now find myself wanting to know what happens next! We are never satisfied!
The two brothers couldn’t be further apart yet they both have their own unique talent that helps bring them together, that and the loss of their father. Thomas needs looking after and his brother Ray is on hand to help him adjust to life without his father. As their relationship develops dark secrets immerge and with a reactionary plot we discover just enough information to tease and tantalise and keep our interest. Character development was strong although I was only really interested to see how Barclay dealt with Thomas and I wasn’t disappointed. Thomas is a superb character, a character who unexpectedly changes as the story grows and he becomes a very different person to the timid boy we meet early on in the book. As I said earlier I felt I had a vested interest in what happens and the author made me care. I love it when that happens.
Great to see Linwood Barclay back at the top of his game – this is where he belongs.
- Hardcover: 512 pages
- Publisher: Orion; Hardback edition (27 Sep 2012)
- ISBN-10: 140911502X
- ISBN-13: 978-1409115021