On the morning she will never forget, suburban teenager Cynthia Archer awakes with a nasty hangover and a feeling she is going to have an even nastier confrontation with her mom and dad. But when she leaves her bedroom, she discovers the house is empty, with no sign of her parents or younger brother Todd. In the blink of an eye, without any explanation, her family has simply disappeared.
Twenty-five years later Cynthia is still haunted by unanswered questions. Were her family murdered? If so, why was she spared? And if they’re alive, why did they abandon her in such a cruel way?
Now married with a daughter of her own, Cynthia fears that her new family will be taken from her just as her first one was. And so she agrees to take part in a TV documentary revisiting the case, in the hope that somebody somewhere will remember something – or even that her father, mother or brother might finally reach out to her…
Then a letter arrives which makes no sense and yet chills Cynthia to the core. And soon she begins to realise that stirring up the past could be the worst mistake she has ever made…
I’d read this book a few years ago (pre blog) but wanted to read again in anticpation for the release of the sequel of No Safe House, released later this month. Fortunately I didn’t remember all the details so it all came as a surprise.
So, imagine waking up as a teenager and your family has vanished without a trace. Maybe sounds ideal in the short term but for Cynthia she doesn’t get any answers for 25 years.
It’s a bit different in that it’s written from Terry’s (Cynthia’s husband) point of view, he explains all about the disappearance and then later conducts his own investigation. As an outsider looking in Terry is well placed to investigate; even to the point where he and I doubted Cynthia’s credibility. A little bit unbelievable in places but it does add to the build up of tension which culminates in a nail biting conclusion.
The writing style isn’t perfect but that didn’t affect my reading and enjoyment. I raced through it. The majority of characters are relatable, and those that aren’t you still have feelings for them (even if not pleasant).
Overall, a tense easy read that’s full of suspense which is dying to be made into a film. I’m not sure how the sequel is going to pan out but am looking forward to reading.
Connect with the author Linwood Barclay via