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No Time for Goodbye by Linwood Barclay

No Time for Goodbye

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Winner of the Richard & Judy Summer Read 2008

Reviewed on Richard & Judy on Wednesday 2 July 2008.

A fantastic opening plot that pulls you straight in to the story and makes you have to read in one or two sittings as curiosity just gets the better of you. Fourteen year old Cynthia wakes up one morning to find her mother, father and brother have all completely disappeared without trace. 25 years later Cynthia might just start to get some answers as to what happened to them. The feelings of abandonment, doubt, anger and anguish that Cynthia feels are brought across through the main narrator of the book, Cynthia’s husband, which is clever way of getting the sense of frustration both feel, her because she needs answers and him because he wants her to be able to close that chapter of her life and move on. Apart from a slight lull in the middle this book will sweep you up with it’s pace and intrigue, perfect for a holiday read.

If you like Linwood Barclay you might also like to read books by Karen Rose, Tess Gerritsen and John Hart.

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

  • Lisa Faulkner - 'Linwood Barclay is the master of suspense and exciting thrillers. This book does not disappoint! A roller coaster of a story which leaves the reader guessing right to the very last minute.' Read full review >
  • Sarah Harper - 'The perfect, expertly crafted thriller, I defy anyone to stop reading after the first chapter. Brilliant characters, exceptional plot, superb book.' Read full review >
  • Phylippa Smithson - 'To say this was unputdownable is an understatement.  What a read!' Read full review >
  • Sue Broom - 'As a quick, light read I really can’t fault it.  I can’t imagine where the sequel is going to go – I guess I need to buy it to find out.' Read full review >
  • Les Warriner - 'A fantastic read!' Read full review >
  • Gavin Dimmock - 'Her whole family disappeared overnight. Now, twenty five years later, she may find some answers...This book has whet my appetite for more from Mr Barclay.' Read full review >
  • Ray Orgill - 'A very plausible and believable story which is difficult to put down but a pleasure to return to.' Read full review >
  • Edel Waugh - 'This is one of those books that completely engulfs you until you get to the end and then you keep thinking about it after you have finished...An eerie, thrilling, adrenaline ride that's not to be missed!' Read full review >
  • Hilary Nuth - 'A great read! No Time for Goodbye doesn't falter and has all the ingredients to keep you hooked 'til the end!' Read full review >
  • Nix Hudson - 'Wow! Amazing book, read in one sitting! Full of suspense, keeps you guessing till the end.' Read full review >
  • Ann - 'Once I had started reading it I didn't want to put it down and resisted the temptation to read the final chapter before I was half way through the story.' Read full review >
  • Sue Burton - 'Excellent read and has you gripped to the end as do all the authors previous novels.' Read full review >
  • Pam Kennedy - 'I absolutely adored this book it has everything I love in a book. I could hardly put it down...Cannot wait to read the seque.l' Read full review >
  • Angie Rhodes - 'Linwood Barclay's thriller, is a creepy ‘look behind the door, under the bed’ book! It is a great read, with lots of twists and turns.' Read full review >
  • Rachel Hall - 'No Time For Goodbye is a brilliant thriller, fast paced and with so many twists and turns that I was guessing and second guessing until the very end.' Read full review >
  • Jan Kirkcaldy - 'Once started this book was hard to put down...I certainly didn’t see what was coming as the various twists and turns made the ultimate conclusion impossible to predict.' Read full review >
  • Janet Gilliard - 'I have read all of Linwood Barclay books and this is amongst the best of them.' Read full review >
  • Sophia Ufton - 'Wow, amazing story... I had to read all this in one sitting, I just couldn't put it down.' Read full review >
  • Suzanne Marsh - 'For any readers that have not a read a Linwood Barclay novel I highly recommend reading No Time For Goodbye.' Read full review >
  • Linda Benner - 'A superb read for anyone who enjoys a mystery which is not beyond the realms of possibility.' Read full review >
  • Jenny Shirley - 'Fantastic, page turner of a book! I loved this book, right from the start the story and characters are real, believable, and you want to know how their story ends!' Read full review >
  • Ailsa Hindhaugh - 'I did find that I just had to continue reading until I found out what actually happened and felt it was a roller-coaster ride that kept guessing until the end.' Read full review >
  • Ian Tyreman - 'The most spell binding mystery I have read in a very long time. I am so happy to be introduced to this imaginative and creative writer.' Read full review >

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No Time for Goodbye by Linwood Barclay

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...


No Time for Goodbye just flies off the page. It's a one-sit thriller. You sit down with this book and you won't get up until you've turned the last page -- Michael Connelly Barclay succeeds in both banging the gong and serving up a riveting, rewarding and, for the most part, plausible three courses, though you may need to take a deep breath somewhere around the coffee stage GUARDIAN A fast-moving roller-coaster of a read DAILY EXPRESS Barclay's enjoyably creepy tale...certainly keeps one turning the pages THE TIMES Where has Linwood Barclay been all my life? His is the best thriller I've read in five years. Once I was 30 pages in, I literally couldn't put it down. The writing is crisp; the twists are jolting and completely unexpected -- Stephen King ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY Seamless, breathless and relentlessly pacey, Barclay barely puts a foot wrong DAILY MIRROR No Time for Goodbye just flies off the page. It's a one-sit thriller. You sit down with this book and you won't get up until you've turned the last page -- Michael Connelly Barclay succeeds in both banging the gong and serving up a riveting, rewarding and, for the most part, plausible three courses, though you may need to take a deep breath somewhere around the coffee stage. GUARDIAN a fast-moving roller-coaster of a read -- Emma Lee-Potter DAILY EXPRESS Barclay's enjoyably creepy tale...certainly keeps one turning the pages TIMES Barclay's knack for character development and ability to write believeable dialogue marks him out as a potential big-bucks thriller superstar -- Paul Connolly LONDON LITE ...he has introduced some twists and produced a genuinely mystifying puzzle with tense moments. SUNDAY TELEGRAPH A terrific page-turner that keeps you in suspense until the very end. If you like Harlan Coben, you'll love Linwood Barclay -- Peter Robinson One of the best thrillers of the year! Utterly riveting, it will grab you on page one and won't let you go until the final, stunning conclusion -- Tess Gerritsen No Time for Goodbye is a high-speed emotional roller-coaster. The surprises will leave you breathless -- Robert Crais A thoughtful study of relationship paranoia and an engrossing whodunnit. ESQUIRE

About the Author

Linwood Barclay

Linwood Barclay was our Guest Editor in October 2013 - click here - to see the books that inspired his writing.

Linwood Barclay is married with two children and lives near Toronto. He is the author of four acclaimed Zack Walker mysteries, a former columnist for the Toronto Star, and is the author of the Richard & Judy 2008 Summer Read winner and number one besteller, No Time For Goodbye.

In the video below Linwood Barclay answer questions from Lovereading members.

Author photo © Bill Taylor

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Book Info

Publication date

12th June 2008


Linwood Barclay

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Orion Publishing Co


448 pages


Thriller / Suspense
All Shortlists and Winners
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eBook Favourites

Crime & mystery



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