22 October 2012

A Thrilling Roller Coaster Ride!

Trust Your Eyes by Linwood Barclay (NAL hardcover, 4 September 2012).

Reviewed by guest blogger Ann Holt.

As a librarian I regularly read Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Library Journal, and other professional publications before choosing books to be ordered. Secretly, I scoured popular magazines including Entertainment Weekly to keep current with what the public was reading about and often found the books that have meant the most to me through those sources. There are so many books being published even librarians need someone to recommend the best to them.

And that is exactly what Stephen King did for me when he was writing a column for Entertainment Weekly. He wrote about Linwood Barclay, an American born Canadian writer, who had been a columnist for the Toronto Star. Having already found that King was a reliable source of wonderful authors, I searched the library catalog for Never Look Away (2010), read it, and I was hooked.

For many years I was lucky to receive boxes of Advanced Reading Copies (ARC) every month. ARCs are sent to reviewers and librarians to get them reading and excited about titles that might be overlooked or will benefit from word of mouth. When Marlyn Beebe asked me if I would like to read Linwood Barclay’s most recent thriller in ARC format, I jumped at the opportunity. The reward was Trust Your Eyes, which may be the author’s best story so far. It has been described as a modern version of Hitchcock’s Rear Window with overtones of Levinson’s Rain Man and it’s easy to see why.

Ray Kilbride, a successful political cartoonist, has come home to Promise Falls for his father’s funeral and to make arrangements to sell the house and find new living arrangements for his younger brother Thomas, a high functioning schizophrenic. Totally absorbed with maps, Thomas rarely leaves his room and his computer. He is convinced that by using Whirl360 (read Google map street view) and memorizing the streets of cities throughout the world, he will be useful to the CIA in a future catastrophe. As a matter of fact, Thomas thinks he is working for them already and he takes his job seriously. His intense scrutiny of the streetscapes reveals something odd in an upper window of a building in New York City. Humoring Thomas, and needing to make a trip into the city for business, Ray agrees to check it out. To say much more would spoil the fun and surprises. Just trust that you are in good hands.

Barclay’s thrillers are inventive roller coaster rides. They tend to involve everyday people swept up in extraordinary events resulting in page turners that will keep anyone up at night wanting to know what happens next.

Not surprisingly Variety recently announced that Trust Your Eyes is being made into a movie with The Hangover’s Todd Phillips directing. Like Stephen King you will find yourself wondering, how did I miss this writer?

Ann Holt is a random reader, preferring literate mysteries, the odd novel, and bestsellers in no particular order. She has indulged in blogging about the books she has read since 2007 at Book Keeping (http://bkkp.blogspot.com/). That was the year she retired as the Director of the Capital Library Cooperative, a state funded membership consortia of twenty-five public libraries. During her career she worked in every type of library from school to prison from academic to special.

After studying acting at Carnegie Mellon University, Ann settled down and obtained degrees in Communications (University of Pittsburgh) and Information Science (University of Michigan). 

Ann describes herself as an actress, director, reader, reviewer, genealogist, and time traveler.


  1. Thanks for recommending Linwood Barclay, Ann. I'm always happy to discover new authors who write page turners.

  2. An excellent review! A modern version of REAR WINDOW with overtones of RAINMAN? What's not to love? I'm adding this one to my "To-Read" stack. Thanks, Ann!


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