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"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. Think 'Rebecca' and you'll be in the right neighborhood." - Stephen King In this tense, mesmerizing thriller by Linwood Barclay, critically acclaimed author ofFear the WorstandToo Close to Home, a manrs"s life unravels around him when the unthinkable strikes. A warm summer Saturday. An amusement park. David Harwood is glad to be spending some quality time with his wife, Jan, and their four-year-old son. But what begins as a pleasant family outing turns into a nightmare after an inexplicable disappearance. A frantic search only leads to an even more shocking and harrowing turn of events. Until this terrifying moment, David Harwood is just a small-town reporter in need of a break. His paper, the Promise Falls Standard, is struggling to survive. Then he gets a lead that just might be the answer to his prayers: a potential scandal involving a controversial development project for the outskirts of this picturesque upstate New York town. Itrs"s a hot-button issue that will surely sell papers and help reverse the Standardrs"s fortunes, but strangely, Davidrs"s editors keep shooting it down. Why? Thatrs"s a question no longer at the top of Davidrs"s list. Now the only thing he cares about is restoring his family. Desperate for any clue, David dives into his own investigation-and into a web of lies and deceit. For with every new piece of evidence he uncovers, David finds more questions-and moves ever closer to a shattering truth.
Linwood Barclay, a former columnist for the Toronto Star, is the internationally bestselling author of seven critically acclaimed novels, including Fear the Worst, Too Close to Home, and No Time for Goodbye, which has been optioned for film. He lives near Toronto with his wife and has two grown children.
From the Hardcover edition.
Never Look Away teaser
Detective Duckworth and I headed north, but in under a mile he put on his blinker and turned down a narrow gravel road that went down, then up, winding all the time. The inside of Duckworth’s car smelled of french fries. The smell made me feel sick to my stomach.
Not far up ahead, several police cars and vans blocked our path.
“We’ll walk in from here,” Duckworth said, slowing and putting his car into park.
“Who saw this grave?” I asked. I’d felt my hands shaking a moment ago, and had grabbed the door handle with my right and tucked my left under my thigh, hoping Duckworth wouldn’t notice. I felt I needed to disguise how nervous I was, worried Duckworth would take that to mean I was guilty of something.
But wouldn’t any man, especially an innocent man whose wife was missing, be distraught after learning a body had been found?
“What the locals tell me,” Duckworth said, “is there’s a couple of cabins down at the end of this road, and a guy who lives in one of them spotted something suspicious at the side, went to check it out, realized what was buried there, and he called the police.”
“How long ago was this?”
“Couple of hours. Local cops secured the scene, then they contacted us. We’d already been in touch, putting them on alert about your wife.”
“I told you nothing happened with Jan when we were up here,” I said.
“You’ve made that very clear, Mr. Harwood.” He opened his door, then looked at me. “You can stay right here, if you’d like.”
“No,” I said. “If it’s Jan, I have to know.”
“Absolutely. Don’t think I don’t appreciate your assistance.”
We got out of the car and started up the road, the gravel crunching beneath our shoes. A uniformed officer coming from the direction of the crime scene approached.
“You Detective Duckworth?” he said.
Duckworth nodded and extended a hand. “Thanks for the quick heads up on this,” he said. The cop looked at me. Before I had a chance to introduce myself, Duckworth stepped in. “This is Mr. Harwood. He’s the one whose wife is missing.” The two of them exchanged a quick glance. I could only imagine what this cop had been told already. “Mr. Harwood,” he said. “My name is Daltrey. I’m very sorry. This must be a very difficult time for you.”
“Is it my wife?” I asked. “I need to see.”
Duckworth reached over and lightly touched my arm. “I really don’t know that that’s a good idea.”
“Where’s the grave?” I asked.
Daltrey pointed. “Just beyond those cars, on the left side. We haven’t moved the body.”
Duckworth tightened his grip on me. “Let me go up there first. You wait here with Daltrey.”
“No,” I said, breathing in short gasps. “I have to -- ”
“You wait. If there’s a reason for you to come up, I’ll come back and get you.”
I looked him in the eye. I couldn’t get a read on him. I didn’t know whether he was trying to be compassionate here, or whether somehow I was being played.
“Okay,” I said.
As Duckworth went ahead Daltrey positioned himself in front of me, in case I decided to run after him. He smiled kindly. “Looks like it might rain.”
I walked back to Duckworth’s car, ambled around it a couple of times, always glancing back for him.
He was gone about five minutes, caught my eye, beckoned with his index finger. I ran over to him.
“If you’re up to it, I think it would help if you make an ident