Tuesday, August 6, 2013

(66)A Tap on the Window by Linwood Barclay

A Tap on the Window

Pages: 512
Publication Date: August 5, 2013

Cal Weaver is still in a fog of grief on a rainy night when he is driving home from a stake-out he was doing as a private investigator. It has been two months since his son's death and he is still desperate to find out who sold Scott the drugs that caused him to jump off the roof of a building.  He is stopped at a stop sign when there is a tap at his window. He considers ignoring the tap at his window and the young blonde standing outside of his car window, but she mentions Scott's name and Cal cannot resist the urge to see what she knows.   They don't get very far before the young girl, Claire, asks Cal to pull over at a burger joint because she feels sick.  It is there that Cal starts to get suspicious when another young woman wearing a blonde wig gets in his car pretending to be Claire. The fake Claire starts to get nervous at all of his questions and jumps out of his car in the middle of nowhere, no one sees her alive again and the real Claire is missing.  What is going on here and what does it have to do with Scott's death?

Ultimately, A Tap on the Window is about a father and his grief. But there is also a very heavy dose of small town corruption. The original blonde in Cal's car just happens to be the mayor's daughter and everyone knows that the mayor and the police department are at war.  The small town police department has most of the town in fear of with their heavy handed, even brutal, ways and the more entangled Cal gets in the mess the more he is convinced the police had something to do with Scott's death.   Having grown up in a very small town I can certainly understand Cal's frustration, no small town is without a bit of "corruption" but usually you could chalk it up to "who you know"  or "who your parents know".    I really think that Linwood Barclay nailed that small town "corruption" feel pretty darn good.  He also got the grieving father down pretty good, too.  Cal Weaver was so desperate to find out who sold Scott those drugs that it ethically pushed him to the edge. He did some pretty douche-baggy things in his effort to get the truth, but it was easy to forgive him because you could feel his pain.

Bottom line, Linwood Barclay has mastered the craft of writing a suspense novel.  His characters are your average "Joes" who are put in pretty extraordinary circumstances and that is why his books are just so dern good.   If you are looking for a great suspense novel that will get your heart racing then you must add A Tap on the Window to your reading list.


Why I Read...

I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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