The generous publisher Orion has sent me an advance copy of Linwood Barclay's latest novel, Never Look Away. I am completely hooked. A review will follow in due course, but in the meantime I'd like to share an excerpt and the trailer, made by the publisher.
The overriding concern now, with declining revenues and readership, was survival. The paper had always kept a reporter in Albany to cover state issues, but now relied on wires. The weekly book section had been killed, reduced to a page in the back end of Style. The editorial cartoonist, tremendously gifted at lampooning and harpooning local officials, was given the heave-ho, and now we picked up any number of national, syndicated cartoonists who'd probably never even heard of Promise Falls, let alone visited it, to fill the hole on the editorial page. Oh yeah, the editorials. We used to run two a day, written by staffers. Now, we ran "What Others Think", a sampling of editorials from across the country........Various city committees had a live Internet video feed. Why send a reporter? Why even pay one to watch it from the office? Why not get some guy in Mumbai to watch it, write up what he sees, then email his story back to Promise Falls, New York?
Sad stuff, but all too true. Michael Connelly (in The Scarecrow) and The Wire (Season 5) have movingly described similar declines in Los Angeles and Baltimore, respectively. Here, Linwood Barclay made me just as mad.
On a different but related tack, the video trailer (not watched by me) follows. Enjoy!
I am hoping that the next 300 pages of this book are as exciting as the compelling first 100 - so far, no gore, no horrors, no murders, no sleaze - just a good story, great tension, and pure excitement. I will let you know more, when I have finished it.