No Time for Goodbye by Linwood Barclay is an interesting novel, because you’re really not sure what’s happening most of the way through.
A stroppy teenager gets into an argument with her parents when her dad finds her out with her much older boyfriend and drags her home with a flea in her ear. The next morning, she wakes up to find the house empty and her family gone. Her brother hasn’t appeared at school and her parents are nowhere to be seen. A police investigation is conducted, but nothing shows, so Cynthia is sent to live with her aunt.
Fast-forward to the future, and Cynthia is married with a child of her own. Is she going mad? Is she imagining people watching her? Is she holding firmly to a ridiculous belief that her family is still alive? Where are they? What happened all those years ago?
It’s a relatively normal storyline – missing people, confused party left behind trying to work out what’s gone on – but it’s actually very well done. I had no idea until the very end what was going to happen (or rather, what had happened), but at the same time, I wasn’t surprised. I think I’d say it felt about as comforting as a crime novel can be, and I mean that (strangely) as a compliment.
It’s a good, quick read if you’re looking for something not too taxing but not too brainless either.