Book: A Tap on the Window
Author: Linwood Barclay
Publication Date : 2013
P D James, the acclaimed crime fiction writer believed murder mysteries were made of clues and not coincidences. But when it came to Linwood Barclay's ' A tap on the window', it was just the opposite. It was just full of coincidences.
It all began when a teenage girl tapped on the window of Mr Weaver's car asking for a ride. He refused as he knew that it wouldn't be a good idea to give a lift to a girl at night. But he couldn't resist any longer when she said she knew his son Scott who died two months ago.
The death of his son was yet to sink in for him and his wife. They could not bring themselves to believe that he had jumped from a building. Of course, he was under the influence of ecstasy. Still! could he just jump to end his life?
Cal Weaver who was a private detective was in search of an answer for his son's death and when Claire Sanders, the girl asked for a ride said she knew Scott, he just admitted the girl into the car, thinking he might get some leads that could direct him to his son's death. On the way, she said she would like to stop at Iggy's, a restaurant for she was feeling sick and wanted to use the wash room before they proceed to her house.
Even after 15 minutes, when she did not come back, he decided to check. He couldn't find her anywhere in the bathroom. Thinking she might have left through another entrance, he came to the car just to see that she was sitting inside his vehicle. It just took a few seconds for Weaver to understand that the girl who was sitting inside his vehicle was not Claire but somebody else who dressed like her.
When the questions came pouring in, she demanded to get out of the car and Weaver had to drop her in the middle of the road. Very soon, he along with boyfriend found her dead body under the bridge where Weaver had dropped her. He was quick to realise that/if the second girl was killed, the life of Claire was no doubt in danger. And when he inquired he could find that she was missing too. Since he was dragged into it, he felt that he should go in search of her.
Weaver was sure that the girls were followed by somebody and they played the game to hoodwink the stalker.
At the same time, there were so many happenings taking place in Griffon city which was on the borders of Canada. The Police Chief and Mayor of the city were at loggerheads. Claires Sanders was the daughter of the Mayor Bert Sanders and the police chief Augustus Perry was the brother - in-law of Weaver.
Cops Brindles and Haines were giving Weaver, a tough time. Hanna who died was underage but was delivering beer to the people.
I have mixed feelings about this book. It might be due to the reason that for the past several days, I was just reading classics and classic mysteries. I really had to struggle hard to get out of that world and embrace the modernity.
For the first few pages, I couldn't find anything substantial happening and that dampened my spirit. I was expecting something else just like his wonderful book ' No time to say good bye ". Hence, I just searched for it in the good reads and my friends over there assured me with their reviews that it's a good book and you could witness the elements of suspense only if I read till the end. That was what I did. Still, I am in a dilemma. I could not specifically that I liked or disliked it. Maybe, I stand in the midway.
Sometimes, I used to think that Hercule Poirot or Sherlock Holmes would not have done this way. Then I reprimanded myself for thinking like that as this murder mystery was all about coincidences and our protagonist was dragged into it. He was a vulnerable man which was perfectly fine.
Barclay has effectively portrayed the emotional turmoil, the Weaver and his wife Donna was going through due to the death of their son. They blamed themselves. It was not that they were not caring parents. First I thought I was not convinced of the motive which made the culprit to take a few drastic steps. Later I realised it would be wrong to say that as the human nature was beyond comprehension. If you like Linwood Barclay, then go for this book.
- by Shalet Jimmy