Look Both Ways by Linwood Barclay – Review

Look Both Ways Linwood Barclay book review logo

By Sandra Callard

On a small island somewhere off the coast of the USA a car manufacturer is launching a new vehicle, one which has been attempted for years – the driverless car. The company has literally taken over Garrett Island, a tiny bit of land where the entire residents have taken a massive bribe to stow away their own cars to let dozens of the brand new driverless cars loose on the island to show how wonderful they are.

In this book’s accumulation of murder, comedy, fast cars and fantasy it is not surprising to find that things do not go according to plan. The result for the reader is an astounding and incredibly compulsive read that is almost impossible to put down. How the author gets away with it is quite something, as the story veers from horror to comedy, from serious danger to laughable escapes, but the reading of it is oh! so easy and clearly shows the talent and daring of this clever writer.

Look Both Ways Linwood Barclay book review coverThe characters are vivid and cover a wide range of traits which seem to cover every possible type, but the major characters are exactly as they should be, as Sandra Montrose and her two children hold the limelight beautifully as their lives take an eerie and frightening turn.

“Clever and unusual”

There are some sneaking villains in this tale, but it is not as easy to spot them as you might think, but the chase to find out is filled with fun, excitement and the occasional ghastly scene, which could certainly give some readers a nasty turn.

Initially the residents of the island are thrilled and looking forward to the day when they can own one of the cars themselves, but danger is on the horizon in the unexpected form of the cars themselves, and they emerge as the wicked but totally fascinating heroes of the book.

Barclay’s written words as his description of these counterfeit beings emerge onto the page are masterful. They engender fear, scorn, laughter or disbelief, and the author hits the height of genius with this particular invention.

Look Both Ways is a multi-faceted adventure which can fool the reader over and over again. All the characters are diverse and plentiful, but very few of them are what they seem. The author’s brave decision to have a load of mad cars as the anti-heroes of the piece has definitely paid dividends and is a clever and unusual addition to this author’s steadily increasing portfolio.

‘Looks Both Ways’ by Linwood Barclay is published by HarperCollins, £20 hardback


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