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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Take Your Breath Away

ISBN: 978-0063035133

Publisher: William Morrow

Harper Audio

Publication Date: 05/17/2022

Format: Audiobook

Narrators: Joe Knezevich, George Newbern, Hillary Huber, Pete Simonelli, Michael Crouch, Lauren Fortgang, Jim Meskimen, and Karissa Vacker

My Rating: 4 Stars

From the New York Times bestselling author of Find You First and Elevator Pitch comes a gripping psychological thriller about a formerly missing woman who has suddenly returned under mysterious circumstances.

One weekend, while Andrew Mason was on a fishing trip, his wife, Brie, vanished without a trace. Most everyone assumed Andy had got away with murder—it’s always the husband, isn’t it?—but the police could never build a strong case against him. For a while, Andy hit rock bottom—he drank too much to numb the pain, was abandoned by all his friends save one, nearly lost his business, and became a pariah in the place he once called home.

Now, six years later, Andy has finally put his life back together. He sold the house he once shared with Brie and moved away. Truth to tell, he wasn’t sad to hear that the old place was razed and a new house built on the site. He’s settled down with a new partner, Jayne, and life is good.

But Andy’s peaceful world is about to shatter. One day, a woman shows up at his old address, screaming, “Where’s my house? What’s happened to my house?” And then, just as suddenly as she appeared, the woman—who bears a striking resemblance to Brie—is gone. The police are notified and old questions—and dark suspicions—resurface.

Could Brie really be alive after all these years? If so, where has she been? It soon becomes clear that Andy’s future, and the lives of those closest to him, depends on discovering what the hell is going on. The trick will be whether he can stay alive long enough to unearth the answers.

My Review

Linwood Barclay returns with TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY —six years after a woman mysteriously disappears, she reappears. Where has she been all the time?

The past threatens to ruin the present. Andrews thought this was all behind him and now resurfacing.

Brie Mason disappeared six years earlier where she lived with her husband, Andrew. This house has since been rebuilt and another owner.

At the time, Andrew was a contractor and flipped houses. They would live in and remodel and sell and move. After the disappearance, his business failed with his former partner and best friend, Greg, and he turned to alcohol.

He has since moved and lives in Connecticut with his pregnant girlfriend and her troubled brother, Tyler.

From murder, lies, and accusations, everyone thinks Andrews had something to do with her disappearance. They thought he was the murderer—including Detective Marissa Hardy and Brie's sister, Isabel.

Andrew has kept his past a secret since it was overwhelming, and he just wanted to start over with his new girlfriend, who does not know about his past.

Andrews had an alibi that night with his business partner Greg. He was not charged, but people were suspicious. But did he murder her?

Now appears people are seeing Brie, so she must be alive, but where has she been all this time? Is it her or someone who looks like her? Is there something more sinister going on?

Isabel had been convinced Andrew had killed her sister, Brie, and pursued him relentlessly, but is it possible Brie is alive?

After showing up at her old house, the old neighbor Max reports seeing her, and she also visits her dying mother in the hospital. What is real and what is false?

Did someone put a hit out on her, and if so, where is the body if this person is not Brie?

Told from multiple POVs, with flashbacks of past events and transcripts from police interviews from the investigation dating back six years.

MY THOUGHTS: With Barclays's signature twists and turns, he keeps you guessing until the end. However, I think some of the riveting suspense and heart-pounding, action, and urgency were missing, or it was just too drawn out.

Multi-layered, some parts were unrealistic and wacky. Can't quite put my finger on why I did not enjoy this book as much as his other books. The delicious humor was lacking in this one that we normally find in Barclay's books. Also, the exterminator guy gave me the creeps.

While I have read all of Linwood Barclay's books and loved them, this was my least favorite. It seemed to drag and was a bit far-fetched. You might need to suspend some disbelief. Also no likable characters.

I purchased the audiobook and did not care for a few of the narrators, and others are my favorites. I think it was just the storyline, I did not care for. From the full cast of talent: Joe Knezevich (love), George Newbern (do not care for), Hillary Huber (love), Pete Simonelli, Michael Crouch (love), Lauren Fortgang, Jim Meskimen, and Karissa Vacker.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

Pub Date: May 17, 2022

My Rating: 4 Stars

May 2022 Must-Read Books


"Take Your Breath Away is finely paced and full of surprises. What places it above your average missing-spouse mystery is Mr. Barclay’s ability to make you not only believe in his characters but to care about them.”

— Wall Street Journal

“Perhaps the most complex and unsettling of Linwood Barclay’s oeuvre so far.”

— Toronto Star

“Linwood Barclay once again proves himself a master of pace, structure, and suspense. Take Your Breath Away had me guessing and turning pages all night, and I still didn’t figure it out till the end. Gripping, propulsive, and surprising—he wasn’t kidding, I’m breathless.”

— David Koepp, Jurassic Park screenwriter and author of national bestseller Cold Storage

“Barclay has done a brilliant job of structuring Take Your Breath Away — a little bit of information here, an oh-wow there, some misdirection, a clue to see how closely the reader is paying attention. You think you’ve figured it out, you haven’t figured it out.”

— Winnipeg Free Press

"Suspenseful....The story will suck you in from the first chapter."

— AARP Magazine on Take Your Breath Away

“An especially good read. The author keeps us guessing right up until the end.... Motives are hinted at and secrets gradually revealed, leading to an ending that will knock your socks off.”

— Booklist

"In typical Barclay fashion, subplots and characters weave together in a tight, satisfying story. Perfect for fans of suspense novels by Harlan Coben and Lisa Gardner."

— Library Journal

“An infectious thriller--one of Barclay’s best.”

— Kirkus Reviews on Take Your Breath Away

“Linwood Barclay has plenty of surprises up his sleeve that will have your head spinning.... Brilliantly crafted.... As the title states, prepare to have your breath taken away!”

— on Take Your Breath Away

“[A] well-paced standalone…Barclay shifts among multiple viewpoints to keep the tension high.... Everyone is a plausible suspect, and the disparate plot pieces eventually fit together with the precision of a Chinese puzzle box. Barclay reliably entertains.”

— Publishers Weekly on Take Your Breath Away

"Another fantastic suspense novel from Linwood Barclay.... I could not stop reading this book once I picked it up. Perfect for fans of Harlan Coben and Chevy Stevens."

— San Francisco Book Review on Take Your Breath Away

"Barclay’s imaginative plotting... bears a great resemblance to that of Harlan Coben. Take Your Breath Away is the best Linwood Barclay puzzle mystery that I’ve read in some time. He is constantly coming up with surprise after surprise throughout the whole narrative. Great escape reading!"

— Deadly Pleasures Magazine

“You just can’t go wrong with Linwood Barclay. He’s proven time and again just how good he is.... You’ll find yourself turning the pages so fast that you have to be careful you don’t rip them. Easily one of Barclay’s best.”

— The Current on Take Your Breath Away

"[A] fun page turner."

— Book Riot on Take Your Breath Away

“Perhaps only John Grisham is his equal in creating show-stealing supporting characters.”

— Sunday Times (London)

“Find You First starts with a bang and ends with an even bigger one. Barclay is a terrific writer, but he’s outdone himself with this. It’s the best book of his career. I couldn’t put it down, and you won’t be able to, either. If you enjoy thrillers, this is the real deal. It never lets up.”

— Stephen King

“Prolific novelist Linwood Barclay delivers a clever twist on an old trope . . . Science meets megalomania in this up-to-date nifty entertainment.”

— Washington Post

“[Find You First] is not only [Barclay's] best work to date, but definitely the thriller of the summer. It has a gloriously insane ending that would be a beauty for a movie adaptation.”

— Florida Times-Union

About the Author

Linwood Barclay is the author of eighteen previous novels, and two thrillers for children. A New York Times bestselling author, his books have been translated into more than two dozen languages. He wrote the screenplay adaptation for his novel Never Saw it Coming and his book The Accident has been made into a TV series in France. His novel No Time for Goodbye was a global bestseller. Born and raised in Connecticut, he now lives in Toronto with his wife, Neetha.

Check out my Fun #AuthorElevatorSeries interview with NYT bestselling author, Linwood Barclay where we go behind the scenes of ELEVATOR PITCH and one of my favorite authors!







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