When his father dies mysteriously in a lawnmower accident, Ray Kilbride is forced to return home to get the family estate in order and to place his schizophrenic brother Thomas into a facility. But after years of being alone in his room memorizing maps of every major city around the world, Thomas is not eager to leave his comfort zone, his maps, his routines or his fantasies.
Thomas has been mapping using a sophisticated website called the Whirl 360, he believes he’s a vital member of the CIA; after-all his liaison is former President Bill Clinton.
But when he sees what appears to be a snapshot in time of a murder in a NYC window, Thomas pressures his brother to go investigate.
With a meeting set up in the city anyways, Ray indulges his brother. What comes next is a rush of assassins, political mischief and a thrill ride that will leave you cold.
Less plausible and close to the heart than his other thrillers, Barclay nevertheless takes a clever contemporary hook and dives deep into the recesses of the human nature and most of the seven deadly sins. He manages to pack quite a punch with how he unveils each character, shifts through time (though I was confused a bit until I realized what he was doing), and manages to make everything fit together in the end. Though I had some issues with the description of Thomas as a schizophrenic, he leaned more to the autistic side of the spectrum, I still found him to be my favorite character in the book. He had humor and idiosyncrasies that many people have but manage to hide from the world. Wonder what would happen if they were all allowed out, instead of locked away?
This is by far my favorite of Barclay’s books, and I’m not stretching here, as he’s recently sold the film rights to Warner Bros, Warner Bros managing to sign on Todd Phillips (Hangover 1, 2 & 3, Due Date, Old School) as director for his first thriller, and touting it as Rear Window meets Rain Man. Although I must warn WB to be careful with comparing things to Hitchcock classics, especially Rear Window, which is considered his best work, EVER.