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Bad Guys (Zack Walker Book 2) Kindle Edition

71 customer reviews

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Length: 448 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Reporter Zack Walker, worrier, bungler and reluctant hero, has moved from the suburbs back to the city (unnamed, but the generic metropolitan background suffices) with his wife, Sarah, son Paul and daughter Angie, in Canadian author Barclay's winning second comic caper (after 2004's Bad Move). The Walkers aren't really dysfunctional, but they're close enough to the edge as they cope with various pressures: 16-year-old Paul's flirtation with drinking; college freshman Angie's admirer, who may be a dangerous stalker; and the transportation convolutions necessary in a one-car, two-school, two-job family. Zack tries to solve this last problem while also working on a feature story that has him accompanying a PI on a stakeout for a smash-and-grab gang. He avoids hassling with a car dealer by going to a police auction, but the car he gets is no bargain. When his PI friend is attacked, Zack races to the rescue. And when some nasty folks target his family, Zack pulls out all the stops to try to remove the threat. This cleverly executed mystery includes both long-term setups and well hidden surprises. Agent, Helen Heller. (May 31)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

After discovering that the suburbs aren't as safe as they're cracked up to be (Bad Move, 2004), Zack Walker, his wife, and their teenage children move back to the city. Zack, still his overly anxious self, is working on a story for the local paper, the Metropolitan. He's observing P.I. Lawrence Jones, who has been hired to find the crooks who are smashing display windows with an SUV and robbing expensive men's clothing stores. The stakeout proves dangerous, with a wild car chase and shooting, and then Lawrence is badly injured in a home invasion. Zack continues to dig into the case despite Lawrence's warnings. Adding to Zack's anxiety is the fact his daughter, Angie, is being stalked by a young man, Trevor, and Zack begins to surreptitiously follow Trevor following Angie. Humor, realistic characters, a jaunty first-person narration, and fast pacing make for an enjoyable read. Sue O'Brien
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 346 KB
  • Print Length: 448 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0553587056
  • Publisher: Bantam (May 31, 2005)
  • Publication Date: May 31, 2005
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FCK5OE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,343 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Linwood Barclay is a former columnist for The Toronto Star and the author of several critically acclaimed novels, including Too Close to Home and No Time for Goodbye, a #1 Sunday Times (UK) bestseller. He lives near Toronto with his wife.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Debra Purdy Kong on July 15, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Zack Walker, features writer for the Metropolitan newspaper, has had some really busy nights lately. He's been assigned to write about the life of PI Lawrence Jones, who's been staking out high-end men's clothing stores targeted by crash-and-grab thieves. When Zack's off duty, he occasionally checks up on his eighteen-year-old daughter's whereabouts. Zack's perpetual worries about Angie's safety soar into overdrive when he learns she has a stalker. Angie doesn't take the stalker seriously, but when Zack and Lawrence catch him hiding behind Zack's garage, Lawrence volunteers to check the kid out. Before he can tell Zack what he's learned, Lawrence is stabbed. Meanwhile, for reasons Zack doesn't understand, the clothing thieves learn who Zack is and go after him.

Linwood Barclay's BAD GUYS is a perfect blend of humour and drama, twists and turns, that come together in a truly suspenseful ending. Zack's attempts to keep tabs on Angie have a way of backfiring, which creates some really funny moments. As a parent of teens, I related to his worries, frustrations, and growing helplessness as his daughter charges into the world--driver's license in hand--with the kind of confidence, optimism, and naivety only the young have. I liked many characters in this book, and kudos to Mr. Barclay for creating some of the strangest and most memorable bad guys I've read in a long time. If you're looking for pure entertainment and enjoyment, pick up BAD GUYS and get ready for one heck of a ride.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By William Arsenis on September 27, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I read Linwood Barclay's first novel, BAD MOVE, and I liked it. Though it started off slow, it was quite funny and well written.

Bad Guys maintained a steady jogger's pace from the beginning, but I'd hardly call it a page turner, and it wasn't that funny.

All in all, BAD GUYS was just barely good enough to get me to buy his next novel in the series, LONE WOLF.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Harvey Mckinnon on December 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover
When I read Bad Move this summer (Barclay's first novel in the series), I was constantly laughing out loud. Happily, the sequel made me do the same. Since the other reviewers describe the book, and I have carapl tunnel, I'll make a couple of points. One, our protagonist Zack is a fantastic creation. He can't control his mouth even in the most dire circumstances. Two, while he clearly adores his teenagers, his relationship with them is one of continuing screw-ups based on his love and fear for them - it makes for lots of fun. And as a story, it's clever, has a few neat plot twists, nice pacing and is extremely well written. The dialgoue is stellar. Barclay is one of the few comic/mystery writers than can put it all togerther and in my mind he's joined the ranks of Carl Hiaasen, Dave Barry and Elmore Leonard. Good company to keep!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By G. Powell on March 28, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Barclay has an easy going style that drags the reader into the scenerio quickly and completely. He has the ability to convey his story simply and makes the reader want to know more and more about the outcome! I have enjoyed all his fiction and await more!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Debra Hamel VINE VOICE on December 26, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Linwood Barclay's Bad Guys takes up where his 2004 novel Bad Move left off. After a disasterous foray into suburban living, Zack Walker has moved his family back to the city. He's now a feature writer for the local paper, and he's working on a story about ex-cop turned private eye Lawrence Jones. Together they've been staking out high-end mens' clothing shops, which have been the target of a spate of recent robberies. The gig with Lawrence, his family's need for a second car, and his daughter's insistence that she is being stalked by a trench coat-wearing admirer combine into a storm of troubles. Barclay's Bad Guys is another great read from an author who's quickly becoming a favorite. The plot is tight, and there's a perfect mix of action and Zack's thoughts, which explain why he makes the choices he makes. Readers should probably read Bad Move before starting this book, as it provides background about the anxieties which inform much of Zack's behavior, but it not essential to do so.

-- Debra Hamel
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gloria on August 24, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is tightly written and altogether enjoyable. However, it is NOT laugh-out-loud funny like the first in this series, Bad Move. It's as if someone told Barclay NOT to be funny. Well, Mr. Barclay, if you are paying attention: BE FUNNY. It's one of the characteristics that differentiates you from your peers in this genre. Make me laugh and sit on the edge of my seat and hold my breath and be surprised, like you did in the first Zach story. Still, this is worth reading without the humor. It's just a little disappointing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Denise TX, USA on December 5, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I found this book very good from beginning to end. Couldn't put it down. Found it to be hilariously funny in some parts. Laughing out loud at times. Definately worth the time to read. I love the predicaments that Zack Walker finds himself in. If you like Linwood Barclay then this book is for you. This is the 2nd book in the series of 4.Bad Guys
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Bad Guys is still a very good and definitely fun read. It just isn't quite up to the absolute masterpiece standard that Bad Move was. Although still eccentric and very much still a severe paranoid cotton wool parent, Zack Walker seems to have learnt from his previous family teachings back firing in Bad Move and doesn't do them here. Instead he takes up actions such as stalking his daughter that no one else will know about. Why? Because his daughter Angie is receiving a lot of unwanted phone calls and other attention from a boy who doesn't seem to take the hint. Zack is also now employed at his wife's newspaper, in fact she's his boss and it is while he is on a ride along stakeout of ram raiders targeting expensive clothing stores he forms a friendship with PI Lawrence Jones. Jones and Zack catch Angie's stalker hanging around his garage which is what stimulates Zack's own stalking behaviour. Zack also just bought a car from a proceeds of crime auction which seems to be a bit of a lemon. Throw in a Barbie doll collecting mafia man and you've got a pretty good read.

My criticisms of this novel though are that it is very predictable. For example as soon as we read scenes involving a juice bottle we know how that's go appear later on. Likewise a shortcut at Angie's university. Plus the stabber identity is very obvious.

Still it's a good read and Barclay has definitely proven he is a rival for the comic caper crown and can definitely give Donald E Westlake, Carl Hiaasen, Dave Barry and others a run for their money.
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