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Linwood Barclay is a #1 bestselling crime novelist in Britain and a major European suspense star. So when I received the advanced reading copy of his latest novel, Fear the Worst, my first reaction was guilt—what rock have I been hiding under that I’ve never heard of an author who counts Michael Connelly, Tess Gerritsen, and Joseph Finder among his fans? My next response was sheer anticipation. There’s nothing better than discovering a great new author. I immediately cracked open Fear the Worst, hoping for the best.
Long and short of it—Barclay delivers on the hype. Fear the Worst starts with one of the better opening lines I’ve read in a while: “The morning of the day I lost her, my daughter asked me to scramble her some eggs.” It’s such a simple sentence, speaking of everyday domesticity. You can picture a father. You can picture a daughter. Yet you’re already filled with dread. A bad thing has happened. And yeah, for the next four hundred pages, the bad thing gets a lot worse.
This tension-filled dichotomy of an ordinary man caught in extraordinary circumstances isn’t new territory. Harlan Coben would be drawn to this plot, not to mention a few others. But Barclay writes with a voice that’s all his own. His ordinary man, Timothy Blake, is at that middle-aged point in life where he’s racking up more losses than wins. First marriage has collapsed. Car dealership went down the drain. Parenting a teenage daughter remains a mystery. Blake is a man who’s down but not out, which makes his efforts to find his missing daughter realistic, compelling and completely nerve-wracking.
The supporting cast is equally well-done: the prickly ex-wife; the daughter’s troubled BFF; the female detective who seems to spend most of her time on the phone dealing with her own kid. Barclay excels at creating people you immediately recognize, and even if you don’t like them all, you understand them. He also stays true to his characters; Blake doesn’t magically turn into Rambo just because bad guys are now trying to gun him down. The prickly ex-wife doesn’t suddenly crave reconciliation, just because they’re now working together to find their child. By not taking the easy road, Barclay sets the stage for several shocking plot twists, not to mention one helluva dramatic climax.
Previous Barclay fans should enjoy this fast-paced outing. And if you’ve been hiding under a rock like me, time to crawl out and discover a great new author. —Lisa Gardner--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
The one constant for him is his teenage daughter Sydney.
Fear The Worst is nonstop action, with some shady characters, a few sleazy characters, and a story that will keep you turning the pages quickly until the very end.
I really enjoyed this book- I couldnt put it down, however the ending was a little bit too far-fethched to be realistic.
Barclay is a master of tapping into the fears of everyday people and how they can overcome them to save their families. I think this book would make a great movie. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Linda A McElroy
I love reading Lindwood Barclay ~ he uses enough twists and turns to make it interesting, but not so confusing that you get totally lost along the way. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Yolanda
I have loved all the books I have been reading by Linwood Barclay. This is one of the best. Again it is about a family life that could be yours. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Marie
This is my second Linwood Barclay book and I haven't been disappointed yet. They both are fast moving thrillers that are hard to put down. Lots of twists and turns. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Bill's wife
I love everything about this book. The writing is magnificent. The structure fabulous, and as usual, Barclay pulls out his bag of tricks and surprises me in the end.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer