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Fear the Worst: A Thriller Mass Market Paperback – February 23, 2010
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Lisa Gardner is the New York Times bestselling author of eleven novels, including Say Goodbye and The Neighbor. She lives with her husband and daughter in New England. She is currently at work on her next thriller, Live to Tell, which will be publish in 2010. Read her exclusive Amazon guest review of Fear the Worst:
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.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book was easy to read, and hard to put down. Of course there were the predictable plot twists: incompetent police, deceptive sub-plots, etc. But it was still an enjoyable read. The main character, Tim Blake, was well written; his angst over losing his daughter, and his approach to finding the truth were believable. I hate when the main character keeps bumbling over dumb moves and mistakes, (or conversely, when an ordinary character all of a sudden has super spy skills and training). So I was happy with the way the father was portrayed.
Overall, I was really happy with this story. Not super heavy or deep, but it will keep your interest from start to finish.
The writing style is quick, the characters are easy enough to relate to; ordinary folks, the father is a car salesman, but the story is far fetched and not believable, getting (at least for me) more unrealistic as it goes, and the ending was not satisfactory, it kind of leaves you hanging. For me, this was a quick read, which was hard to put down, but also rather predictable in spots and I probably will not remember much of it for long. This is the type of book that you can take on an airplane, not too deep, you don't have to pay close attention to follow what is going on, but it does hold your interest.
In this outing, Tim Blake is a divorced dad, not really over his ex, probably not living up to his full potential in life, but comfortably. His 17-year-old daughter Sydney is spending the summer with him instead of living with his ex and her boyfriend, a rich car dealer. (It just so happens that Blake is also a car salesman, but not such a sleaze as the new boyfriend, Bob).
Sydney goes missing one morning after a fight with her dad. When he tries to find her, he discovers that the place she said she worked never heard of her. Her best friend, who you know is somewhat hinky and is obviously wild, tries to help (perhaps too much?). Blake does everything he can to find Sydney. Think of the movie "Taken" but with and ordinary father who doesn't know what happened to his daughter and with cops who are not really helpful.
This book had me on the edge throughout. I really, really enjoy Barclay's novels. I honestly couldn't figure out what was going on completely until the end. My only complaint would be that the ending was a bit abrupt -- I would have liked to see an epilogue to tie up a few loose strings, but otherwise it was top notch. I'd also recommend his other thrillers. And keep him on your watch list. Great writing and great thrillers, suspenseful reading!
Of course, the police are stereotyped as a bit slow and lagging behind. Not surprising as the story rides along at a good clip and nearly all the characters are well defined and believable. There are even a few funny moments, but I won't spoil the fun.
As a regular reader of thrillers, this author and book are almost up there with the very best. I heartily recommend you buy this book and am sure it will provide very worthwhile enjoyment.
Wow! What a rollercoaster ride! Linwood Barclay certainly has the thriller suspense part of writing down. This is a fast paced story that is hard to stop reading!
Tim Blake has a morning argument with his teenage daughter Sydney not knowing that it is the last time he will speak to her before finding out she is missing.
The characters, especially Tim, were very real and the emotions are portrayed in a very realistic and moving way. There are also other subplots involving the other characters, all just as interesting and move along cohesively with the main plot.
I really loved everything about this book but the ending fell flat for me, I wish Barclay had continued for a few more pages to wrap up better.
Even though the ending was blasé, I would still recommend it for a great suspenseful read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book has you chasing just like the character. Great Read!Published 7 days ago by R. M. GONZALEZ
This is the fifth book by Linwood Barclay that I've been mesmerized by. His ability to keep one in suspense - story after story - is mind-boggling. Read morePublished 21 days ago by Easy Reader
I love his books. He's one of my favorite authors. His books flow and I hate to put them down.Published 1 month ago by Donna
This is a hard to put down book. As Tim Davis discovers one day when his young adult daughter disappears, the world is a big place. Read morePublished 3 months ago by David E. Meadows
I "discovered" Linwood Barclay a few weeks ago, and he's quickly become one of my favorite authors. Read morePublished 4 months ago by audrey frances
this was typical type of work from this author. I have read 4 in a row and see common themes with the protagonist very similar characters. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Kathy
The story here was good BUT the foul language used was totally unnecessary! I didn't count but the "F" word, or some version of it was used well over a hundred times. Read morePublished 4 months ago by JOHN WATHEN
Holy cow, I love this guy! I first read his "Trust Your Eyes," and I loved it. I try not to read an author back-to-back, because I usually catch on to their writing style... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Liz Marshall