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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.
Good, fast paced, suspenseful thriller that keeps you engaged and wanting to know what's about to happen next. It's filled with surprises and many twists. This was a page turner. Read morePublished 24 days ago by April Buchanan
It was a little far fetched for the father to do so much.
Especially the happenings in the dealership show room.
This was my first Linwood Barclay but won't be my last. His writing is similar to Harlan Cobin. He utilized the "average Joe guy" as his protagonist which plays well with... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Deb Carlin is THE BOOK DORK
I don't usually take time to review books, other than those I really really enjoy. This is one of those. Read morePublished 6 months ago by ftmgal