Zack Walker is a man with too much time on his hands. To avoid the deadline for his next science fiction novel, he wanders around his seemingly tranquil suburban neighbourhood, the calm setting safety-obsessed Zack pictured when he moved his family out of the crime-ridden inner city. This placid portrait is rudely interrupted, though, when he stumbles across the body of an apparent murder victim, and when he starts to indulge in some amateur sleuthing, Zack gets to know his neighbors a little better, including an S&M dominatrix and a professional pot grower, whose help he has to enlist once his snooping puts his family in danger.
Bad Move is the first thriller from veteran Toronto Star humour columnist Linwood Barclay, and it is a highly entertaining debut. Many of Barclay's columns revolve around the foibles of family life in the suburbs, and he brings this sensibility to work here, with very funny results. Whereas the heroes of crime fiction are all too often a cynical male loner or a single woman balancing her love life and crime fighting, Barclay's protagonist is a happily married suburban husband and father. Barclay clearly reads the other pages of his newspaper, as Toronto-based readers can easily identify situations and characters torn from real headlines, including greedy real estate developers clashing with environmentalists, bawdy houses, and suburban marijuana growing operations. Yes, there are occasionally flaws in the credibility of the unfolding events, and plot twists are sometimes just a mite predictable, but Bad Move has to be judged a very readable effort. Let's hope for more of Walker's suburban sleuthing. --Kerry Doole --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Riotously funny and irreverent, Canadian journalist Barclay's mystery debut is a rollicking good read. When Zack Walker, a sometimes cranky and always paranoid science fiction writer, moves with his family from the city to Valley Forest Estates, he soon finds that life in the suburbs can be dangerous, even deadly. Envious of a childhood friend who once found a drowning victim, Zack gets his wish and stumbles across the body of Samuel Spender, a zealous conservationist who'd been trying to prevent the final phase of Valley Forest's construction around the habitat of a rare salamander. In his campaign, Spender made several enemies, including the subdivision's sales manager, Don Greenway. Zack, who witnessed a heated argument between Spender and Greenway the day the conservationist died, is soon neck-deep in trouble when he finds a second body, a cache of cash and a canister of undeveloped film. Murder, blackmail and extortion are just the tip of the iceberg, as Zack realizes some very nasty people want what he has and will stop at nothing to get it. While Zack is an amazingly flawed hero, he's a breath of fresh air with no illusions about his odd compulsions and his limited abilities. His often exasperated wife Sarah makes the perfect comic foil. Fans of lighter crime capers will rejoice.
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Loved this book! It made me laugh out loud many times. I have recommended this book to many friends, have re-read it and will read it again in the future. Read morePublished 12 months ago by TMac
super super super / Linwood Barclay in my opinion is the best / read them all now / waiting for 2014 issuePublished 16 months ago by George Savage
I just finished reading this book. I read all of Linwood Barclay's newer books. I then started to read some of his older books. Newer or older they were all Amazing!Published 23 months ago by mala willan
I got half way through this book then gave up. The plot becomes quite outlandish as the main character does more and more ridiculous and unbelievable things as the story moves... Read morePublished on Aug. 31 2013 by lenny prune
Deft blend of humor and mayhem. Lots of fun to read. A page turner with appealing and interesting characters and a satisfying ending.Published on Aug. 16 2013 by cleo
Linwood Barclay has written a number of Zach Walker mysteries. Bad Move combines mystery and a touch of comedy and is not as intense as some of his later books. Read morePublished on March 29 2013 by Barbara R McNamara
I have only recently discovered Linwood Barclay. Exiting reads. Always an unexpected twist. I put him at the top of my list with Grisham and Baldacci.Published on March 10 2013 by Nancy From Knowlton