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Fear The Worst [Hardcover]

Linwood Barclay
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aug. 11 2009
Seventeen-year-old Sydney Blake’s summer is shaping up to be typical for a teenager: she’s spending it with her father, and she has landed a part-time job at a local hotel. One night, Syd fails to come home from her shift, and her father Tim is a bit alarmed. However, that alarm turns to full-on panic after he visits the Just Inn Time hotel and the manager claims that Syd has never worked there. Grilling his daughter’s friends for clues leads Tim nowhere — except to threats against his life — and as he frantically chases every lead, he can’t help but wonder if Syd is even still alive. Despite a growing list of unanswered questions, all Tim knows for certain is that he must continue searching for his daughter — no matter how high the stakes become.

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Product Details


Product Description

Quill & Quire

Tim Blake’s teenaged daughter Sydney has vanished. Her supposed co-workers claim never to have heard of her. The police begin to turn their investigation toward Blake. As the days stretch into weeks, the lack of answers begins to drive Blake to desperate acts of recklessness. In Fear the Worst, author Linwood Barclay milks this scenario for every ounce of suspense he can. Barclay has earned favourable comparisons with American novelist Harlan Coben, a well-regarded purveyor of domestic terrors. Although both authors traverse the same thematic territory, employing admirably lean prose and rich character development, Barclay neatly sidesteps the third-act woes that often plague Coben. Like the best suspense novels, Fear the Worst expertly navigates an increasingly jumbled plot with clarity and precision. It is a given that such novels include red herrings galore, but Barclay keeps the story moving at such a terrific clip that the 400+ pages fly by. Barclay never sacrifices character development for action. Fear the Worst would not work half as well if Blake were anything less than a full-blooded individual who commands empathy from the reader. If there is a quibble, it’s that as exceptional a ride as Fear the Worst is, it evaporates quickly after the last page is turned. Unlike the novels of Andrew Pyper (arguably Canada’s most criminally underrated thriller writer), which resonate long after completion, Barclay’s tale is like a Hollywood blockbuster, providing popcorn thrills and chills but not affecting the reader beyond an immediate visceral impact. Despite this minor complaint, Fear the Worst is excellent entertainment, smart and satisfying.

Review

Praise for Too Close to Home:
“Barclay’s latest and best thriller.”
The Globe and Mail

“A terrifically fast-paced suspense story.”
The Washington Post


Praise for No Time for Goodbye:
“A straight-faced page turner.”
Toronto Star

“An anxiety-inducing thriller.”
USA Today

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling page turner, kept you guessing. Aug. 13 2009
By Karoline TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
The book starts off with Tim Blake, a normal average car salesman who finds out his daughter is missing. When he goes where she's currently employed to ask if they might have seen her, he finds out they haven't even heard of her. In turn, this opens up a huge can of worms as Tim is set off on a wild goose chase that's filled with more twists and turns I have ever seen in a book.

I liked how the main protagonist is a simple car salesman. We don't get very "normal average every day" people as the ones who are caught up in this sort of dilemma. It's a nice refresher and gives you a break from other stories which always include either a detective, a member of the police, or even a member of the military. It gives the plot an overall realistic flavour to it. However wrong it is, a lot of teenagers and children are missing everyday and we don't usually see it from the parent's point of view.

My heart went out for Tim. I don't know how it feel like to be a parent but sometimes on my evil juvenile days I used to make my parents worry a lot and they would probably feel like Tim did. There were times in the book where his acts of desperation in finding his daughter just makes your heart want to sink. He's not exactly a character you would like or dislike, but he's someone you would cheer for until the end.

I don't have many criticisms for this book. I just advise if you are going to read this, pay very close attention. :)

The book has plenty of twists and turns and throughout the book you find everybody has a dirty little secret and as you follow Tim you eventually figure them out. I actually liked that, as some of their secrets are related to the disappearance of his daughter. Some weren't but it was just interesting to know anyway.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tight, Taut, Suspense Sept. 1 2009
By Nicola Mansfield HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Reason for Reading: Last year I read and enjoyed Barclay's Too Close to Home so much I just had to read his newest book.

Comments: One day Tim Blake's 17yo daughter Syd goes off to work her summer job as per usual but she doesn't come home. Since they had a spat that morning he gives her some leeway thinking she's angry and not calling to say she's working late but once plenty of time has gone by he drops by the hotel she's been working at all summer to find out that they've never heard of her, she hasn't worked there at all. And thus begins the worst journey of Tim's life as he searches for his missing duahter finding out about a dark and dangerous world he'd never known existed and also finding out that the police are not always on your side.

Wonderful book. First, a very different type of story than Too Close to Home, which is closer to my usual murder mystery genre. This one would be classified more as a suspense and I could very much see it as a being made into a movie. The plot isn't exactly fast-paced as it is pretty much one theme all along, the search for Sydney, or rather the chase. However, there is so much action happening all the time that the book does move along at a fast past. The twists and turns and reveals that are thrown regularly at the reader at any point in the story keeps the suspense and tension high, as one doesn't know what is going to happen next or who is not really whom they seem to be. From the two books I've read, I'm seeing this as Barclay's forte as an author. I look forward to reading more of his books.

I enjoy Barclay's writing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You won't be able to put it down...... Aug. 28 2009
By Luanne Ollivier #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
It's the kind of cover that grabs me, there's a Steve Berry blurb, but it's the new Linwood Barclay from Random House Canada and I don't need to be 'sold' on him - I just know I'm in for a fantastic, suspense filled read!

How could you not be hooked by the opening line?

"The morning of the day I lost her, my daughter asked me to scramble here some eggs."

Tim Blake is a divorced car salesman. He is thrilled that his teenage daughter Sydney will be living with him for the summer. She's working at a local hotel. Or so he thought....When Syd is late for supper one night, he decides to pick her up from work. It's the first time he's seen where she works. Or doesn't work.....No one at the hotel has ever heard of her. Where has she been going every day? Where is she now? Every parent's nightmare - she has vanished into thin air. While Tim is frantically searches for Syd, so are others....but not for the same reasons.

Barclay is back with yet another page turner in Fear the Worst, that kept me up all night, reading 'just one more chapter', until I fell asleep with the lights on.

The plot is full of twists and turns that you don't see coming. Lots of red herrings and an abrupt ending I didn't predict. Tim is an everyday guy thrust into a nightmare. He is likable, funny and believable as an anguished father. We get to know bits and pieces of Syd's life through her friends, mother and stepfather, but the driving question remains - where is Syd?

If you're looking for a fast paced, hugely entertaining thriller, this is the book for you. Actually Linwood Barclay is the author for you. Every one of this Canadian author's books have been winners for me!
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