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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.


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
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another super book by Barclay!!! March 23 2011
By Michel
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is one of those books you hate because it keeps you reading look into the early hours on the next morning, and you realize that ohoh in 2 hours you gotta go to work!!

This book had me hooked from the first chapter! It reads very easy and quickly. You want a book with twists, with believable characters and fun to read? Grab this one!

- Michel

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5.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars Nov. 4 2013
By SIKBookReviewer TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
Fear the Worst follows a middle-aged man named Tim on his search for his daughter. Imagine you have a teenage daughter who suddenly goes missing, with no clear reason as to why. Then, when you go to her place of work the night she didn't come home, they have never heard of her. None of her friends seem to know where she went either. What would you do? Well, this is what happens to Tim in Fear the Worst. His journey is crazy and horrible and frustrating. Filled with action, mystery, and suspense, Fear the Worst is a great read for lovers of Mystery/Crime novels.

Tim is very relatable and easy to connect with and feel for. He is just your every day Joe who ends up getting caught up in all this crazy stuff. I really sympathized for this guy. People kept trying to set him up and all he wanted was to find his daughter. But, soon the police are more interested in interrogating him than looking for his daughter. How frustrating! Nothing can go right for this guy.

The trauma in this story is never-ending. Stuff is constantly happening. One thing after another, after another. It's a pretty crazy story and quite intense, at times, to read. The novel is just one big storm for poor Tim. First, his daughter goes missing. Then a series of other events happen throughout the novel to make Tim's life even worse. All the while, he's just trying to find his daughter and the cops are, instead of helping him, after him because they think he did all those things and killed his own daughter. Poor dude.

I am a fan of Linwood Barclay. I think he's an excellent story-teller that keeps his readers on their toes and always has unpredictable endings. In fact, there was a crazy twist at the end of Fear the Worst that I didn't see coming! My favourite novel of Barclay's so far is still No Time for Goodbye, but this one was enjoyable as well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Linwood Barclay is an Amazing author! Oct. 8 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have almost ready all Linwood Barclay's books. Amazing thriller writer! If you like a book you cannot put down - try any of his books!
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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
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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