- Hardcover: 416 pages
- Publisher: Doubleday Canada; Canadian First edition (Aug. 11 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0385668023
- ISBN-13: 978-0385668026
- Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 3.4 x 24.3 cm
- Shipping Weight: 680 g
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #547,360 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Fear The Worst Hardcover – Aug 11 2009
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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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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.
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. He keeps a tight, taut thriller with plenty of possible chances for the reader to figure it out but with all the twists from start to finish you'll be lucky to completely solve the intricate plot on your own. I had my eye on a suspect from the beginning but what they were guilty of I hadn't a clue, I was right in the end, but not very proud of simply picking out a guilty person. The only thing I'm not pleased with is the ending. The mystery plot itself is wrapped up nicely but it ends with the characters and it's a "what the?" ending. It's very abrupt and seeing as where the characters' plot was going, disappointing. Not a nice note, for me at least, to end a book on. If you've read the book you'll know what I mean. If you haven't don't let that stop you reading the book. Books don't always have "happily ever after" endings and this one is worth the ride. Looking forward to dipping into Barclay's backlist and hopefully a new book in the new year (2010)!
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