by Linwood Barclay
Published by: Random House
Genres: Mystery, Suspense thriller
Your daughter doesn’t come home one night from her summer job.You go there looking for her. No one’s seen here. But it’s worse than that.No one’s ever seen her. So where has she been going every day? And where is she now? In Linwood Barclay’s riveting new thriller, an ordinary man’s desperate search for his daughter leads him into a dark world of corruption, exploitation, and murder. Tim Blake is about to learn that the people you think you know best are the ones harboring the biggest secrets. Tim is an average guy. He sells cars. He has an ex-wife. She’s moved in with a man whose moody son spends more time online than he should. His girlfriend is turning out to be a bit of a flake. It’s not a life without hassles, but nothing will prepare Tim for the nightmare that’s about to begin. Sydney vanishes into thin air. At the hotel where she supposedly worked, no one has ever heard of her. Even her closest friends seem to be at a loss. Now, as the days pass without word, Tim must face the fact that not only is Sydney missing, but that the daughter he’s loved and thought he knew is a virtual stranger.As he retraces Sydney’s steps, Tim discovers that the suburban Connecticut town he always thought of as idyllic is anything but. What he doesn’t know is that his every move is being watched. There are others who want to find Syd as much as Tim does. But they’re not planning a Welcome Home party.The closer Tim comes to the truth, the closer he comes to every parent’s worst nightmare—and the kind of evil only a parent’s love has a chance in hell of stopping.
I picked up Fear the Worst for my e-reader over the summer and was delighted when it was chosen as book of the month for Coffee Talk on Goodreads. Barclay delivers a suspenseful thriller filled with twists and unexpected surprises; as the protagonist, Tim Blake searches for his missing seventeen-year-old daughter Sydney.
The first half of the book moved slowly for me, although it held my interest. At times I felt Barclay was too wordy, and a lot of the story could have been trimmed. The second half had me quickly turning the pages as more information came to light and Blake found himself the primary suspect by the police. While Blake is a pretty mundane chap, I found myself impressed by his ability to deal with his ex-wife, his crappy job, and back-stabbing associates. Blake becomes an amateur detective unearthing every lead, and slowly putting the pieces together in his daughter’s disappearance. He also finds himself in serious trouble when he discovers he is not the only one looking for his daughter. I found myself laughing at the exchanges between Blake and his ex-wife’s new boyfriend Bob.
I applaud the way Barclay fed us the pieces of this mystery and slowly tied them together as we discover what events led to Sydney’s disappearance. I loved the twists and shocking revelations. The events that occurred with Sydney were downright scary and I breathe a little easier living in the burbs. The novel had a few action scenes and a climactic conclusion that are sure to please.
I recommend this to fans of mystery, suspense and crime novels. Fear the Worst is available in both paper and digital formats. Barclay has over nineteen published works and I will be picking up a few. His most recent release is entitled The Accident.
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