Book Review: Fear the Worst by Linwood Barclay

Although I am not a huge crime fiction fan, the subject matter of this book stirred my curiousity enough to while away a few hours engrossed in its pages.

Timothy Blake, used car salesman, is your ordinary, everyday guy. His teenage daughter, Sidney, comes from her mother’s for the summer and normal parent-child frustrations ensue. Then Sidney doesn’t come home. Tim begins a search for her, starting at the Just in Time Hotel, her place of employment. They tell him they have never heard of her as she is not an employee.

He questions how well he knew his daughter as he searches. His ex-wife initially plays the blame game but then cooperates with him in the search for their daughter.

Fear the Worst avoids many of the normal crime fiction cliches. Tim doesn’t turn into a super hero when confronted with gun-toting bad guys.  He doesn’t develop uncanny spy skills. He doesn’t have contacts in high places. He just struggles to cope under extraordinary circumstances.

Linwood Barclay, although a bestselling crime fiction author in Britain, is still a much undiscovered talent in the U.S. This book had me thinking of flipping to the last pages in anticipation of discovering the outcome. I soldiered through and Barclay found a new fan. Too Close to Home and No Time for Goodbye will be my next reads by this author.

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