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FEAR THE WORST – “A Thriller Rivaling Stephen King’s Best”

November 7, 2010

Fear the Worst

by Linwood Barclay

Dell Publishing

$7.99 (paperback), 512 pages

Ever have a lonesome week saved by a seat-of-your-pants thriller? I just did, and have become an instant fan of the Canadian writer, Linwood Barclay. Even with a cover blurb claiming he “pushes suspense to the edge and beyond” I was unprepared for the originality, thoughtfulness and shocking ending of this instant classic. He starts with a separated father missing his almost-adult daughter, but the story line manages to get below the surface with regard to the man’s relationship to his ex-wife, her current boyfriend, his daughter’s friends, the man’s work relationships and most significantly, what we know, want to know and don’t want to know about our children.

There’s some interesting subtext on how a car dealership works and the climactic shootout in an auto showroom after hours pushes all the narrator’s suppressed feelings to the hilt. This is a page turner, but a reader has a feeling of going deeper and deeper rather than traveling on a horizontal plot line from beginning to conclusion. The scenes and images are vivid. No words are wasted, and the ending is sad but satisfying in an unexpected way. The author talks about his inspiration for the book in the acknowledgments as when his own daughter asked him over eggs one morning, “Suppose you came to pick me up at my job, and found out I’d never worked there?”

And me? I have a whole winter to kill. I’m on my way to the library to pick up some of this guy’s earlier books.

Buy this directly from amazon. Click here: Fear the Worst: A Thriller

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