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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Fear the Worst: A Thriller by Linwood Barclay

WOW! This one starts in a hurry and never slows up!

Linwood Barclay
Normally, I am very skeptical of all of those little blurbs that cover books. This one came with all kinds of blurbs from established authors and professional reviewers, including "Will leave you breathless - Robert Crais", "A one-sit thriller - Michael Connelly" and "The surprises just keep on coming - Charlaine Harris."

Well, guess what? This one lives up to its praise. I'd never heard of Linwood Barclay before I read this book, but he writes a terrific thriller.

The premise of the book is that car salesman Tim Blake's daughter goes to work one day and does not return. No one at her job has seen her before. No one in the area knows anything about her. Her best friends don't know anything. She's just gone. The whole idea comes from the author's daughter who looked at him at breakfast one day and said, "Suppose you came to pick me up at my job, and found out I'd never worked there?"

This book is jam-packed with action, but none of it seems over the top. There are dozens of plot twists, a body count that would make a Sylvester Stallone movie jealous and surprisingly normal good guys going against bad guys that are real bad, but not unrealistically bad.

What do I mean? Well, I can't really get into it without creating spoilers, but suffice it to say, it's not like our hero, a car salesman, takes out the Russian Mafia singlehandedly, but the bad guys are certainly bad enough.

One very nice touch is that the main character always refers to every car by it's make and model. He never calls it a blue mini-van. It would be a Honda Odyssey. Why is that a nice touch? Car salesmen know cars - all of them.

I rate this book 5 stars out of 5.

Reviewed on June 1, 2009.

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