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Fear the Worst [Hardcover]

Linwood Barclay
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)

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Book Description

18 Feb 2010

The worst day of Tim Blake's life started out with him making breakfast for his seventeen-year-old daughter Sydney. Syd was staying with him while she worked a summer job - even if he wasn't entirely sure what her job at the Just Inn Time motel actually was - and Tim hoped this quality father-daughter time would somehow help her deal with his divorce. When she didn't arrive home at her usual time, he thought she'd probably gone to the mall to hang with her friends. When she didn't answer her phone he began to worry. When she didn't come home at all, he began to panic. And when the people at the Just Inn Time said they had no Sydney Blake working at the motel and never had, he began to see his life going into freefall.

If she hadn't been working at the Just Inn Time every day, what had she been doing? Something she couldn't - or wouldn't - tell her own father about? To find his daughter Tim doesn't need to simply track her down - he needs to know who she really was, and what could have made her step out of her own life without leaving a trace.

Only one thing has him convinced the worst hasn't already happened: the fact that some very scary people seem just as eager as he is to find her. The question is: who's going to find her first?

Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (18 Feb 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752897411
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752897417
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16.2 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 403,460 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Linwood Barclay is married with two children and lives near Toronto. He is the author of three acclaimed Zack Walker mysteries, a former columnist for the Toronto Star, and is the author of the Richard & Judy 2008 Summer Read winner and number one besteller, No Time For Goodbye.

Product Description


'Barclay's plot proceeds at breakneck pace, full of twists and turns so confounding that you'll be unable to put this book down until you've turned the very last page. With a great cast of characters, plus wild goose chases and red herrings galore, this book has it all. After climbing off the thrill-ride of Fear the Worst, newcomers to Barclay's novels will understand what all the fuss has been about' (WATERSTONE'S BOOKS QUARTERLY )

'In a defty modulated progression from unease to tension to terror, Barclay takes the reader towards a final engagement with some very sinister people.' (THE INDEPENDENT )

'This is one of those rare read-at-one-sitting books ... Barclay is an extremely talented storyteller and a great addition to the crime thriller genre, up there with Harlan Coben, whom he most closely resembles.' (DAILY MAIL)

'Barclay is the thriller writer everyone's talking about and this book show's why - its fast and exciting, but with enough substance to the writing to prevent it being slick or shallow.' (MORNING STAR)

Book Description

The latest gripping page-turner from the massive No. 1 bestselling author and Richard and Judy Book Club Winner.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
66 of 69 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too slow, and the ending is weak 19 July 2009
By Julia Flyte TOP 50 REVIEWER
What would you do if your teenage daughter vanished one day, without warning? That's what happens to Tim Blake. After his daughter Sydney fails to come home, he goes to her workplace to see if she turned up for work that day, but they tell him they don't know her and she's never worked there. Then her car turns up with bloodstains in it - and suddenly the police seem to think that he's the most likely suspect behind her disappearance.

It's an intriguing premise, but Fear The Worst is a very slow build. Barclay's other books grabbed me from the outset, but this one took me a long time to pull me in and I have to say that I never felt particularly hooked. Things do happen: in fact, the plot is littered with clues (and red herrings), but rather than building the intrigue they somehow just feel formulaic. None of the characters feel like real people, but the villains are particularly devoid of any reason for existing other than to be villainous.

The plot reminded me in many ways of Hold Tight by Harlan Coben (also a thriller about a father searching for his missing teen). But unlike Coben's intricate storyline, Fear The Worst is almost entirely devoid of sub-plots. With hindsight, I can see that this book was carefully plotted. Almost every character has a reason for being introduced, almost every casual conversation has some later relevance. But the net effect is that it takes a long time to get anywhere and I for one got bored.

This is the third Linwood Barclay novel that I've read and I have to say that endings are not his strong point. The ending of this book is not quite as silly as No Time For Goodbye (which jumped the shark in a big way), but it comes close.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling but a bit too similar 19 Jan 2010
By Rachel
I started reading this at 8pm last night and didn't put it down until 1am the next morning! It was a very addictive and enjoyable read, yet I felt that it wasn't quite as good as his first novel. Some details seemed a bit too over-the-top, and the formula was quite similar to that of Barclay's first novel. As much as I enjoyed reading this book there were several points where I was reminded of 'No Time for Goodbye' or simply thought, "Wait, the author expects us to believe that this could happen in real life? This isn't a James Bond movie!" However, despite this, it was a very exciting and original story and incredibly hard to put down. Recommended if you like action-packed thrillers and don't mind your books becoming a little bit over-the-top when it comes to scenes involving cars, guns and the hero single-handedly beating all the bad guys.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A crazy ride 22 Feb 2010
By A. King
This is a great book with well created characters and an intricate plot line which is thoroughly enjoyable just so long as you don't take it too seriously. I can understand why someone would get rather frustrated towards the end when the plot disintegrates into something so unrealistic and impossible but I just enjoyed the ride - it is fiction after all. I would suggest this as an excellent holiday read or for putting your feet up with in the evening after a long day. For me, this wasn't as good as his first two novels and doesn't compare to some of the masters of this genre (Harlan Coben, Michael Connelly) but it does entertain and it is compelling. It's like watching a Bruce Willis movie - none of this stuff could really happen but you don't care because you're having fun! In fact, Bruce Willis probably could make a good movie out of this!!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely brilliant! 20 July 2011
By MrsG
I am a big fan of crime/thriller/suspense novels and I thought it could never get better than the books of Harlan Coben. How wrong I was! Lynwood Barclay is up there with Harlan Coben, his style is very easy-flowing and gripping, and keeps you guessing right till the end of the book. Thoroughly recommend it for anyone who likes crime/detective stories.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars linwood barclay 8 Feb 2011
This is the second book from linwood barlcay that i have read, the first was NO TIME FOR GOODBYE, reading this story i was hooked and had to buy another.
I have just finished reading FEAR THE WORST, and i thougth how clever linwood was by including his last book in this tale, it really brought it together for me, i will be ordering more of his books and cant wait to read them
any one that wants a onestop read, keeping you second guessing yourselves the linwoods collection is the recommended read from me.
5 stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By LadyA
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I had finished all the Peter Robinson's and the Sophie Hannah's and was feeling bereft, and someone at the swimming pool suggested LB. I have read everything he's written. Strong story lines, sort of psychological thrillers. Keeps you guessing. You can't go wrong.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A page turner 13 April 2012
By Vegar
I see a lot of people "complain" about the similarity to previous books.
However I found this book to be a real page turner, fast paced, the plot was good and an emotional ride.
Great read, highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All Linwood Barclay books 11 Mar 2012
I have now bought all the Lynwood Barclay books and I loved every one ,I was on the edge of my seat most of the time and can't put them down until finished Great writer.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars a ripping yarn
this novel kept my interest throughout. If you are in a tight spot it appears your best bet is your local car salesman rather than a law enforcement officer. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Iron wrecker
3.0 out of 5 stars Action-Packed but Far-Fetched
This is a story of a father's search for his missing teenage daughter told in the first-person from the father's perspective. Read more
Published 4 days ago by TomP
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 8 days ago by chrissy
1.0 out of 5 stars HUGE error at the end!
has no one seen the dreadful mistake at the end of this dull, draggy book? Obviously Mr Barclay got bored, so decided to have a magical gun that leapt from hand to hand to ensure... Read more
Published 1 month ago by White Rose
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great story
This is another great book from Linwood Barclay, the plot keeps you turning pages and if your not careful you you could be up half the night trying to finish it!
Published 1 month ago by wendy worth
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Love love love Linwood Barclay defo recommend. Need to find more than I haven't read. Keeps you hooked as with all his books.
Published 1 month ago by Francesca Penny-Hyland
5.0 out of 5 stars Another believable story from this author.
I love all books read by this author. The stories are believable and enthralling. It catches your interest rom the very beginning.
Published 1 month ago by ColleenB
4.0 out of 5 stars Daughter missing
What would you do if your daughter went missing. Well this is how the story begins. Another good book by Barclay. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Lxy Flippa
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read.
Loving L Barclay at the moment. Characters believable. Definitely a page turner. Will buy more of Barclays books, can't get enough.
Published 2 months ago by Corrinne Lindley
5.0 out of 5 stars Just recently
got into Linwood Barclay through my brother's recommendation and I must say I am now a massive fan. His books are so well written and put together. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Sue UK
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