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VINE VOICEon 6 August 2011
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Linwood Barclay is another of those authors who I look forward to each year releasing a new novel. He is a brilliant author and is able to write crime fiction full of twists and turns and always finishes his books with a twist that hits the reader with a shock!

The Accident is his latest book, released 1 September 2011. It tells the story of Glen Barber, owner of a construction business, who is facing financial difficulties after a mysterious fire burnt his latest build down. There is also the sudden and unexpected death of his wife following a car accident where tests show she was drunk when driving, something which was completely out of character. The mystery continues when his daughter's best friend's mum also dies in suspicious circumstances.

The book is, as ever in Linwood Barclay's books, excellent written, where the readers are lead through the story at a fast pace, gaining pieces of information along the way. There is plenty of mystery, intrigue and despair within the book. The characters are all every day people, with the main male characters all having decent jobs, however the women are trying to earn a few extra pennies to supplement their husbands income - however there are consequences to this. The characters are all people you would find in any community and I really felt for Glen, worrying about his dead wife and also his daughter who is affected by both the death of her mum, but also the death of her best friends mum too. All the characters suffer a full range of emotions throughout this book and I, as the reader, also felt much anger, frustration and confusion throughout the book as Glen Barber tries to uncover what happened to his wife before she died in the accident.

I would definitely recommend this book to crime lovers of all ages. Linwood Barclay has many fans but I think that with this book many more people will become fans.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I am a fan of Linwood Barclay and have enjoyed all his previous novels. The Accident is a dark, gripping and for a while mysterious tale. Why have two women, both mums died in what looks like accidental death scenes? Kelly's mum Sheila was drunk and crashed her car. Ann, Kelly's mum was pushed off a pier into the sea, but the Police think it was an accident. The women were close friends and their daughters' are best friends. Clearly something is going on that their husbands don"t know about. Ann was married to Darren, a policeman and Sheila was married to Glen who is the central character here.
Glen runs his own building contract firm, he has recently had one of his new homes burn down and is trying to find out why. After his wife dies he is on a non stop struggle to take care of his daughter and deal with his grief while running his business.

The story has a backdrop of the credit crunch and financial pigeons coming home to roost. The Sub-Prime mortgages are biting and people are struggling to make ends meet: given that "ends" includes all the western cultural essentials like flat screen TV's and designer handbags.etc.

I like it that Linwood Barclay has included in his novel many of today's financial problems and the dodgy practices that are on the increase. The counterfeit medicines that can kill, toys for young children that are painted in Lead paint. The very dodgy building supplies like plasterboard containing toxic substances and the way faked safety stamps have been used to sell electrical units that burn out causing major damage. Many ordinary people do feel angry and betrayed by the bankers: and by including some current affairs it gives another level of tension to the novel. It did for me ! and I don't recommend this as a bedtime read!

Some parts of the book are fast paced and gripping but some are more predictable and a bit disappointing. However its never boring and the momentum keeps you reading, particularly towards the end which I found exciting and satisfying.
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on 25 January 2012
I don't read books as often as I would like to. More often than not it is usually during a two week annual holiday that I sort myself out a few paperbacks to relax with on the beach. A couple of years ago Richard & Judy nominated a Linwood Barclay novel as their best holiday read and I decided to give it a try. I became a fan overnight. Two years later I have read all the novels this Canadian thriller writer has penned. Yes I admit there is a similarity between them all, but there again perhaps that is the attraction. Stick with what you know and enjoy. In my view The Accident is the best to date..... which I guess mirrors the view of Stephen King, since the latest hard back edition I have just completed was emblazened with a similar comment from this world famous horror writer. Don't worry if you're not a fan of horror - Linwood Barclay is a different genre to Stephen King ; but I guess it takes a good writer to know one. It is hard to put a finger on it but I almost get the feeling that Barclay has matured in his writing style with each successive novel. The ever-so-slight rough edges have gone, giving the impression that this book was easier to write. So I'll conclude by saying if you you want to be absorbed by a fast paced thriller that twists and turns as it goes along and has that "can't put down" quality to it, give "The Accident" a try. It is a good easy read, that flows well, with a well thought out story line that is believable enough to get you engrossed. I'll wait patiently for his next one and I know I'll enjoy it as much as the ones that have gone before.
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on 23 September 2011
I'd agree with others who said this is not up to his usual standard. I've read all of Linwood Barclays' other books, found them easy to read and really enjoyed them. In this one there were no real surprises in the plot and the I was expecting some sort of twist in regard to the dodgy dealings i.e purse parties, selling prescription drugs which never came. I didn't think there was enough depth to the characters and as such I didn't really care that his wife was involved in "The Accident". The main character was too much of a do-gooder and involved in everyones business to be believable.
I did manage to finish the book but have to admit it was a struggle. A shame, and if this had been first book i'd read by this author I probably wouldn't rush to buy another.
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on 14 September 2011
I eagerly looked forward to reading this book as I have read his previous novels and found them very good. As I started this book I felt it wasn't up to the standard of his previous books but as I got into it I became more and more gripped by the story.It was very fast paced and at times I lost track of who was who and where they fitted into it. The ending was totally unexpected and for once I had not guessed who the villain was, quite a novelty for me as I read so many crime/thrillers that I usually get the killer etc before they are revealed. I would recommend this to anyone who loves crime/thrillers, well worth the read
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 1 September 2011
Linwood Barclay writes Harlan Coben style thrillers about the secrets that lie behind the most benign suburban settings. In this outing he focuses on a group of neighbours who are all suffering from the effects of the recession. The plot is more multi-faceted than in his previous books and I felt that he struggled somewhat to pull it off.

The main plot is about Glenn Carver, who is trying to pick up the pieces after his wife Sheila dies in a car accident with a massively high blood alcohol level. He doesn't understand how his responsible wife could have allowed this to happen, but he's trying to put his anger behind him and concentrate on looking after their 8 year old daughter. Gradually he becomes aware that many of his friends have secrets which may link to her actions on the day that she died. At the same time he is dealing with work issues and with a mother in law who seems intent on gaining custody of his daughter.

I have enjoyed Linwood Barclay's other books, but I'd rate this one as just okay. The reader works things out an awfully long time before the narrator does, which makes the first half somewhat slow. While the pace picks up in the second half, the high body count (over relatively minor stakes) and massive number of people hiding secrets stretched all credibility for me. The good news is that there are plenty of twists, so you're very unlikely to work them all out in advance.

It's a fast, easy, somewhat intriguing thriller, but not one that stands out in any way. Linwood Barclay has written better.
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on 24 June 2012
The premise seemed promising - a wife who seemingly dies in an accident, with her husband then uncovering a web of intrigue. However, I got an overwhelming sense that the author had tried far too hard to put in multiple twists and turns. The whole plot seemed contrived. It is heavily dependant on an event near the start of the book (I will try not to spoil the plot here) but that event and how it is handled and its repercussions are totally unconvincing. Also, a child is a pivotal character in this book and it takes a brave writer to convincingly write dialogue with a child without it sounding schmaltzy and sentimental. A lot of the "incidents" and clues are clunky and - really - what town would be so unfortunate to have quite so many inhabitants inclined to murder? I certainly won't be moving to that neighbourhood in a hurry, not least because all the characters (apart from the main one) are so unsympathetic and unlikeable. And whilst Barclay lays a crazy paving pathway of clues and red herrings, he seems to forget about one character completely (again, won't spoil the plot by saying which one). I presumed their odd behaviour in the first half of the book would be highly relevant to the plot but, no, it's left unexplained and unresolved. Having said all that, I've read worse thrillers and I did keep reading to the end, hence the 3 stars.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I love Linwood Barclay novels so I was looking forward to this latest offering. I was not disappointed. Crime, intrigue, people who are not who they seem, desperate measures to try and beat the financial downturn, fake designer handbags, it has all this and more. Main character and narrator Glen has his own construction company, carrying on his late father's work. Times are hard for him as for everyone in the recession, with less and less new building work coming in. To make matters worse, one of his buildings was recently destroyed by fire, with the cause as yet unknown. His caring wife Sheila has been studying an evening class in order to help with Glen's financial paperwork for the company, but it seems that in common with some of the other wives in Milford, where they live, she also has some other ideas as to how they might come about a bit of extra money to help get them through. But it seems this could be a lot more dangerous than any of them suspected. The accident on which the novel turns occurs, and then Glen is thrust into a complicated web of lies, distrust, and criminal activity all the while trying to shield his young daughter Kelly from the danger around them.

This is an exciting read, which builds up to a nervy and revelatory ending with those trademark Barclay twists to keep the story going right up until the very end and keep the reader nervous and intrigued, hanging on and turning the page. Once again we have a lead male character under immense pressure to quickly discover what is going on, trying to understand who he can trust and who has betrayed him amongst those around him, and numerous tense situations where time is short and people are in danger. With his books I always have to finish it within a couple of days of starting, I have to know what will happen and how it will end. Looking forward to the next one already!
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VINE VOICEon 17 August 2011
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I was very eager to read the new Linwood Barclay offering as I have truly enjoyed his previous books, having read most of them in one sitting. This book was fairly interesting with some twists, keeping you guessing how the different strands of the story connected to each other. The plot itself is a fairly simplistic idea but is well narrated. However, I feel that `The Accident' was not quite as involving or addictive as his previous books and certainly did not hold my attention as well as No Time For Goodbye or Too Close To Home.

Overall I would say it was entertaining enough but certainly not Linwood Barclay's best.
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on 5 July 2012
I've read all Linwood Barclay's paperbacks and have enjoyed all of them, particulary 'No Time for Goodbye' and 'Too Close to Home'. This was was a major disappointment to me. I don't understand the positive reviews on here, to be honest. The endless plot about purse parties etc bored me. Neither did I like all the stuff about Glen Garber's work colleagues and the interlinks seemed tenuous to me. I think I would have enjoyed it had it been a hundred pages shorter.
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