Linwood Barclay Month #2: Fear the Worst, Never Look Away

Fear The Worst by Linwood Barclay

This Canadian thriller features teenager Sydney Blake, spending the summer at her father’s home. Like all parents of teenagers, her father Tim is thrilled when Sydney lands a summer job working part time at a local hotel. When Sydney doesn’t come home one night after her shift, her father goes looking for her, only to discover she was never employed at the hotel. He amasses a search for his daughter, and will follow it wherever it leads.

This book lives up to the thriller designation. Barclay keeps you turning the pages as the search for Sydney intensifies. With Tim, the main character, the reader can connect on a personal level to such a relatable character. He’s an “average” man, your typical parent. The story finishes rather abruptly, leaving you with some unanswered questions. There is so much action happening throughout the novel, you are at the end of the story before you even realize it. You want to know more about Sydney and her father once it is over.

While parts of the story may seem improbable or unrealistic, you can be easily drawn into the suspense and the action. As an entertaining and suspense-filled book, this would make an excellent edge-of-your-seat movie. A departure from usual murder-mystery books, and Barclay’s other novels, Fear The Worst is not to be overlooked.

Never Look Away by Linwood Barclay

Another great murder mystery novel from Canadian author Linwood Barclay, Never Look Away keeps the action of the story going from start to finish. In this suspense filled novel, Newspaper writer David Harwood takes his family to a theme park for the day, but in typical Barclay fashion, David ends up disappearing. Barclay is not done there – instead of a search for David, the reader ends up desperately looking for his wife, Jan. Never Look Away takes you places you never thought it would go.

Like most family stories, this child in this novel is what seems to be keeping the parents together, for he has a way of bringing out the best in the both of them even when they least like each other. While this is your run of the mill theme, the level of emotion and character that Barclay invests in his characters breaks the mould. With high-speed page-turning adventures, you are likely to finish this story in just one sitting. It sticks to the same formula as Barclay’s other novels – but why mess with a good thing? The structure works, and it works well.

Barclay’s work is a great mix of suspense and wit, chock full of dry Canadian flavored humor. You’ll love the protagonist David, and be able to connect with his emotions on a person level, regardless of if you are married or a parent or neither of each. Searching for your wife would tug at anyone’s heart strings, but what David discovers on his searches will fill you with passion, anger, fear, and love. Don’t miss the great roller coaster ride of Never Look Away, for it is the best that all adventure seekers can get.

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