Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Accident by Linwood Barclay

Synopsis: Glen Garber, a contractor, has seen his business shaken by the housing crisis, and now his wife, Sheila, is taking a business course at night to increase her chances of landing a good-paying job. But she should have been home by now. With their eight-year-old daughter sleeping soundly, Glen soon finds his worst fears confirmed: Sheila and two others have been killed in a car accident. Grieving and in denial, Glen resolves to investigate the accident himself—and begins to uncover layers of lawlessness beneath the placid surface of their Connecticut suburb, secret after dangerous secret behind the closed doors. Propelled into a vortex of corruption and illegal activity, pursued by mysterious killers, and confronted by threats from neighbors he thought he knew, Glen must take his own desperate measures and go to terrifying new places in himself to avenge his wife and protect his child.

My Thoughts: My first Barclay and I'm not sure what I really think about his writing.

What I Liked: Linwood Barclay certainly had me wondering throughout the entire book. Amongst a cast of questionable characters, Barclay masterfully crafted a whodunnit that even stumped me.  Not that I'm queen of figuring out whodunnits but often times I'm more right than wrong. So with the conclusion of this book I was (pleasantly) surprised that I didn't see it coming. I also enjoyed seeing how so many plot threads came together. There was a time towards the beginning of the book that I had my doubts that he could pull all of them together but he certainly did it.

What I Didn't Like: I didn't like that Barclay used the recession as a reason for "purportedly" good people to turn to a life of crime. Most of us have been effected by the down turn in our economy but very few of us have turned to a life of crime. It seemed a bit absurd that so many people in such a small suburban area would have done this. In addition, his back and forth flipping from first person narration to third pulled me out of the story. I would have liked if it stuck to one or the other even though the way it was written made it easier to determine whose view we were reading at any given time. Also, the first 1/3 or so really dragged for me...it did pick up but I wouldn't consider this a thriller. It's a slow build and not a fast paced roller coaster ride. One last thing, I had a bit of an issue with the whodunnit. I did enjoy Barclay stumping me but I thought the actual perpetrator was a bit hard to swallow. I liked the wow of it but it seemed a bit far fetched.

In a Nutshell: Despite that I had some issues with the book I will probably seek out more Linwood Barclay books in the future.


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