Fear the Worst by Linwood Barclay
Your daughter doesn’t come home one night from her summer job.
You go there looking for her. No one’s seen her. But it’s worse than that.
No one’s ever seen her. So where has she been going every day? And where is she now?
In Linwood Barclay’s riveting new thriller, an ordinary man’s desperate search for his daughter leads him into a dark world of corruption, exploitation, and murder. Tim Blake is about to learn that the people you think you know best are the ones harboring the biggest secrets.
Tim is an average guy. He sells cars. He has an ex-wife. She’s moved in with a man whose moody son spends more time online than he should. His girlfriend is turning out to be a bit of a flake. It’s not a life without hassles, but nothing will prepare Tim for the nightmare that’s about to begin.
Sydney vanishes into thin air. At the hotel where she supposedly worked, no one has ever heard of her. Even her closest friends seem to be at a loss. Now, as the days pass without word, Tim must face the fact that not only is Sydney missing, but that the daughter he’s loved and thought he knew is a virtual stranger.
As he retraces Sydney’s steps, Tim discovers that the suburban Connecticut town he always thought of as idyllic is anything but. What he doesn’t know is that his every move is being watched. There are others who want to find Syd as much as Tim does.
But they’re not planning a Welcome Home party.
The closer Tim comes to the truth, the closer he comes to every parent’s worst nightmare—and the kind of evil only a parent’s love has a chance in hell of stopping.
Fear the Worst follows a middle-aged man named Tim on his search for his daughter. Imagine you have a teenage daughter who suddenly goes missing, with no clear reason as to why. Then, when you go to her place of work the night she didn’t come home, they have never heard of her. None of her friends seem to know where she went either. What would you do? Well, this is what happens to Tim in Fear the Worst. His journey is crazy and horrible and frustrating. Filled with action, mystery, and suspense, Fear the Worst is a great read for lovers of Mystery/Crime novels.
Tim is very relatable and easy to connect with and feel for. He is just your every day Joe who ends up getting caught up in all this crazy shit. I really sympathized for this guy. People kept trying to set him up and all he wanted was to find his daughter. But, soon the police are more interested in interrogating him than looking for his daughter. How frustrating! Nothing can go right for this guy.
The trauma in this story is never-ending. Shit keeps going down. One thing after another, after another. It’s a pretty crazy story and quite intense, at times, to read. The novel is just one big shit storm for poor Tim. First, his daughter goes missing. (Then a series of other events happen throughout the novel to make Tim’s life a living Hell) (Then his home gets broken into while he’s on a wild goose chase in Seattle, due to a false lead on his daughter’s whereabouts. Then someone tries to kill him. Then he finds out he has another daughter from when he donated sperm in college, and she’s missing now too. Then his crazy ex-girlfriend winds up dead in his house.) All the while, he’s just trying to find his daughter and the cops are, instead of helping him, after him because they think he did all those things and killed his own daughter. Poor dude.
I am a fan of Linwood Barclay. I think he’s an excellent story-teller that keeps his readers on their toes and always has unpredictable endings. In fact, there was a crazy twist at the end of Fear the Worst that I didn’t see coming! My favourite novel of Barclay’s so far is still No Time for Goodbye, but this one was enjoyable as well.
SIK’s Short ‘n’ Sweet Version (Point-form Style)
– The suspenseful mystery, along with the twist at the end.
– Tim’s character was easy to connect and sympathize with.
– Just all of the craziness of the story.
I Didn’t Care For:
– I guess, if I have to pick something, it would be the way in which some of the dialogue was told. It was always “he said”, “she said”, “[character’s name] said”. It just kind of bothered me. One, because I don’t always need the author to write in who is talking; I can usually figure it out if it’s a back-and-forth conversation. Two, because there was hardly any variation to the word “said” — “exclaimed”, “answered”, “shouted”, “responded”, etc. would have been nice every once in awhile.