Saturday, April 12, 2014

Linwood Barclay - The Accident - Book Review

           The story starts out in a ominous way. Two women are shopping for knockoff pocketbooks in Chinatown and stumble on to something that causes them to be murdered. On the surface, it’s hard for me to belive that knock off pecketbooks could be part of a murder but Barclay takes this unusual murder and turns it into a nich thriller. 

             Much of the story focuses on Glen Barber. He the owner of a construction business that’s fallen on hard times. Then he learns that his wife has been killed in an automobile accident and the reason was becauseshe was asleep at the wheel because she was drunk. If that isn’t enough, the family that had victims in the accident is out to sue Glen for millions of dollars as lawyers would do because he wasn’t taking responsibility for his wife’s problems. 

             Barber has his own questions about what happened to his wife. It seemed out of character for Sheila to be drunk at any time, much less behind the wheel of the car. With all the problems cropping up for Glen, he is determined to find the truth at any cost. 

              If there is one thing you can say about Barclay, he can create characters that can drive the story and make it a page turner. He really doesn’t need a plot here since he’s capturing a town in Connecticut with people who have fallen on hard times and are doing whatever they can to make money, whether it’s in knockoff drugs or prescription drugs that you can get over the internet, but in this case, the neighbors have it. 

               Barclay manages to capture Barber as a family man, now having the burden of taking care of his daughter without his wife while trying to keep her safe from the neighbors and the children from school. If that isn’t enough, Sheila’s mother, who never got along with Barber, wants to do whateever she can to have control of her grandaughter, even it it means that she can take her away from her father. 

                All this leads to nothing but twists and turnes in The Accident as Barclay moves the story along with this character driven story. Making Barber the protagonist only makes this story more believable throughout the very surprising twists and turns that bring this novel to a great conclusion. 

               Whether you want to call this a character driven literary thriller, it’s a great novel that Barclay has crafted. It’s a story that is unpredicatable, believable, disturbing, and most of all, worth five stars. 

Ron Hummer

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