Linwood Barclay

The Accident

"The plot is tight, with shocks, red-herrings and enough twists to satisfy even the most critical reader."


Milford, Connecticut is a nice place to live and bring up a family, yet the residents are all starting to feel the recession bite. Decent law-abiding citizens have to look to other sources to make ends meet and some have unusually creative methods.

Builder Glen Garber has been struck harder than most by the recession, particularly when one of his buildings burnt to the ground. Yet things are going to get a whole lot worse for Glen. His wife has a secret sideline with a group of friends which she intends to use to generate some much needed extra income.

Before long it looks as if the “get rich quick” scheme is more likely to fill graves than coffers and Glen has to risk everything to unravel the mysteries which confront him, while unable to trust any of his closest friends and acquaintances.

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This book is a little different from Barclay's usual fare as with The Accident he serves up a descent into hell for his lead instead of the usual nerve racking thriller. Readers are able to watch Glen's life disintegrate around him as drama leads from crisis to catastrophe. Yet the battle to get his life back on track is enthralling in the extreme as readers are treated to a wonderful tale of a man conquering whatever life has to throw at him. For the record, Barclay throws more at Glen Garber than Eric Bristow ever threw at a dartboard. This culminates in some marvellous standoffs against the least expected opponents as the story twists and turns so fast it's a small marvel I don't have whiplash. If you gave the plot of this book to a literary writer then they would throw away the second half of the plot and delight themselves with describing angst, forlorn feelings and despair. These are touched upon but only lightly as the lead is a fighter who never lets his head go down when many of us readers would call it a day and curl up inside a bottle or simply refuse to get out of bed. Sally, Doug, Marcus, Fiona, Theo, Sheila, are all fine characters who add greatly to the novel but, for me, the shining stars are Garber himself and his 8 year old daughter Kelly. Linwood Barclay can speak convincingly with almost any voice and his depiction of young Kelly's reactions to events gave the novel an even greater tug at my heart strings. Very soon though he would have my heart racing again as he sent Glen off on his next mini adventure. The prose is everything you have become accustomed to with this author. It is direct, sparing, informative without over-elaboration and the dialogue fits the character every time. The plot is tight, with shocks, red-herrings and enough twists to satisfy even the most critical reader. I can give The Accident little higher praise than to say it reminded me of both Severed and Relentless by Simon Kernick such was the intensity of the problems the hero had to overcome and the driving pace throughout.

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