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Fear the Worst

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  8,563 Ratings  ·  881 Reviews
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,
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published August 11th 2009 by Bantam (first published 2009)
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Fiona There were lots of scary parts too like when Kate Wood was shot through the head,when Tim was thrown against the wall by Detective Majorie... Etc
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2nd out of 31 books — 31 voters

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Community Reviews

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Timothy Blake got up that morning and in due course proceeded to make scrambled eggs for his seventeen year old daughter Sydney, who was spending the summer with him. Sydney was growing up fast and pushing hard for her independance. Last year she was content with the part time job Tim had secured for her at his car dealership but this year she had secured her own employment at a local Inn. Tim wanted to support his daughter and her struggle to make her own way but could not help but be concerned ...more
Feb 05, 2015 Lisa rated it really liked it
I had a great time reading this fast-paced thriller (set at a car dealership!) with my two fabulous book buddies Betsy and Sheila. This is a really fun choice for a buddy read, especially if you break it up the way Betsy did and end on a cliffhanger every time, lol! I liked this one even more that my last Barclay (The Accident), and I think now it's safe to say that I'm a full-fledged LB groupie! I liked the way this story is told with one point of view (Tim's) and is completely linear. It reall ...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
I won a copy of this book from good reads giveaways. This was the first book I'd read by Linwood Barclay, and I enjoyed the story. Great summer reading.

Tim Blake is a divorced Connecticut car salesman. His teenage daughter Sydney is staying with him for the summer. One night she doesn't come home from work. Tim goes looking for her at the inn where she's been working, and is told she never worked there. He tries to go on with his normal life while looking for Sydney, and eventually devotes all
Mar 11, 2015 Elaine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Tim Blake’s daughter Sydney goes missing he soon discovers that maybe he didn’t know her as well as he thought. Why would she disappear without a trace and why does nobody at the hotel she works at know anything about her? Pretty soon it becomes apparent that he is not the only one trying to find Sydney – but who are these people who it seems are prepared to stop at nothing to find her?

There is a lot of action packed into this book and it did sometimes feel as if there was “too much” of it,
Lance Greenfield
A decent thriller based on an aging theme

Quite a few mystery thrillers have been written based on the disappearance of a person, seemingly without trace, only to have those amongst whom they were thought to live and work deny their very existence. The first of these, to my knowledge, was So Long at the Fair by Anthony Thorne, first published in 1947. That one was about a man who disappeared in Paris just before the Paris Exhibition in 1879. Her sister tries to track him down. It later became a f
Terri Lynn
Nov 21, 2011 Terri Lynn rated it it was amazing
Years ago, when my daughter was 3, I had just overcome a bad bout of sciatica and went shopping the day after Thanksgiving with her and with my elderly mother. My daughter disappeared in the store and with visions of little beheaded and murdered Adam Walsh rolling in my head, I hobbled to the manager and demanded a complete shutdown of the store and that the city police, county sheriff, state patrol, and the National Guard be called in at once while I shook down everyone in the store and parking ...more
Linda Boyd
I loved this book, this is the 2nd book by Linwood Barclay that I have read and he has not let me down yet. This book went in directions that I did not expect! Well done Mr Barclay!!
Jan 28, 2011 Lisa rated it liked it
I'd just finished another of this author's books and was looking for something light and easy. This is hardly a 'thriller' as his other book is, but it's still a pageturner. My only problem is that the author doesn't follow Chekov's rule about the gun in the first act going off in the third act. (Spoiler below)

Why was the main character's house searched? What were the bad guys looking for? I thought FOR SURE that when the father had taken the stuffed animal on his road trip, his daughter had hid
Oct 13, 2009 Kirsten rated it it was ok
The premise of this book is an interesting one: what would you do if, as a loving parent, your teenage daughter disappeared one day? And, added to that, what if you went to her workplace and they told you she'd never worked there, and they had no idea who she was?

The beginning of the novel, when a father is in just this situation, is really quite good. Unfortunately, it quickly becomes overburdened with a growing cast of characters and dozens of convoluted occurences, and the end result was a th
Mar 14, 2013 Rhonda rated it it was ok
Fear the Worst was a decent read for the first 2/3 of the book, not spectacular, just decent. Decent ended for me at the end of chapter 35, page 309 of the hardcover edition I was reading. I can't elaborate for fear of giving a significant spoiler. My suspension of disbelief was all used up at that point. This particular "coincidence" was over the top and absolutely unbelievable. After page 309, the whole story became ridiculous, predictable, and less than mediocre.

Fear the Worst was a disappoin
Feb 01, 2015 Betsy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fear the Worst is another wonderful read from Linwood Barclay. He is a master at writing interesting plots with entertaining characters. 4 stars
Justin Green
Jun 16, 2015 Justin Green rated it really liked it
Won't bother with an outline of the plot as other reviewers have done so very capably.
Simply a romping good read.
I thought it was a little slow to begin with, and without knowing anything about Lynwood Barclay before, was gauging (incorrectly) that he was a fledgling author just cutting his teeth.
But once Sydney goes missing, he moves into top gear.
Character development is excellent. Each person in the book has a distinct personality which naturally draws you in and keeps you engaged.
And the plo
Aug 09, 2009 Michael rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Any mystery fans, Harlan Coban fans, family mystery fans.
Recommended to Michael by: Goodreads advanced reading club
This novel grabs your attention from the start.
Tim Blake has his 17 year old daughter, Sydney, staying with him during the summer. She never comes home from her job in a local motel. Tim goes to the hotel and asks the management about her. They don't know her and inform him that she never worked there.

He tries to keep his life going and barely succeeds until the police tell him that they've found his daughter's car in a local parking lot.
What would you do as a parent?

Tim becomes a modern "Every
Jun 06, 2011 Ms.pegasus rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: mystery and suspense lovers
Shelves: fiction, suspense
Imagine that one morning your teen-age daughter goes to her summer job … and disappears. Linwood Barclay captures that single moment in all of its frantic terror, and suspends it in time. Into this void, he occupies us with circumspect introductions to his characters. We learn that the girl who has disappeared is named Sydney. We see her exclusively through the eyes of her father, Tim, a failed dealer and now a car salesman treading water in his career. Tim's ex-wife Susanne's boyfriend, Bob Jan ...more
Sep 27, 2010 Jeff rated it liked it
Well, it was a decent read. He keeps the suspense moving at a decent clip. Nothing earth shattering, and a few ridiculous coincidences. But overall a solid enough plane thriller as I warm up for Infinite Jest. :)
Jun 13, 2015 Barbara rated it liked it
3.5 stars

Tim Blake, a divorced car salesman in Milford, Connecticut, has his 17-year-old daughter Sydney living with him for the summer. Sydney has a summer job at a cheap local motel called Just Inn Time. One morning Sydney goes off to work and doesn't come home. When Tim goes to Just Inn Time looking for his daughter he's told Sydney never worked there and no one there has ever seen her. Confused and worried Tim reports his daughter missing and begins an obsessive search for her.

When she's no
Oct 20, 2015 Siobhan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first encounter with Linwood Barclay came through A Tap on the Window, a book which I thoroughly enjoyed. I planned to buy more Linwood Barclay books when a relative of mine offered me some of her books to read, two of which were Linwood Barclay books. Needless to say, I was over the moon and quickly jumped in.

I was not at all disappointed by Fear the Worst. As with A Tap on the Window (and the other Linwood Barclay books which I have gone on to read following Fear the Worst) it was a great b
Jenny Hilborne
Apr 02, 2014 Jenny Hilborne rated it really liked it
The story starts with a good hook. Tim Blake had a fight with his daughter and now she is missing. As he tries to find her, the intrigue deepens as everything he believed he knew about her appears to be false. What follows is Tim's unyielding effort to unscramble the lies from the truth and find her.

The characters are unremarkable. Tim Blake is a divorced Dad and a used car salesman. His ex-wife lives with her new boyfriend, another car dealer, and his teenage son. Tim Blake has to work with his
Paul Pessolano
Feb 05, 2011 Paul Pessolano rated it really liked it
I'm sure many of you have read Linwood Barclay's, "No Time for Goodbye" and "Too Close to Home".

You will find that in "Fear the Worst" Barclay has again put the reader on edge. A young girl, Syd Blake, goes to work at a hotel one morning and disappears. Not only does she disappear but when her father inquires at the "Just Inn Time" inn where she supposedly works, no one has ever heard of her.

Syd's father, Tim, starts searching for her and finds nothing but problems, both from his ex-wife's boyfr
Sep 28, 2009 Louise rated it it was amazing
Wow!!! I have just discovered my newest 'favourite' Canadian author!! Linwood Barclay makes no bones about writing thrilling, fast-paced, hold onto your seat, and don't take your eyes off the page story telling. His talent for spinning out a bone-chilling mystery and thriller with neatly and precisely carved characters is mind blowing. Lots of thrills and unexpected's in this one! I'm on the hunt for ALL this author's work now!! lol

From dust jacket:

"Your daughter doesn't come home one night from
Jun 21, 2009 Cheryl rated it really liked it
Tim Blake is divorced. He is looking forward to spending the summer with his seventeen year old daughter, Sydney. This year through she won’t be working at the car dealership that he works at. Sydney found herself a job working at the Just In Time hotel, which caters to traveling business men.

When Sydney doesn’t come home, Tim heads to the hotel only to learn his worst nightmare has just begun. Sydney has gone missing, without a trace. It is as if she never existed. The hotel staff tells Tim th
Jul 31, 2009 Pamela rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 31, 2009 Laura rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Anyone who needs a super-duper fast, brain-candy read (maybe good for a longer airplane trip?)
Recommended to Laura by: Goodreads
Shelves: first-reads
This is a First Reads (my first First Reads), and I'm not sure if the book is out yet to the general public but it should be soon.

It's a decent thriller, and an absolute page-turner because, if for nothing else, the main character, Tim, rarely stops moving. The prose, while not particularly great, is solidly okay--clean and simple--and this also keeps the eyes moving quickly (although, FYI Barclay: no one in the states refers to drunk people as being "pissed," nor do many use the term "bum" to
Sep 27, 2016 TombReader rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this. I tried to take my time getting through the book, but it was very hard to put down because it was so gripping from the start to the very end!
The book is quite true to real life- especially the part where the police aren't always the most helpful and you decide to take matters into your own hands. Also, there was a specific part in the book where Kip Jennings (the Detective) asks Tim Blake (Syd's father) whether he really knows his daughter, she questions him a lot
Maureen DeLuca
Mar 06, 2016 Maureen DeLuca rated it liked it
Tim Blake is your average divorced dad. His x-wife is living with another man and he shares custody of his daughter Sydney. While staying with her father, she leaves one morning to go to work at a local hotel. As time goes by- Sydney doesn't come home, so he goes out looking for his daughter and stopping by the hotel. No one has ever heard of her. He speaks to the hotel manager and she tells him that she does not work at this hotel. From there the story goes. Tim Black is on a mission to find hi ...more
Dana ****Reads Alot****
This book started out really good but somehow in the middle it all went terribly wrong, things just didn't seem possible or believable about all how these people meshed together in some way. It could of went way better than originally told.
Sep 02, 2016 Maddy rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016-reads
PROTAGONIST: Tim Blake, car salesman
SETTING: Milford, Connecticut
RATING: 2.75
WHY: Tim Blake has his daughter, Sydney, visiting for the summer. When she disappears, his life spirals out of control. He tries to work with the police, but after a few misunderstandings, feels that they are out to get him. He finds there are lots of secrets and that his family is being watched. At first, I was gobbling down the book, but it went on for far too long and couldn't maintain the suspense. Barclay kept tryi
May 03, 2015 ChippahLuluReads rated it really liked it
My 2nd read of Linwood Barclay's and it's so amazing!!! I love his elusive thinking and how unpredictable the flow has been.

"It had occurred to me to do something I hadn't done for Sydney since she was a little girl. I took half of the eggshell I'd just cracked and, using a soft pencil from the cutlery drawer, drew a face on it. A toothy grin, a half circle for a nose, and two menacing-looking eyes. I drew a line from the mouth to the back side of the shell, where I printed, 'Smile, damn it.'" –
Banafsheh Serov
How would you feel showing up to where you thought your daughter had been working all summer only to be told she never worked there. Worst still how would you feel if your daughter was now missing? This is the nightmare Tim Blake, a Toyota car salesman, faces when his 17-year-old daughter Sydney who was staying with him for the summer, goes to work one day and fails to come home. So begins a mystery with more high speed twists and turns than the wildest rollercoaster. At every turn, there are ne ...more
Dec 27, 2012 Dale rated it it was amazing
WOW! This one starts in a hurry and never slows up!

Normally, I am very skeptical of all of those little blurbs that cover books. This one came with all kinds of blurbs from established authors and professional reviewers, including "Will leave you breathless - Robert Crais", "A one-sit thriller - Michael Connelly" and "The surprises just keep on coming - Charlaine Harris."

Well, guess what? This one lives up to its praise. I'd never heard of Linwood Barclay before I read this book, but he writes
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Linwood Barclay is the #1 internationally bestselling author of thirteen novels, including Trust Your Eyes, A Tap on the Window, No Time for Goodbye and that novel's followup, No Safe House.
This summer, his thriller Broken Promise, the first of three linked novels about his fictional upstate New York town Promise Falls, will be released. Book two will come nine months later, and another nine month
More about Linwood Barclay...

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