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Fear The Worst

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  6,034 ratings  ·  706 reviews
Tim Blake's daughter Sydney vanishes into thin air. At the hotel where she was supposedly working, no one has ever heard of her. Even her closest friends cant tell him what Sydney was really doing in the weeks before her disappearance. Now as the days pass without a word, Tim is forced to face not only the fact that Sydney is missing but that the daughter hes loved and nur...more
360 pages
Published September 2009 by Orion (first published August 11th 2009)
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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...more
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...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!!
Terri Lynn
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
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...more
Aug 09, 2009 Michael rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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...more
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...more
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. :)
Jenny Hilborne
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...more
Paul Pessolano
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 06, 2011 Ms.pegasus rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery and suspense lovers
Shelves: suspense, fiction
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
Jul 31, 2009 Laura rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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...more
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
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...more
Eigentlich wollte Tim einen schönen Sommer mit seiner Teenagertochter verbringen. Seit der Trennung von seiner Frau lebt Sydney bei ihrer Mutter am anderen Ende der Stadt.
Doch für einen Sommerjob in einem Hotel zieht sie vorübergehend zu Tim. Und verschwindet nach wenigen Wochen spurlos.
Voller Sorge macht Tim sich auf die Suche nach seiner Tochter, richtet eine Website ein, geht allen Hinweisen nach.
Als sein eigenes Haus verwüstet wird, ahnt er, dass er selbst in Lebensgefahr sc...more
It's probably heresy to admit this - but there were a few things about this book that made it sound less attractive than it could have. Not least of all the plot of a teenage girl going missing in circumstances sounding suspiciously like a run-away. Teenage angst is a subject normally avoided in my reading choices. How wrong can you possibly get?

FEAR THE WORST is the third book from Canadian author Linwood Barclay, the earlier two being NO TIME FOR GOODBYE and TOO CLOSE TO HOME. FEAR THE WORST i...more
Lynwood Barclay's latest thriller, Fear the Worst, tells the suspenseful story of a man searching relentlessly for his daughter who has mysteriously disappeared. The plot moves quickly and the cliffhanger at the end of each chapter kept me continuously engaged in the story.

Tim Blake's 17-year-old daughter, Sydney (Syd), is staying with him for the summer, as she does every year. During the visit last year, she worked at the car dealership her father works at, but this year she got a new job work...more
Katie Kenig
This book is an excellent example of the suspense genre. It is alternately exciting and moving, written with honesty and compassion and the knowledge of what it means to be a parent. It's a very good book.

What would you do if your daughter went missing? What if the people at the job she went to every day denied ever meeting her? What if your ex-wife's new boyfriend's son seemed suspiciously involved, lying to you and hiding in his bedroom on his computer for hours on end, refusing to talk about...more
Lizzie Hayes
‘Fear the Worst’ by Linwood Barclay
Published by Orion, 18 February 2010. ISBN: 978-0-7528-9741-7

Tim Blake and his wife Suze have been apart for some years. Tim’s seventeen-year-old daughter Sydney is staying with him for the summer. The worst day of Tim’s life started out pretty normally – breakfast and an exchange of words with Sydney as to where she got the expensive sunglasses.

But Sydney doesn’t come home, and checking at the Just Inn Time motel where she is working elicits the information t...more
Patrice Hoffman
This is the first time I'm writing a review so I'm not sure what's expected except my honest opinion. This was the first book I read by Linwood Barclay. It was an extremely fast read. The beginning started out fast paced enough (most likely because the writing is simplistic). The picture of a loving father was given from the beginning of the book which helped to justify rooting for him. The main character Tim, seems like a good guy but at times he's so gullible. Which brings me to my main reason...more
Shonna Froebel
Got through the latest mystery by this great mystery writer in just over a day. Definitely a page-turner.
Tim Blake is a car salesman. His wife divorced him because she wanted him to be more ambitious and she is now in a serious relationship with a man who owns his own used-car business.
Tim's daughter is staying with him for the second summer in a row. Last year she worked at the dealership where he works. This year, she wants a little more space, so has found her own job, working for a small hot...more
Barclay's ordinary guy in jeopardy this time around is Tim Blake. He sells cars (seriously, how much more ordinary can you get than that gig?). His ex is remarried and he's disgruntled (doesn't help that the new guy has his own car business, when Tim couldn't make a go of his...). And he has to share the affections of his young daughter, Sydney. Everyday grievances suddenly don't seem so important, however, when Sydney vanishes from her job at a low-rent hotel. Where they claim they've never hea...more
Herein lies a tale of what must be every parent’s worst nightmare. What happens to your life if you drop your teenaged daughter off at her summer job one bright weekday morning and she doesn’t return home that evening? Worry turns to fear but as you begin to search you find that not only has no one seen her but her supposed employer tells you that she doesn’t work there---never has---and they don’t even know her. Now the fear turns to panic. This is what Tim Blake, a divorced father, experiences...more
Barclay has done it again written a tight, well crafted tale of suspense out of a seemingly every day occurrence gone wrong.

The book is so well written and the plot and story so wonderfully strung together that I had trouble actually finding a spot to stop reading. It's very "un-put-downable."

Barclay is a master at throwing an average everyday type person into the role of crime-solver, which allows the reader to feel a closer connection to them.

Not everyone can be a top notch hard core criminal...more
Another page-turner by Linwood Barclay.
This time, I found the story rather unconvincing, especially some turns that I found a bit overdone. Anyway, I liked the main character, a man who wakes up one day and finds himself in the middle of a nightmare. And this is exaclty what Barclay is good at: describing how our ordinary lives can suddenly transform into an horror story.
Tattered Cover Book Store
Sep 06, 2009 Tattered Cover Book Store added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tattered Cover by: Indie Next List--September 2009
Jackie says:

This is a fast paced read that will keep you up late as you follow the twists and turns. The premise--Tim's teenage daughter goes to work one day--and doesn't come home. When he goes to check on her, the place she says she's been working at doesn't even know her. Thus begins weeks of searching and layers upon layers of intruige and lies that comes to a spine tingling ending. Barclay, an international best selling author, will soon be a favorite of Coben fans and many others here in t...more
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After spending his formative years helping run a cottage resort and trailer park after his father died when he was 16, Linwood Barclay got his first newspaper job at the Peterborough Examiner, a small Ontario daily. In 1981, he joined the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest circulation newspaper.

He held such positions as assistant city editor, chief copy editor, news editor, and Life section editor, be...more
More about Linwood Barclay...
No Time for Goodbye Never Look Away The Accident Too Close to Home Trust Your Eyes

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“It occurred to me that with all of today's technologies, there were now more ways than ever to know with abosolute certainty that no one wanted to get in touch with me” 24 likes
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