Derek's Reviews > The Accident

The Accident by Linwood Barclay
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's review
Jul 10, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: books-i-own, mystery, thriller
Read from September 09 to 11, 2011 — I own a copy

This was both riveting and disappointing.

By page 80, I was becoming frustrated, as murders were occurring at a rate that would put Cabot Cove, Maine, to shame, and there were numerous apparently unconnected threads, with no hint of connection.

Not long after, the story started to become interesting as it became clear how the various events were interconnected, but it really took too long to get there - most people will give up on a book before I do.

There are two things that I can't stand in mysteries and thrillers: outrageous coincidence - where events don't seem to have cause and effect, they're just placed together for the sake of the story; and the way heroes in these stories feel they have to risk life and limb doing things that would be far more easily and effectively handled by the police. It came as a very pleasant surprise that our hero, Glen Garber, isn't a gung-ho vigilante. When it becomes clear to him (in part because of good counsel from his lawyer) that his wife's death may not have been an accident, he talks to - and convinces - the police. His actions are not unreasonable and he doesn't act as if he assumes that trained professionals can't be as effective as a motivated amateur!

However, in the end the whole story is bogged down by an incredible overcomplexity - relying on that personal bugbear - the coincidence. (view spoiler) Give me a break...

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