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Bad Guys

(Zack Walker #2)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  2,240 ratings  ·  167 reviews
“Fans of the crime caper will rejoice” that Linwood Barclay is back with the hilarious follow-up to his “riotously funny and irreverent” debut, in which paranoid pop Zack Walker plotted to transplant his city-savvy wife and two teenage kids to the tranquillity of the burbs–where planned communities prevail and fathers rest easy. Well, not quite…and now the Walkers have mov ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published May 31st 2005 by Bantam (first published 2005)
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Average rating 3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,240 ratings  ·  167 reviews

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Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bad Move, the first of the Zack Walker mysteries, left me super eager to dive into the second book. Upon finishing Bad Guys I have reached a solid conclusion – I am a wee bit obsessed with this series. It is so addictive, and I finished book two with the dire need to dive straight into book three. In fact, I think these may prove to be some of my favourite Linwood Barclay reads.

Much like the first book, Bad Guys grabbed my attention from the very start and pulled me in deep, refusing to let up u
Mar 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Bad Guys is the second book in Linwood Barclay's Zack Walker series. If you haven't read the first book, I would definitely recommend reading that one first... although you can still read this one even if you haven't read Bad Move (#1) yet.

Zack Walker always seems to find himself in a bit of trouble. He's just a normal guy with a wife and 2 kids, a home, and a job as a newspaper reporter. In an effort to write a story for the paper, Zack goes on a stake-out with a private investigator to catch
Nov 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2014
Bad Guys, the second Zack Walker novel by Linwood Barclay, is a great and fun read. Although these are Barclay's first novels, I discovered them after I'd read most of his latest works. Bad Guys has less satire than Bad Move, although it has some laugh out loud moments, and the action is a little more 'believable', if that's the word I'm looking for. This time Zack Walker out on hold his sci-fi novel writing and works as a bit piece journalist for his wife's paper. He still gets into all sorts o ...more
May 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I could not put this book down. Right from the beginning, it was one hilarious ride following Zack on his adventure. At first, nothing makes sense and you don't really know how it all fits together. Then, there's that epiphany at the end where it all comes together and makes sense. In addition, he is super paranoid, but once again he proves that he had ever right to be. Even though there are moments where Zack can be a little obnoxious, I can't help but find him lovable. Overall, this book was a ...more
Cristina Trowbridge
This is Linwood Barclay's second book, and since I am a huge fan, I went back and found some of his early stuff. The first book, although not bad, not nearly as good as this one. Here, he hits his stride with plenty of action and suspense, and even some humor thrown in. I found it similar to some of Harlan Coban's Myron Bolitar humor. Glad I read this one! ...more
Jul 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: electronic
titular sentence:
p62: He'd dealt with bad guys all over the world, in countries scarier than this one, and he wasn't about to surrender his film to some short asshole with a bad attitude in an ill-fitting suit.

p24: "I just don't like the sounds of this guy."

p117: "I need you to stay here," I sad.

If this is going to be a pattern the magic isn't going to last long.
Lavender Dreamer
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is such a good series. I like the main characters more and more!
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was ok
Ok. I tried to read these in order but really they are so truely unbelievable and out there that I can't get past that. I mean it was a quick read, mostly because I skimmed over a lot of it, but I don't believe I will be finishing this series. ...more
Lynn Vaillancourt
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
A great crime novel, often humorous and entertaining.
Apr 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Huge fan of Linwood Barclay .. just bearing the character of Zack Walker.
At times he appears so smart and at other times he appears to be not so smart.
I guess he has to though, we don't want him solving the mysteries too fast.
I enjoyed the plot of this one. I loved the character of Lawrence.
I do think sometimes there is too much dialogue of whatever is going on at home.
But ultimately these books are a great read!
Jan 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Another zany read from Linwood Barclay. Before his thrillers caught on fire, he had this three book series starring the arsehole Zack. I still don't know how his wife and kids put up with him. But he's good for a ton of laughs and some interesting adventures. ...more
Oct 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Zach is one of my favourite neurotic characters. He ws especially off-kilter in book one, but this was an enjoyable read.
Donna Siebold
Mar 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Zack Walker and his family have moved back to the city after their disastrous stay (of about two years) in what turned out to be a non-tranquil suburb. Zack has gone to work at the Metropolitan, his wife's newspaper, as a feature writer. The most difficult part of that job is that his wife is his boss.

Zack is working on a feature focusing on a local private investigator. The PIs partner is killed in what may or may not be a hit and run. Was it an accident or was it done purposefully by a gang o
Louise Owen
Dec 31, 2019 rated it liked it
My Dad lent me this book saying it was hilarious and I’d love it. He knew I’d read other books by the same author and like him really enjoyed them. He had only recently found these and loved them.
This is the first of this series I’ve read and from what my father had told me and some of the reviews have suggested I may have been better starting with the first if the series.
Did I enjoy this book? Yes, it was easy reading and didn’t require too much effort on my part which is just what you want wh
Geoffrey Gelb
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Zack Walker is definitely the most neurotic worry-wart of the murder mystery genre. You gotta love this guy! He worries so much about everything, but mostly his family, his reporter wife and his two teenage children, that he just get into trouble by worrying about getting into trouble. This time he's working on a piece for his wife's newspaper, who he writes for when he's not writing mildly mediocre science fiction novels, when he gets involved with a private eye working a case about stolen high ...more
Feb 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book, and I seemed to race through it.
Zack is still quite cringe-inducing, following his daughter to see whether her stalker was following her, but he means well and seems to be a little less anal about his family's security compared to Bad Move.
Spending time with a private detective to research a story for the paper that he works for, he finds himself on the radar of the Bad Guys. As people around him turn up dead, or on the brink, will he be able to keep himself and his f
Dec 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Zach Walker is a newspaperman who is accompanying a private detective as he investigates some luxury clothing store thefts – attempting to protect one in particular whose owner has hired him for these purposes. Unfortunately, they fail to protect the store and instead end up in the middle of some gang drama. With people showing up dead or missing and a few other odd circumstances happening, there seems to be more than just stealing luxury suits going on in town. Will Zach be able to stay out of ...more
Jennifer Harper
May 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Zack Walker is at it again! This time our paranoid protagonist has returned to the world of journalism. His task is simple: he's working on a story with a former cop turned PI investigating a series of burglaries involving high-end men's clothing stores. Simple task, but nothing is ever simple with Zack. One, his wife is his immediate superior at the paper. Two, his eldest, Angie, a first-year college student, seems to have attracted the attention of a stalker. Three, Zack himself has a run-in w ...more
Paul Allard
Oct 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Linwood Barclay thriller about Zack Walker - quite fun and reasonably interesting

Zack Walker is a writer/journalist getting involved with a private detective in observing high-end clothing thefts. However he becomes entangled in a web of other crimes and events which bring his family in and which he eventually helps to resolve. The characters are well-defined and drive the book and Zack comes over as slightly less annoying than he did in the first book in the series. It's quite entertaining, eng
The second Zack Walker mystery and another great read. Barclay’s other, later thrillers are good, but this is a genre with a lot of authors in this space, and I much prefer the lighter, funnier style of these earlier works which I think gives them a USP. There’s some real LOL dialogue. Zack may have his faults; described in the author intro as “an anal retentive, obsessive compulsive, anxiety-riddled individual” but, in stark contrast to this books title, he’s definitely a good guy.
Bring on boo
Lauren Roberts
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely love the Zack Walker series. The poor guy just lurches unwittingly from one crisis to another in the most hilarious fashion and he still can't get any respect from his family! I also loved how they referenced some of the characters from book one like Trixie the accountant and dominatrix.

Another brilliant romp through crime noir, thoroughly recommend and while you don't have to read them in order, it helps for the inside jokes.
Anne Brooke
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
A great follow up to the first in this series, and a much better book. On the whole, a good mix of thriller and comedy, but I do think the bad guys were actually a little too over-the-top and the scene with the kidnap of the daughter could usefully have been shortened. Still, a great twist at the end, and I'm already starting the third book. ...more
Cherie O'Boyle
Dec 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Barclay is one of my favorite authors, and it is good to see his writing skills improve over time. This is one of his early books. Without giving any spoilers, I found the first part of this story harder to get into than most of his ... I kept waiting for the body to appear. Still a fun read, and I'm glad he kept writing. ...more
Jun 05, 2019 rated it liked it
I know I read this some years ago but got options again from the library, thinking it was new.
I actually like these early books, featuring reporter/author Zack Walker. (Autobiographical, anyone? Barclay was a Toronto Star reporter when he started writing crime novels.)
Kind of zany, but Zack and his family are endearing. Lots of action and trouble, which they eventually get out of,
Lynn Halliday
Dec 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Every bit as brilliant as the first book! I absolutely love Zack! I mean I get why his family find him irritating but personally I think he's very well intentioned and I tend to be in agreement with his thinking in most situations. This book was fast paced with a great story line and the usual last minute twist. Looking forward to the next book in the series. ...more
Ron Collins
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Zack Walker drives me crazy with his behavior and the decisions he makes. As he described himself in book 1, he is an A-hole. Also as in book 1 this one starts out slow as well. Some predictable developments but overall an excellent read.
Paula Shoup
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An entertaining read.

I always read Linwood Barclay. I read the first Zack Walker book and was entertained by this bumbling, well meaning family guy. Just finished Bad Guys and downloaded book 3. Can't wait to see what he's up to this time.
Apr 11, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Zack Walker series, is Barclay's earlier novels. Worry wart Zach, married father of two teens who always stumbles into a stranger in need of help, and mayhem and trouble follows. The banter in the household is hilarious, and his wicked take on life.....Carl Hiassen style. 3.5 stars ...more
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Karen Mcnicol
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just loved this book, it made me laugh out loud and it made me say oh crap out loud (when bad things happened). Linwood Barclay's books grab you right away and won't let go! He is one author that i don't even read the blurb about what the book is about, i just pick it up and read. ...more
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Linwood Barclay is the #1 internationally bestselling author of seventeen novels for adults, including No Time for Goodbye, Trust Your Eyes and, most recently, A Noise Downstairs. He has also written two novels for children and screenplays.
Three of those seventeen novels comprise the epic Promise Falls trilogy: Broken Promise, Far From True, and The Twenty-Three. His two novels for children – Chas

Other books in the series

Zack Walker (4 books)
  • Bad Move (Zack Walker #1)
  • Lone Wolf (Zack Walker #3)
  • Stone Rain (Zack Walker #4)

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