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Fear the Worst

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  11,031 ratings  ·  1,033 reviews
Suppose you come to pick up your daughter from her job - and find that no one has heard of her and she's never worked there. If she hasn't been working all day, what has she been doing?

Tim Blake's teenage daughter Sydney is staying with him while she works a summer job at a hotel. But when one day she fails to arrive home from her shift and the staff at the hot
Paperback, 471 pages
Published 2010 by Orion Books Ltd (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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Average rating 3.87  · 
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 ·  11,031 ratings  ·  1,033 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 conce ...more
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-read
Spending time with his seventeen year old daughter, Sydney over Summer was something Tim Blake always looked forward to. Sydney usually worked with Tim at the car dealership, but this Summer she got a job at the Just In Time Hotel.

On the night Sydney disappears without a trace, Tim immediately heads over her place of work as this should've been the last place someone should've seen her. But Tim is confused when he's told no one by that name works there. How could that be possible? Tim is convin

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.

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 ...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
Lance Greenfield
Oct 12, 2009 rated it liked it
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 film (19
Mar 10, 2015 rated it liked it
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
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 res
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
Jack Heath
4 Stars. Not as good as "Trust Your Eyes' where the problem starts slowly and builds. In "Fear the Worst," Barclay's thriller gets off to the races very quickly. Tim Blake is having his usual problems; they seem to follow him around. He's a car salesman who's just barely making it, yet he has one redeeming characteristic, his love for his 17 year-old daughter Sydney. Separated, Tim has custody of her for the summer. She disappears one day - she doesn't come home from her receptionist job at a se ...more
Jan 28, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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, hi
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
Sep 13, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. :)
Nov 09, 2011 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
Jun 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Aug 08, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  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?

Oct 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
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 w
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.
Jul 31, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 21, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Paul Pessolano
Feb 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 30, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  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
Jenny Hilborne
Apr 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 w
Justin Green
Jun 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Sean Peters
Dec 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Highly recommended.

I seem to be always impressed with this author with every book I read, always plenty of twists, action, fast paced and a page turner.

My third book by Linwood Barclay.

Gripping, tense plots.


Ineke van Mackelenbergh
Solid 2.5 stars - I like the writer and his pacy writing style. However I can’t give this book more stars because the whole plot went from mystery-suspense to the totally overly dramatic, from possibly and probable to improbable, and at every turn a new dramatic incident twist to ratchet up the suspense, like a low grade action movie, but none of it really hung together, although I do not fault the author for trying!
In fact, as I turned the very last page I laughed out loud and closed it s
Sep 10, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian
Hurray for stand alone thrillers!

Tim Blake arrives to pick up his teenage daughter from work, only to be told she has never worked there. Why has she been lying? Did she runaway? Why hasn't she called? It wasn't that big of an argument? Where is she?

What follows is a fast paced jaunt from petty crimes to murder with the backdrop of a car dealership. Mysteries are all about the foreshadowing details and I didn't see the one throw away line that pulled the story together. I
Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was one heck of a ride. Barclay is one heck of a writer/storyteller. Thought I had read this book a few years back since I try to keep up with Linwood being his number one fan. :). A fast- paced thriller. Tim Blake a car salesman arrives to pick his teenage daughter up from her summer job only to be told no one knew her and she had never worked there. and so we begin.. Where is Sydney?
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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
“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” 37 likes
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