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Fear the Worst

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  9,637 Ratings  ·  945 Reviews
Tim Blake is an average guy. He sells cars. He has an ex-wife who’s moved in with another man. It’s not a life without hassles, but nothing will prepare him for when his daughter, Sydney, vanishes into thin air. 

At the hotel where she supposedly worked, no one has ever heard of her. Even her closest friends seem to be at a loss. As he retraces Sydney’s steps, Tim discovers
ebook, 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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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
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
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
Mar 10, 2015 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,
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
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!!
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
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, his daughter had hid
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: 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
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?

Tim becomes a modern "Every
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. :)
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.
Sep 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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 11, 2014 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
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 from his ex-wife's boyfr
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
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 you engaged.
And the plo
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 work with his
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 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 did see a few too many
Marty Fried
Feb 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Linwood Barclay is fast becoming a favorite author. It seems like all his books so far have been very good. This one, like others he wrote, starts off fairly slow and keeps building up until it was hard to stop reading. The only minus to me is that, also like some others of his, the characters seem to make some bad decisions that seem obvious to me, but it gets them in trouble. However, they are usually under stress, and that makes it hard to think straight. Also, I'm an expert because I read a ...more
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant, had me on the end of my seat
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty good--not my favorite
May 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.'" –
Jun 14, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review-books, crime, usa
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
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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...
“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” 31 likes
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