Wednesday, April 14

Fear the Worst - Linwood Barclay

When newly-divorced car salesman Tim Blake's seventeen year old daughter, Sydney, doesn't come home form her summer job at the Just Inn Time hotel, his first thought was that she was with friends. When she didn't answer her cell phone he began to worry. And when he went to the hotel to see if anyone there knew anything, he began to panic - according to the desk staff and then the manager, Syd never worked at Just Inn Time.
Tim had dropped her off at the short shopping strip abutting the motel, and as he checks with the staff of the nearby independent stores he becomes increasingly concerned. And as he investigates further, jeopardising his work and then his life, Tim becomes increasingly convinced that something larger lurks behind his daughter's disappearance.
This was another absorbing mystery from Barclay, who writes excellent domestic suspense and manages to wring nuance out of every scene. The supporting characters are strong, and the secondary plots persuasive and interesting, but the standout is Tim, followed closely by the absent Syd, whose personality is conveyed through Tim's memories and the perspective of her best friend, Patty.
I did find Patty, and her involvement in the novel, a little unconvincing, but that's my sole gripe with what I otherwise thought was a very good mystery that delivered in terms of action, suspense and readability. - Alex

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