The Accident

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The Accident: A Thriller

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Barclay (Never Look Away) examines the consequences of ordinary citizens making criminal decisions in the wake of the recession in this believable thriller that skillfully alternates between high-octane action and a slower sense of unease. Milford, Conn., contractor Glen Garber has a lot to deal with in the wake of his wife Sheila's death in a car accident that claimed two other lives: potential lawsuits over the accident, a fire in one of his houses, his eight-year-old daughter Kelly's difficulties at school, his mother-in-law's disapproval, and abiding anger and confusion over the accident's circumstances. In addition, some of Sheila's friends make inappropriate queries into the whereabouts of her purse during the accident, and while playing a hide-and-seek game at a friend's home, Kelly overhears a disturbing conversation that triggers a series of deadly confrontations. The sorry events in Milford are a great argument for people feeling the pinch in their pocketbooks to avoid illicit trafficking in knock-off drugs, purses, and construction materials. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
“If you like Harlan Coben, you’ll love Linwood Barclay.”—Peter Robinson, author of Bad Boy
 
Praise for Linwood Barclay’s Never Look Away
 
“The writing is crisp; the twists are jolting and completely unexpected.”—Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly
 
“Fast-paced and with an irresistible blend of suspense and tension.”—Tucson Citizen
Kirkus Reviews

Barclay's latest novel follows his staple formula of taking an ordinary guy and catching him up in something that turns out to be much bigger than it first appears.

In this case the ordinary guy is Glen Garber, whose wife, Sheila, is involved in a terrible car accident that kick-starts a series of bizarre events. The accident happened on a night when Sheila was supposed to be taking notes in a college class in a nearby town; instead she ended up dead, along with two others. The police tell Glen that Sheila was drunk and parked on a freeway access ramp when the other car hit her vehicle. Glen and his 8-year-old daughter, Kelly, take the news of her death predictably hard, but even harder for Glen is the idea that his wife, who was a social drinker at best, could have been so drunk. He also has other problems to compound his grief: His contracting business, already struggling in the economic downturn, is barely making its payroll, and Glen's worried about a house fire in a place he had under construction. As he puzzles through his emotions and confusion, a frantic Kelly calls him, asking him to pick her up from a sleepover at her best friend's house. While playing a game with her friend, Kelly has taped the girl's mom having a private conversation on her cell phone. Although the conversation means nothing to Glen at the time, the call becomes more significant when the woman turns up dead. Soon, bodies and crimes begin piling up like recently harvested timber, and Glen realizes not all is right in his world. The Canadian-based journalist twists and turns the plot with believability and spices it with plenty of suspects and suspense. In some places, his homework does seem a bit lacking, but the book remains consistently interesting and ready to please thriller fans with both its action and pacing.

Barclay has turned in a home run with plenty of edge-of-the-seat moments.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781441804310
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 8/28/2011
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Product dimensions: 5.37 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Linwood Barclay, a former columnist for the Toronto Star, is the internationally bestselling author of seven critically acclaimed novels, including Fear the Worst, Too Close to Home, and No Time for Goodbye, which has been optioned for film. He lives near Toronto with his wife and has two grown children.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 84 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(35)

4 Star

(27)

3 Star

(11)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 84 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 17, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Loved it

    The Accident is definitely a must read. I have enjoyed reading this book from start to finish.

    11 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2011

    Okay, but not great

    This book contains enough mysterious deaths, plot twists, and characters-who-are-not-what-they seem for several books---and it would have been better if they had not all been included in the same book! I think it would have been a better book if the author had selected just a few of these plot points, explored the characters in more depth and built the suspense more slowly.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent read

    Start to finish it had my attention. Terrific read anytime.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2011

    Its ok

    The story is too simple and doesnt flow well and it is not very believable-not his best work

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 13, 2012

    Not the author's best work. Pros: The book is a fast read (rea

    Not the author's best work. Pros: The book is a fast read (read it in two days) and has a nice twist at the end. Cons: The plot is full of implausible events.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2012

    Good story

    This has all the eliments of a great read, most importantly, surprise to the very end

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    An enthralling thriller

    In Milford, Connecticut contractor Glen Garber waits for his wife Sheila to come home from her night class as she is running very late. When their eight years old daughter Kelly sleeps, the police arrive to inform him Sheila and two others died in a car accident in which his spouse was responsible.

    Though he just wants to grieve, Glen knows he has a business to run especially after a house he built burned down with the insurance accusing him of shoddy work and a stunned daughter to raise as a single dad. He is also bitter and doubtful that Sheila caused the deadly incident as the description of her driving would be totally out of character for her. Adding to his doubts is friends asking about the whereabouts and contents of Sheila's purse. When Kelly becomes the focus, Glen knows he must protect his offspring but from which neighbors.

    This taut cautionary thriller warns readers though the economy is in the cesspool; don't dive into illegal means of making money as the outcome will probably prove worse. The story line is action-packed as incidents pile up while the shocked protagonist investigates; but also allows time for the everyman hero to ponder what the hell is going on in Milford.

    Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 2, 2012

    Barclay keeps you guessing until the end. Another excellent book.

    I have read every book by Linwood Barclay and find them difficult to put down. Just when you think you know the bad guy, Barclay leads you in another direction. Great entertainment.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 12, 2011

    Complex, character saturated plot

    If Mr. Barclay ever decides to go into script writing for a television soap opera, he'll have good reference material with "The Accident." This book is chock full of characters interconnecting, with secrets around every corner. With a mini cliffhanger at the end of nearly every chapter, this story unfolds the lives of desperate people trying to hold onto a little slice of life.
    One night, Glen Garber, a contractor in a Connecticut community, drives upon the scene of an accident where his wife, Sheila and two other people have been killed. The police blame drunk driving on the part of Sheila. Garber, not believing his wife could do such a thing slowly starts digging into the case, especially after his daughter comes home with a video of mysterious phone calls made by her friend's mother. With a co-worker asking for money, a former subcontractor suspected of destroying a house, a detective snooping around investigating a case of counterfeit merchandise, and a shady character hanging around, Garber finds trouble coming at him from all sides.
    Barclay somehow keeps all the proverbial balls in the air in this complex, character saturated plot. Unlike many books with numerous characters, Barclay gives a touch of background for each one. From the detective's husband who is affected by the Iraqi war to the neighbor's loneliness, the reader gets to learn a little about each person, making for a better understanding of each character. Expect a bit of action, a smattering of suspense and a few surprises.

    Reviewed by Stephen L. Brayton, author of "Beta" for Suspense Magazine

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 8, 2011

    Another excellent thriller!

    These past couple of months have proven that I have a problem with mysteries and thrillers. I just can't stop. Once you've read one you're on a road to hell, no kidding. It's a spiraling addiction that will end in my owning a forever growing number of mystery/thriller novels.

    Linwood Barclay, that name stuck out like a sore thumb at it's mention. Admittedly I have never read any of his previous works but had certainly wanted to. Walking past those copies of suspense goodness each day at work had me dying to get my hands on a review copy of his upcoming novel. It arrived and I nearly died with excitement and immediately dove into it. I found myself enjoying Glen's perspective, heart break and determination. He was definitively a strong character with a vibrant personality that had me wanting to read more. What I enjoyed more than Glen character and Linwood's mystery were the secrets that surfaced every now and then. They were unpredictable, unexpected and helped create a bigger picture while at the same time creating more of struggle for Glen in his search for truth. All is not as it seems in The Accident and for that I am thankful to Linwood Barclay for the adventure. Mystery lovers will find themselves engaged and entranced.

    I think it's fair to say that I loved The Accident. In fact, you'd have to pry my copy from my dead cold hands. There's no way I'm ever letting it go. Using cupcakes to bribe me will not work, I'm prepared with a lifetime supply. *pulls out her stash*

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 6, 2014

    Recomment if you like mysteries.

    I had not read this author before. Good character development and twists and turns in the plot. Good read, surprise ending

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 19, 2013

    Don't you love discovering a new author and then finding out he'

    Don't you love discovering a new author and then finding out he's prolific and already has a ton of books published? Yeah, me too. Which is how I feel about discovering Linwood Barclay. In prior reviews I commented on his grand facility in crafting "every man" heroes. Guys who are just minding their own business when something - or someone - big and bad comes skulking into their world to throw it into chaos. And in The Accident, Barclay's average Joe is Glen Garber and his life plummets to hell from the get go. His wife Sheila is killed in a car accident. She's drunk and two passengers in the other car are killed as well. Since one of them is a boy from Glen's daughter's school, the horrible impact has far-reaching ramifications for both Garber's. But Sheila's accidental death is just the tip of the iceberg in the suburban town. Other wives are behaving oddly. Someone has bruises. "Purse parties" selling knock-off merchandise turn deadly and Glen's entire life is thrown into turmoil. Workers at his construction company are behaving oddly - or badly. He's trying to hold his life together, keep his daughter sane, but she's coming under fire from another angry mom with something to hide. And when that woman's husband starts threatening Glen, when a private investigator shows up, and when cops start dropping by to question him, he's losing clients, he's being sued by the accident victims' family, his mother in law wants to take his daughter, there's money missing and someone bad thinks he has it, and a house he built has burnt down? Well, how much hell is one guy supposed to take before he starts fighting back? The Accident is a supremely tense and suspenseful novel with so many crafty twists and turns that you'll barely be able to catch your breath. But you'll never stop rooting for Glen, or for the feisty and wonderfully rendered 8 year old daughter, Kelly. And you'll never be able to keep track of the good guys and the bad guys - so don't even try! Just hold on for this wild, thriller ride!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2013

    A huge story starting from a fairly humble beginning, it unfolds

    A huge story starting from a fairly humble beginning, it unfolds to read deeper and deeper into the world of twists and turns and I suspect you won't see the plot shifts coming (I certainly didn't).

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 17, 2013

    Why isn't a sample of this book available?

    Why isn't a sample of this book available?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2012

    Good book

    Good read like always

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 14, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    This is a very interesting story about the Glen Garber family.

    This is a very interesting story about the Glen Garber family. When Glen’s wife, Sheila, doesn’t come home one night, Glen decides to go out looking for her. He finds a bad accident on the highway and is told that Sheila is dead and so are two people from another family. The police have determined that Sheila was driving under the influence. Now Glen and his daughter have to live in the small town with the stigma of the accident over their heads. Everyone believes that Glen should have known that his wife was a drunk and want to lay some of the blame for the accident at his feet.

    Glen refuses to believe that his wife was drunk driving. She didn’t hardly drink at all, so why would she drive drunk? As Glen tries to come to terms with everything, he starts asking around and discovering strange secrets about his wife’s final days. There are many people in this small community that want those secrets to stay secret and will go to any lengths to see they stay that way.

    This story was one bizarre cover-up after another but somehow most of them are interrelated mysteries. Every time Glen thinks he has gotten to the bottom of things, he finds that he hasn’t even tipped the kettle. There were a few things that I think the coroner should have noticed, but that is just me. I always believe the coroner is the great solver of mysteries.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2012

    Awesome!

    My first book by this author and I'm hooked! Can't wait to delve into the others:)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 10, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    pass

    This novel is a waste of time. Absolutely no empathy for the characters, and just blathers on... yawn!

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  • Posted April 1, 2012

    Great book. Slightly far fetched at times, but very entertaining

    Great book. Slightly far fetched at times, but very entertaining. 1st Barclay book. Will go back and read the rest. Good stuff!.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2012

    This book is completely ridiculous and not at all believeable.

    This book is completely ridiculous and not at all believeable. Way too many plot lines. In this author's world, everyone is a sociopath.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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