It’s the new normal at the Garber household in Connecticut: Glen, a contractor, has seen his business shaken by the housing crisis, and now his wife, Sheila, is taking a business course at night to increase her chances of landing a good-paying job.
But she should have been home by now.
Waiting for Sheila’s return, with their eight-year-old daughter sleeping soundly, Glen soon finds his worst fears confirmed: Sheila and two others have been killed in a car accident. Adding to the tragedy, the police claim Sheila was responsible.
Glen knows it’s impossible. When he investigates, Glen begins to uncover layers of lawlessness beneath the placid surface of their suburb, secret after dangerous secret behind the closed doors.
Propelled into a vortex of corruption and illegal activity, pursued by mysterious killers, and confronted by threats from neighbors he thought he knew, Glen must take his own desperate measures and go to terrifying new places in himself to avenge his wife and protect his child.
Bold and timely, with the shocking twists and startling insights that have become trademarks of this new master of domestic suspense, The Accident is a riveting triumph, a book that moves at a breathless pace to a climax no one will see coming.
©2011 Linwood Barclay (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Linwood Barclay is becoming one of my favorite authors -- this book was just terrific, as was "Too Close to Home" and "No Time for Goodgbye". Now I'm looking for more.
Remember that old adage, "Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive"? "The Accident" is about deception -- about women who buy knock-off designer handbags, hoping to fool people into thinking they own the real thing. About building contractors, who use cheap but fake imported materials, even though they know it's dangerous. About the big market for cheap but fake imported perscription drugs, even though they might be nothing more than sugar pills. Most of all it's about deceiving friends and employers, and trying to get away with it.
The first best thing about Barclay's books is that they feature people you think you know -- they're just like the people next door, down the street -- or even yourself. Then some little thing happens -- the kind of thing that could happen to any of us -- and the story is off and running, never stopping until the last page, where you find yourself wanting it to go on because you still want to know what will happen next to these people you've come to know.
The second best thing is that they make you think. Buying a knock-off purse from a streetside vendor -- or at a "purse party" -- might seem to be a small thing, an innocent event, something you'd brush off with a, "it's just for fun" remark. But is it really? Who benefits from making and selling those bags? Who suffers? - and it's not just "big business", there are millions of real people involved in this little game of deception, and most don't fare well at all. The way Barclay works today's economic collapse into the story makes it especially real -- we've all been there, we're sharing this situation, we've all developed coping strategies. What's the real cost of what we're doing?
The Accident is a great book -- I have no doubt I'll listen to it again, even though I know what happens. It's just a great romp, cover to cover.
I am thoroughly enjoying this book..................and trying to make it last because I don't want it to end. Hopefully the ending will live up to the first half because it is a real page turner. I am super tired of serial murderers who lock up and torture their victims!
I don't give many books five stars, but I think this one deserves it.
Betsy the Quilter
I enjoyed just about everything about this book. The reader, the characters and plot. The main character, Glenn and his daughter have to deal with loss and small town relationships. He's not perfect, but he's doing his best to protect his daughter and deal with all the stuff going on in his life. He's maybe not got the best people skills, but he's trying! Good mystery/thriller.
I agree with some others who have stated that the overt political statements in the book get annoying. They could be a bit more subtle. I'm also going to file this book under "dick lit". We have a very manly man lead character, and every time he meets a woman he immediately describes her in terms of fuckability. Seriously, every female character is described by 1) how "fit", "tone", "shapely", or "curvaceous" she is, 2) her possible workout routine is speculated, "runs every day", "former gymnast", etc. and 3) then exactly how tight her shirt is fitting her. It's kind of hilarious once you notice it. But idk other than those things it was an enjoyable book. I (mostly) liked the main character and enjoyed the plot. It is a well written mystery. I'll probably give other Barclay novels a chance.
Maybe stop describing exactly how tight each woman's shirt is. There are other ways to describe how a pretty lady looks.
What a weird question. Um, Glenn could be played by Henry Cavill or Andrew Lincoln, or someone else who looks good in work boots?
Excellent narrator, credible and engrossing story, kept me guessing until close to the very satisfactory end. The story was well-structured, with characters who acted like real people, so I was able to figure out the perpetrator before that information was revealed. I appreciated the way Barclay tied up the clues he had sprinkled throughout the story. If you like Barclay's writing, you'll definitely enjoy this book.
Member since 2000
Maybe, but I was really turned off by both Barclay's political preaching and the implausibility of the story.
Barclay could have refrained from constantly hectoring us about homelessness, joblessness, lack of insurance coverage for prescription drugs...GOD that gets old.
Never heard him before.
Kelly, and recreate her as the actual 8 year old she is.
Barclay seems to have used this book as a vehicle to complain about what he perceives as social and economic injustices. My personal preferences causes me to veer away from books that get overly iron fisted when it comes to these kinds of issues. I have no objections to the problems of society being discussed in a book, but when the author uses most characters and situations simply to beat us about the head over his beliefs then I normally steer clear next time.
I will not read/listen to another book by this author
I would not have published it. It is on a level with a bad TV reality show.
I purchased the Accident based on the excellent reviews that it received from other readers/listeners. I was terribly disappointed. While I listened to the whole book, the plot and characters were so far out of touch with reality that I found myself listening just to see how far fetched this novel could get. It got pretty far out.
I have no problem suspending my disbelief when a novel is at least plausible. I thoroughly enjoyed Stieg Larson's Millennium trilogy, and easily bought into his improbable but sympathetic heroine, Lisbeth, and her almost supernatural powers. The Accident is somewhat different. In The Accident, everyone, and I do mean everyone, except the main character, one police detective, and two 8-year old girls, either is murdered, is a murderer, is an accomplice to a murder or is involved in some kind of criminal conspiracy. Other than the four characters just mentioned, there are no other likeable or sympathetic characters in the novel ??? everyone else is disfunctional in some way.
There are three parallel murders/murderers in this narrative. The motives and killers are pretty much independent of each other, other than the fact that all three are tied in some way to Glenn, the main character. It is the movie car chase that will not end. Every time you turn a corner in this novel, another surprise bad guy is revealed. In addition to the improbable plot twists, all of the characters are 1 dimensional (that is until they change from good to evil). Characters instantly switch from sympathetic to satanic without notice. Since there are three separate plots, the author gets to do the surprise ending a few times. Needless to say, I will not be reading anything else by this author.
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