Fear the Worst by Linwood Barclay

Fear the Worst starts with Tim Blake’s daughter, Syd, going missing.  Sydney’s parents are divorced and each summer she stays with her dad and earns a bit of cash over the vacation by finding a job.  This summer Syd is working in a hotel and things seem to be going okay.  However, after being dropped off at work by her dad, following a bit of an argument, Syd fails to return home.  Following Syd’s disappearance Tim starts to make enquiries, starting with the hotel – where all the staff deny having ever seen her!

I read this book as it was chosen by my book club.  I have previously read No Time for Goodbye and probably wouldn’t have picked this up because I imagined it would be too similar and to a certain extent it was.

The plot thickens as Tim steps up his enquiries and starts to draw unwanted attention.

On the whole this doesn’t make for a bad read, it didn’t feel like a chore to read and I guess it was intriguing enough in parts.  However I don’t think I ever really cared about any of the people.  Tim seems okay and he certainly put in a lot of time and effort to find his daughter.  Her mother was a bit more unrealistic in that respect and seemed to contribute very little – but I suppose it’s Tim’s story after all.

What is surprising about the book is the amount of people who were mixed up in wrong doings – there seemed to end up being very few people who were genuine, likable or just plain innocent.  I think there is a message here about how well you know the people surrounding you and what they’re really getting up to.

On the whole this was an interesting read but not one that I would particularly rave about.  It could probably have been shortened slightly as some elements were a bit drawn out and I think the story lost tension because of that.  There were quite a few twists, but again, some a little bit too contrived and the ending was a bit rushed (not to mention Tim became a bit of a super hero overnight!)

Probably seems a bit negative which I don’t really intend.  I think this is quite a good read, probably good for taking on the beach.

Rating C


I can’t help feeling that one of the basic premises for the whole story was the fact that Syd had said she had worked in a hotel but then all the staff denied this.  As it turned out, she had been working at the hotel but not officially (cash in hand) – I don’t understand how Syd could have been working in this hotel, front of house, and yet nobody else local had seen her.  After all she’s supposed to be really quite good looking.  Her father was handing out pictures of her everywhere so how is it that nobody local came forward and said they’d seen her at the hotel??  Deliveries, post, people renting the rooms, local diners – nothing.


Fear the Worst

Fear the Worst


One Response to “Fear the Worst by Linwood Barclay”

  1. Jolie

    I agree with your points , good post.

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