The Accident

The Accident

A Novel

Book - 2011
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In this mesmerizing thriller by acclaimed author Linwood Barclay, a typical American community descends into darkness, as an ordinary man is swept into one of the most violent mysteries of modern life.
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; he knew his wife and she would never do such a thing. 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.
Publisher: [Toronto] : Doubleday Canada, c2011.
ISBN: 9780385670586
Branch Call Number: BARCL
Characteristics: 386 p. ; 24 cm.


From Library Staff

List - Summer Reading 2012
OttawaReads Jun 04, 2012

A man investigates the suspicious death of his wife and uncovers a dangerous web of secrets.

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Nov 03, 2017

I've read a number of Barclay's books; this has got to be one of his best! The plot and characters are absolutely realistic. The efforts that Glen makes to identify what happened to his wife leads the reader down an incredibly exciting road. There's no doubt that Linwood Barclay is one of today's leading mystery writers as exemplified in this excellent book! I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to experience a page-turning adventure. Barclay is an amazing writer!!

Oct 18, 2017

This is my first book by this author and I might not be reading any others. Just about everyone is a criminal of some kind. Too many twists and turns and the plot becomes ludicrous. Skimmed to the end, repetitive, ridiculous plot.

JudeLee Aug 21, 2016

I read this book for one of the Summer Reading Challenges. I read it because it had won the OLA Evergreen Award. I can't believe that it won that award. It's just not that good. The characters were not that well developed and unlikeable. The plot left a lot to be desired. I only finished it because I said I would. I'd give it a miss, if I were you.

Mar 02, 2016

Plot did not flow well enough from characters; author seemed to try to hard to surprise the reader. It fell flat for me.

Feb 17, 2016

This was a better-than-average book, but there were some things that kept me from giving it 5 stars.
First off, the main character doesn't really have a lot of depth. His answers are very terse and concise. His emotions are not hot or cold, but maybe lukewarm. I would like to see more personality in this individual, but maybe he was just too introverted.
There are several different twists in this story. Sort of a tangled mess. You cannot track any one individual as being a hero or a villain. Most were portrayed as having some dysfunction, but you never could really figure out their story until the end.
The writing and plot were good, and you are kept in suspense.
I would say it's worth reading, but not a real page-turner.

Aug 09, 2015

This was my first read from this author and it was fantastic. He kept you guessing right to the end. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will be reading more of his books.

PimaLib_VickiP May 07, 2015

This was my first read by Linwood Barclay. Totally enjoyed the book. Read it for book club and it was enjoyed by all.

865841 Oct 29, 2013

okay, might try another

Sep 02, 2013

A good quick easy read. Short chapters, brief character sketches. Can be read easily in an afternoon. Frustrating at times at lack of effective communication between protagonist and police (deliberately evasive to prolong the plot?) yet lots of inane dialogue until end when hero tells all he knows...finally. Don't want to spoil the ending but aren't there any good guys in Barclays' stories? Everyone is a baddie, it seems.
Disappointing that he sets all his stories in USA although he's lived in Canada since childhood. Would have liked some Canadian content to go with the maple leaf on the back cover.

brianreynolds Mar 22, 2013

The tipping point of any romance is its hero, and therein lies the problem with Linwood Barclay's page-turner, The Accident. Heroes, of course, need to solve the problems laid out in the story, and Barclay's POV character, building contractor Glen Garber, does just that. Unfortunately, it takes more than success to justify wearing the white Stetson. Heroes need to be loved (or at least be loveable) not just by some damsel in distress, but more importantly by the reader. Garber is a hard sell (somewhat surprising for an Evergreen award winner.) Barclay doesn't help his case by slipping into third person to give the reader background information to which the protagonist couldn't be privy. While the shifts add to the suspense, they do nothing for Garber. But the real problem is Garber's penchant for withholding information in criminal investigations, his recklessness in endangering both himself and others by attempting to investigate serious crimes himself and apprehend criminals known to be dangerous. Garber's frontier style of assault-first-and-ask-questions-later, his exceptional deficit in good judgement, makes him difficult to like, let alone love. The happy ending is more the result of good fortune than anything heroic. (The ending is further spoiled by the conundrum of making the ultimate cliff-hanger a threat to the life of the storyteller. Duh?)

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