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The Accident

A book by Linwood Barclay

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"Fame...is no sure test of merit...it is an accident, not a property of man." Thomas Carlyle

  • Aug 24, 2011
Rating:
+5

"The Accident" is a thought provoking story dealing with the sale of knock off items by unwary suburbanites attempting to add to their family's incomes. It also details the members of organized crime behind this activity and the revelation that many items were made by young children working in miserable conditions in China and third world countries.

The thrilling story tells of Glen Garber becoming worried when his wife, Sheila, fails to return home from night school. When he attempts to follow the route she would have taken, he comes upon an accident and sees that it's his wife's car. Rushing to the car, police stop him and he learns that his wife did not survive and was apparently drinking and passed out. Two people in another car were also killed in the accident.

One of Sheila's friends, Ann Slocum, is ordered to meet an unnamed man who tells her that he wants his money. We learn that Ann has been selling unregistered pharmaceutical products. Ann meets someone and in a dispute, she falls into the water, hits her head and dies.

Glen has lost so much. There has been a fire in a home he was building and the investigation shows that it was caused by shoddy equipment. With his business problems, Sheila's death and children at Glen's daughter Kelly's school treating her cruelly, he seems surrounded by people intent on harming him and Kelly. The reader can feel for his misfortune but he doesn't ask for sympathy or give up after having his world crumble around him.

Barclay has written a riveting book about a man who demonstrates how one man, acting with conviction, can make a difference.

This was an easy read but the reader should cancel all of their appointments before starting the book because once they begin, they won't be able to stop reading.

I enjoyed the fully developed characters and found myself holding my breath in parts of the book, saying "Oh no!" and in other parts, cheering for Glen.

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August 24, 2011
Good Review! I also finished the book and posted my review here. Generally I liked the book but without giving spoilers it seemed like each neighbor had their own secrets and were doing things out of Desperate Housewives (think the pharmacist and Rex VanDecamp, Paul and Martha's whacky sister, et al.). Those goofy side stories and how they were explained led me to withhold a 5 rating and only give it a 4.
 
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More The Accident reviews
review by . August 17, 2011
This was an excellent thriller/mystery until about the last 75 pages then it morphed into something that could have been the plot of Desperate Housewives. The story opens with two women looking for "knock-off" designer bags in New York's Canal Street area. They stumble on the wrong place at the wrong time and are killed as witnesses.    The story shifts to a short time later in a town in Connecticut. Glen Garber cannot locate his wife and frantic he drives looking for her. He …
About the reviewer
Mike Draper ()
Ranked #69
Michael A.Draper is a financial planner with Mass Mutual in North Haven, CT.   Married to Diana for 46 years, one son and daughter-in-law and two lovely granddaughters.      … more
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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 ...
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