Sunday, December 4, 2011

Review: THE ACCIDENT by Linwood Barclay

In Connecticut, building contractor Glen is suffering a downturn in the building trade by the housing crisis, and his wife, Sheila, is taking a business course at night to increase her chances of landing a good-paying job.

When she doesn't return home from her course, Glen's life is changed forever. While their eight-year-old daughter sleeps soundly, Glen discovers the horrible truth, Sheila has been killed in a horrible car accident, which has killed two other people. Fingers are pointed when it's found she was driving drunk, and blame aimed at Glen for allowing her to do it.

Glen knows it’s impossible. Sheila wasn't an alcoholic. She was a law abiding citizen. Wasn't she? Glen begins to uncover layers of disturbing criminal activity beneath the placid surface of their suburb. Was Sheila involved?

I like Linwood Barclay's style. He describes it as a suburban suspense and it essentially is, because he paints society warts and all, fractured by desperate people suffering the effects of the global financial crisis. I'd place more emphasis on thriller. He keeps it moving along at a breathless pace and I truly didn't know who the killer was until very close to the end. I'm usually good at picking whodunnits too. There's social comment, which could be a warning to the unwary, and a moral to this book as well, that I liked.

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