Published: 8th July 2010
Number of Pages: 480
Book: Christmas Gift
Genre: Crime Fiction, Mystery, Realistic-Fiction, Thriller, Suspense, Adult
Recommended Age: 14+
Contains: Swearing, Violence, Death, Sexual and Alcohol References
No Drug References
Author's Site: Linwood Barclay
Suppose you come to pick up your daughter from her job – and find that no one has heard of her and she’s never worked there. If she hasn’t been working all day, what has she been doing?
Tim Blake’s teenage daughter Sydney is staying with him while she works a summer job at a hotel. But when one day she fails to arrive home from her shift and the stadd at the hotel say they have no Sydney Blake working there, he begins to see his life going into freefall.
What could have made her step out of her life without leaving a trace? Only one thing convinces Tim that the worst hasn’t already happened – the fact that some very scary people seem just as eager as he is to find her.
The question is: who’s going to find her first?
"I was filled with all this pent-up rage and frustration. Where was Syd? What had happened to her? Why did she leave?
Why the hell couldn't I find her?"
Tim Blake's daughter Sydney is staying with him over the summer, working in a hotel an hanging out with her best friend Patty. One day, she comes down for breakfast wearing a pair of Versace sunglasses. Tim knows there's no way she could afford them on her salary. So he confronts her about them. She storms out, furious at him.
She doesn't come back.
To begin with, Tim thinks she's just mad. But then one days goes into two and then three... He knows something is wrong.
But when he goes to the hotel she's meant to work out to ask after her, he finds out that no one has heard of Syd, no one has even seen her. He searches the street. Nothing.
Then her car turns up in a parking lot. There is blood on the door.
Caught up in every parent's worst nightmare, Tim strikes up his own desperate search for his daughter.
And before long, he finds out something so so much worse - he isn't the only one looking for Syd. And the others? Safe to say they don't want to bring her home safe and sound.
Can Tim find her first? And what made her run in the first place...?
And should he find her, will he recognise the daughter who returns...?
I read No Time For Goodbye by Barclay a few years ago, back when it came out in 2008, I think, after my aunt lent it to my mum – yes, yes, I snatched it before mum could read it. It just looked too good! And it really was too good – mindblowingly so. I still remember feeling so freakishly hoked to this book and zooming through it in no time at all. So when I saw a set of three of Barclay's books on Book People for like five quid, I snatched them up. One was my dear No Time For Goodbye, a book I can't wait to reread. Another was this, Fear The Worst, which I read the blurb of and instantly started reading. It was just as hooking and suspenseful land mystery-filled and amazing. Barclay has honest-to-God gotta be one of my favourite suspense authors. Like, ever.
One of the reasons has to be the fact that the books of his I've read never have the main character as a cop or a PI or something like that. No, these are all just normal people who are in these horrid situations, trying to get to the bottom of their own private mysteries or losses. Like in No Time For Goodbye, the lead was a woman whose entire family disappeared when she was a child, and she's spent the rest of her life blaming herself and looking for them. And in this, in Fear the Worst, the main character is a guy named Tim Blake whose daughter just suddenly disappeared, and when he goes to look for her at her supposed place of work, they say they've never even heard of her. So this is a story about a father desperately trying to find his daughter. Seeing a theme here?
Speaking of Tim Blake, I really liked him as a character. He was very real and you could really feel for the poor guy – I felt so sorry for him. He had some brilliant quirks – his habit of calling cars their proper names and of constantly getting himself into trouble!
I also thought Patty was just brilliant - so blunt and matter of fact. And Sydney, she was a real teenager – she felt very, very normal and real. She was a good kid, very caring and smart, but she wasn't perfect, which just made her more believable and likeable. I really enjoyed getting to know a young Syd through Tim's flashbacks.
The writing was amazing - suspenseful and mystifying and addictive. It was written in first person from Tim's POV – I do love crime novels written in first person and there are so few of them. They make me really feel involved in solving the case, giving me real insight into these crime solvers, be they cops, PIs or desperate fathers of a lost girl. And the plot was mindblowingly addictive. It's freaking ridiculous how addictive it was really! And I loved how twisty the plot was – I never knew what to expect, what would come next, when the next twist would come. I loved that constant suspense and numerous big time shocks. Like oh-my-god-where-is-my-jaw kinda shocks. And the end... It just left me reeling! Evil ending!
This was one hell of a book – such an amazing book to start 2013 with. All future thrillers will be measured to this book. To the way this book left me shocked and an emotional wreck and just with my mind 100% blown. It was stunning. Seriously. Just absolutely freaking amazing. I can't recommend it enough. Honestly. I've already passed it onto my cousin, the second I finished, literally. So, again. Whoa.
4½ Out of 5
4½ Out of 5
Read this book if you liked:
No Time For Goodbye by Linwood Barclay
Sid Halley Mysteries by Dick Francis
Myron Bolitar by Harlan Coben
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