Two of our summer book clubs read The Accident by Linwood Barclay. Most of our participants described the book as an enjoyable quick-read. Book clubs rejoice … if you want to read and discuss an alternative genre with your book club, consider borrowing Guelph Public Library’s book club set for The Accident.
Linwood Barclay is the master of the suburban thriller. The Accident was even on Stephen King’s summer reading list. His review: “The writing is crisp; the twists are jolting and completed unexpected.” Barclay was a popular humour columnist for the Toronto Star before he “retired” to work exclusively on writing books. An earlier mystery series featuring Zack Walker, was followed by standalone thrillers that have achieved critical success and international acclaim. His book Too Close To Home received the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel in 2009.
The Accident focuses on Glen Garber, a contractor reeling from his wife’s death in a car accident. Complications arise when the police find Sheila responsible for the accident and the resulting casualties. Glen investigates and begins to undercover dangerous secrets in his suburban world. You’ll like the shocking twists and the fast-paced narrative that leads to a climax that you won’t be able to predict (okay, at least I was not able to predict the ending).
I liked The Accident so much I immediately placed a hold on Barclay’s newest thriller Trust Your Eyes. Trust Your Eyes is based on an interesting concept: a computer program (Whirl360) that allows you to travel the world without every taking a step outside your own door. The twist in the story is when Thomas Kilbride sees an image on the computer program that appears to be a murdered woman. Thomas is a schizophrenic who rarely ventures outside his house, so he asks his brother Ray to go to New York City and investigate. The snooping soon turns deadly, involving a political cover-up, assassins, and buried secrets. The strained relationship between Ray and Thomas is well-developed, and evolves as they spend more time together. There is a surprising twist at the end of the book that may forever affect their level of trust…
Truthfully, I did not enjoy Trust Your Eyes as much as The Accident, as I am not fond of political conspiracies. The characters in The Accident were also more compelling, particularly Glen Garber. In my opinion, neither Thomas Kilbride (an introvert by nature of his condition) or Ray were particularly charismatic. However, as a novel of pursuit there was more than enough plot development and intriguing characters to keep things lively.
If you like Linwood Barclay you may want to try these NoveList read-alike authors: