The Accident by Linwood Barclay

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Started: 3rd August 2012

Finished: 5th August 2012

Why I have it: Picked it up when book hunting with friends. *Looks guiltily at bookshelf of unread books* Probably shouldn’t have. :/

Main review:

Despite the pinch of salt you always have to take his books with, Linwood Barclay is a wonderful author. In ‘The Accident’, he presents us with his characteristic male protagonist, Glen Garber. Glen has just lost his wife in a car accident where it appears she was to blame. While battling to come to terms with his wife’s unexplainable actions, he must also contend with the revelations of what she was involved with in the weeks leading to her death.

If there is one thing Barclay does perfectly it’s creating a central character we can champion. From the start it never enters your mind that they could be the culprit. I’m not sure if he wants you to doubt them or not but taking the clues he gives us into consideration and the rate at which I figured some of the plot out, I doubt it. He also doesn’t demand a lot from his reader, which allows you to sit back and enjoy the story as it unfolds. In the past I’ve read other novels by Barclay that have needed me to suspend my disbelief a little more than I would have liked to accept the resolution but in ‘The Accident’ he ties everything up plausibly enough. I can’t quite put my finger on what he does to make you want to accept these little stretches of the imagination but it certainly works.

Another aspect of Barclays work that apppeals to me is that you can actually work with the main character to solve the mystery. You’re often wrong but once you’ve got a hold of the kind of story he’s trying to weave then you’ve only got to scratch the surface to uncover the truth. I’ve read a lot of the Sherlock Holmes series over the last year and I have to say speaking in terms of letting your reader work with you in solving the mystery, A.C. Doyle has lost me a couple times whereby Barclay is always engaging.

Actually I read this to try and break my Sherlock addiction and what should pop into the story but several references to the man himself. I’m being haunted!

A fault that I did notice is that Barclay has a tendancy to repeat himself. I found myself reading people’s titles everytime they came into a scene. Maybe I’m over analysing but in other novels once you get to know a characater by name then it’s unnecessary to give them their full title. I lost count of the number of times one of the detectives was introduced as, Detective Rona Wedmore of the Milford police’. It got annoying after a couple of chapters. It felt as if he didn’t trust his reader to pay attention to what was happening.

Barclay is a really good writer and I’d recommend this book to anyone whose looking for a quick engaging read. I’d also recommend ‘No time for Goodbye’ as well as ‘Never Look Away’. Though the latter was the less plausible of the two, both were really enjoyble and read at times I needed something to get me back into reading after exams. Which says a lot about the books in my opinion as my head can get so far into study and deadlines I often find it hard to concentrate on books I’m not studying.


What I’m currently reading: I’m finally biting the bullet and finishing the ‘Inheritance cycle’. This series which started sith ‘Eragon’ all those years ago, has been with me throughout my teens just as Harry Potter was with me when I was younger. The character’s mean a lot to me and I want it to go out with a bang. But from what I’ve heard I may be disappointed…I’ll keep you updated.

Also sorry if the spacing is weird between paragraphs, WordPress wasn’t cooperating!