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Publisher's Summary

“An uncomfortably plausible tale . . . Barclay's pacing is impeccable. . . . A page-turner that keeps the reader guessing until the end.” --Denver Post

Tim Blake is an average guy. He sells cars. He has an ex-wife who’s moved in with another man. It’s not a life without hassles, but nothing will prepare him for when his daughter, Sydney, vanishes into thin air. 

At the hotel where she supposedly worked, no one has ever heard of her. Even her closest friends seem to be at a loss. As he retraces Sydney’s steps, Tim discovers that the suburban Connecticut town he always thought of as idyllic is anything but. What he doesn’t know is that his every move is being watched. There are others who want to find Sydney as much as Tim does. And the closer Tim comes to the truth, the closer he comes to every parent’s worst nightmare - and the kind of evil only a parent’s love has a chance in hell of stopping.

©2009 Linwood Barclay (P)2009 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What the critics say

“Readers will find themselves desperate to finish just one more page before putting the book down . . . a page-turning thriller that’s intense, compelling, and for the most part, expertly paced.” --Kirkus 

“Barclay earns a solid A for his page-turning plot.“ --Publishers Weekly 

“Gripping…Unfold[s] with mounting tension and suspense…believable and scary for being rooted in human-sized characters and laced with saving humor.”
--Wall Street Journal 

What listeners say about Fear the Worst

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  • Overall
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Don't fear the worst, it's pretty good

This was my first time trying Linwood Barclay. I was not disappointed but also not extremely impressed. At times I thought it was a bit long, but in the end, it's a good suspense and thriller that managed to get me hooked. I'm intrigued to see how this novel stacks against other works by the author, I will definitely read more in the future.

5 people found this helpful

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I was expecting more

It was very long and drawn out. Took a while to get into it and then towards the end it got better but definitely not the suspense I was hoping for.

2 people found this helpful

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My first Linwood Barkley, but not my last

A slow start but it kept me curious and coming back. the story quickened and intensified as it went and and overall it was a fun listen.

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overall B+

I enjoyed the story but found some of the plot line & character decisions too much of a stretch. the narrator was great as the main character but some of his other voices missed the mark. I DID find I was eager to listen and find out what would happen next

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waiting a long time for a book like this

wish there was just a bit more in the ending, what happened to everyone. other than that great read/listen

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Val
  • 2011-04-06

WOW!

I couldn't put my iPad down. I finally fell asleep listening at 3am and picked it back up as soon as I woke. I listened to the entire book in less then 18 hours. It was full of suspence and an ending I would have never guessed. This book was an excellent read. I'm a big Harlan Coban fan and if Linwood Barclay's other books are this great. I found another favorite author. If you like a good mystery with a semi happy ending you've found it.... you will love it.

10 people found this helpful

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  • William
  • 2009-08-27

A Lot of Fun - Barclay Does It Again

I really enjoy Barclay books, and this one is no exception. The story developed throughout the book, never going through boring patches like some suspense books tend to do. I was glued to this one. The characters were well developed, and Barclay knows how to inject humor without making the story silly. If you've enjoyed his other books, you won't be disappointed with this one. Now it's back to waiting for his next book.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Calliope
  • 2013-05-10

loved everything until the last minute

Linwood Barclay has a good knack for creating characters, and his writing (and Buck Schirner's narration) do bring them to life. It's a good story, complicated enough to be interesting but straightforward enough to be understandable and I loved it all......until the final sentence in the last minute. Still, in spite of the ending, it was an enjoyable listen adn well worth the time and money. I'm sure it won't be my last book of his.

5 people found this helpful

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  • shelley
  • 2014-04-16

Fear the worst, Expect the Best

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

With out a doubt. This was such a good book, well written and fast paced.

What did you like best about this story?

Linwood Barclay did a great job. His style of writing is very reminiscent of Harlan Coban. He writes about "real" people with "normal" lives that all of the sudden get turned up side down. Life and death situations that are entertaining and very believable.

What does Buck Schirner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Buck Schirner's voice was perfect for this book. I like him so much I looked for other books that he has narrated.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I do not want to spoil this for anyone but the end was moving and a little heartbreaking.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Brad
  • 2013-09-20

Linwood Barclay At His Best

Fear the Worst is a superlative mystery thriller. It starts with a missing daughter and ends in a thrilling and realistic climax. This is very much a nontraditional mystery. The protagonist is a father obsessed with finding his missing daughter. He is a car salesman, not a super hero. Through hard work and some cleverness, he solves a very complicated mystery. I found the novel compelling due to the humanity of the characters that are richly drawn and the relentless secret plot that carried me along rapidly. The narrator is only downgraded very slightly due to his raspy voice that does not lend itself to feminine voices. Otherwise, this is a perfect Audible book.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Girlbos
  • 2012-04-22

Loved the main character

Any additional comments?

Poor guy...Just a car salesman dealing with a teenage, slight rebel of a daughter who comes to spend the summer with him and vanishes. It follows his search for his daughter and you do not know who is friend and who is foe with the introduction of each character. Barclay can do no wrong. I am a new, but HUGE fan!

3 people found this helpful

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  • stacie
  • 2012-02-25

Slow and not very entertaining

I have to say, this was one of my least favorite audio books ever (been a frequent listener for about 6 years). The pacing was so incredibly slow that, in hindsight, i felt i could've skipped the entire first half of the book (all of download section 1) and missed nothing. I generally don't like abridged versions, but this book needs one. Also, while the main character makes "human error" mistakes, he also makes plain stupid moves too, that left me wondering if he deserved to get anywhere in his pursuit of his daughter... And when the action finally begins to pick up, well, it's just so-so. The Narration was ok, but this too, i found to be very slow. Might have been just the writing... don't know. I certainly won't be pursuing anything else by this author.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Elevenz
  • 2019-04-22

OK until the ending

I wanted to finish it, but maybe I shouldn't have. Author had a Deadline ending?

1 person found this helpful

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  • ncube79
  • 2018-10-08

Goofy narration, over-the-top story

Linwood Barclay's books are always a bit over-the-top, but that's definitely OK, considering it's fiction. However, by the end of this one, there were almost *too* many twists and turns and complications...and I was losing interest in the resolution.

I also began losing interest and sympathy for the characters after awhile. The father made a lot of bad moves that were difficult to get behind, and he oftentimes seemed pretty clueless. The daughter character wasn't established enough to get deeply invested in her as a person, although I did sympathize with the frantic worry that the parents must have faced.

The biggest thing that took away from this story was the narrator. His voice sounded a bit mature for the main character of the dad, but the inflections he put into the other characters' voices was what was really ridiculous. The female characters' voices were bad enough, but when he would personify other male characters, whether it be a middle-aged, yet virile adult, or a rebellious teenage boy, he would use some kind of goofy walrus voice, or that of an elderly cartoon horse. It was vaguely amusing, but highly distracting. I just couldn't get over those voices enough to take the story seriously.

1 person found this helpful

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  • KimR
  • 2017-11-17

Another Great Read from Linwood Barclay

Linwood Barclay books are simply awesome! ALL of them, and Fear the Worst is no exception. I was glued to my device. The characters are well developed, and relatable. They could be your neighbors. If you've enjoyed his other books, you will not be disappointed with this one. If you haven’t read Linwood Barclay yet, now’s the time!

1 person found this helpful