Title: The Accident
Author: Linwood Barclay
Release Date: August 9, 2011
Rating: 4 out of 5
Glen Garber is a contractor who has been having some difficulty with his company since the economic downturn. What’s more, a house that his company was building recently caught fire, and if the insurance company doesn’t pay out, it could ruin Glen and the company. But when Glen’s wife, Sheila, is killed in a car accident, money woes are the least of Glen’s concern, especially when he discovers her car was stopped in the middle of an on ramp and she was drunk. As Glen looks into Sheila’s death, he is drawn into a dangerous web of deception and must do everything he can to protect his daughter.
The Accident is a thriller dealing with the most ordinary of subjects: the suburban neighborhood. While it might seem like everything is boring and mundane in Glen’s town, there is much more going on under the surface. With the economic downturn, families are becoming desperate for money. Like Glen and Sheila, some are merely trying to provide for their families, while others are clinging onto the lifestyles they acquired because of the subprime mortgage culture, unable to stop spending. Barclay’s thriller deals with the question of how far people are willing to go to maintain that illusion of wealth.
Glen is an honest man who simply wants to provide as much as he can for his wife and daughter. He holds those around him to the same standard, so when Sheila mentions that she has found an avenue of bringing in some more cash, he doesn’t really question her. He trusts Sheila to make ethical decisions. But after her accident, Glen can’t help but wonder what lay beneath the surface with Sheila. How did she not see she was an alcoholic, even if she was a functioning one? What was so bad in her life that would make her want to consume that much alcohol and get behind the wheel of a car? Did he know her at all? As Glen looks into her death and uncovers one surprise after another, he begins to wonder if Sheila’s accident was really what it seemed to be.
If you’re a person who constantly questions a book while reading, saying “Wait a minute! This isn’t realistic at all!” then The Accident is probably not for you. While this book is definitely gripping and thrilling, everyone in it seems to be involved in some sort of nefarious dealings, and it’s sometimes hard to believe. That being said, if you’re like me and can suspend your disbelief until a novel once it’s over,and only then start analyzing it, then you should consider this thriller. It’s a wild, twisty ride, and the fact that it’s not very realistic doesn’t change the fact that it’s an enjoyable read.
After Never Look Away and now The Accident, it’s clear that Linwood Barclay’s books are ones that I enjoy. His thrillers are pulse-pounding and keep me hooked from beginning to end. I’ll definitely keep an eye for his next one.