Since I started by blog, I’ve done an annual Advent Book Calendar highlighting books I have enjoyed and authors I really like. This year I thought I’d do an Advent Book Calendar with a twist; for each day leading up to Christmas, I’m going to post a review of a book to which I’ve given only one star (Throw a book at this one) or two stars (Don’t put this book in your book bag). Though I would not recommend these books, others have disagreed with me. Each book, on Goodreads, has received a 3 or 4 Star average rating.
Review of The Accident by Linwood Barclay
Glen Barber's wife Sheila is killed in an accident in which there are two other fatalities. Indications are that she caused the accident by driving while impaired. Glen has difficulty believing that Sheila was responsible since she was not an irresponsible drinker. He decides, therefore, to investigate his wife's death.
Besides grieving for his wife, Glen has several other problems. He has to protect his 8-year-old daughter from bullies; he is being sued by the family of the two victims in his wife's accident; his mother-in-law is trying to take his daughter to live with her; his construction business is suffering because of the poor economy and a fire at one of his building sites; several of his employees have personal problems.
The book is certainly suspenseful. Murders pile up as the plot twists and turns. Suspense is also created by the author's switching from one plot line to another at crucial points.
The major problem with the book is that there is an excess of villains. Everyone connected to Glen seems involved in murder or some type of criminal activity. Who knew that so much evil existed in suburban Connecticut!
Another weakness is that the motivation of characters is sometimes insufficient to justify their actions. Not everyone faced with financial woes will naively become involved with organized crime. In particular, the ultimate explanation given for Sheila's death is unsatisfactory.
This is the first book I've read by Linwood Barclay; based on my impressions, I won't rush to read his other books, although I'll probably give him another try when I've exhausted my "Must Read" list.