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Book Review of The Accident

The Accident
reviewed on + 175 more book reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars How well do you really know those people in your circle of family and friends?

I have read all of Barclay's previous books so was looking forward to the latest one! This suspense novel had a fast pace with an interesting subject presented immediately in the prologue - the illegal sales of counterfeit merchandise and the seedy, dangerous underground -- and it kept me turning the pages well past bedtime.

A quiet suburban neighborhood is rocked first by the car accident death of a housewife and mother, Sheila Garber, whose inexplicable car crash while driving drunk results in the unraveling of the lives of several interconnected families. As her husband, Glen, and daughter, Kelly, try to come to terms with this tragedy, discoveries are made that make Glen wonder if indeed "the accident" was what it seemed. As the narrative goes on, suspense mounts as first one character and then another comes to light as involved in a ring of sorts that centers around the sale of various items and a stereotypical villain who wants "the money." The novel has several plot twists but a savvy reader will not be too surprised as events unfold and the climax is reached.

My main complaints, and the reasons I don't give this novel 5 stars: I felt that the death toll was unnecessary -- it didn't advance the plot, and it seemed overmuch. In addition, I've come to notice that the protagonist, in this book he's named Glen Garber, is one that Barclay duplicates in every single book -- a decent ordinary man, husband, father driven to extremes by events he didn't anticipate and now must avenge. This man is always a bit naive and ignorant about things going on under his own roof until the moment when he's spurred into action and then pretty much has to take matters into his own hands and figure out the truth even though he's facing some pretty unrealistic scenarios that cause the reader to suspend some disbelief.

Despite feeling sometimes that I keep reading the same Barclay novel over and over, I would recommend this for any of his fans and others who enjoy a suspense mystery with lots of layers and a well-constructed (though not completely unpredicted) conclusion.