Monday, August 10, 2009


Linwood Barclay is a former columnist for the Toronto Star. He is the author of several critically acclaimed novels, including Too Close to Home and No Time for Goodbye, a #1 bestseller in Britain. He lives near Toronto with his wife and has two grown children. His website is

Your daughter doesn’t come home one night from her summer job.

You go there looking for her. No one’s seen her. But it’s worse than that.

No one’s ever seen her. So where has she been going every day? And where is she now?

In Linwood Barclay’s riveting new thriller, an ordinary man’s desperate search for his daughter leads him into a dark world of corruption, exploitation, and murder. Tim Blake is about to learn that the people you think you know best are the ones harboring the biggest secrets.

Tim is an average guy. He sells cars. He has an ex-wife. She’s moved in with a man whose moody son spends more time online than he should. His girlfriend is turning out to be a bit of a flake. It’s not a life without hassles, but nothing will prepare Tim for the nightmare that’s about to begin.

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. Now, as the days pass without word, Tim must face the fact that not only is Sydney missing, but that the daughter he’s loved and thought he knew is a virtual stranger.

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 Syd as much as Tim does.

But they’re not planning a Welcome Home party.

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.

Some Words From Linwood:

Fear the Worst hits bookstores tomorrow, and many readers are already calling it the best of my thrillers so far. Fast-moving, loads of suspense, a real page-turner. But something no one seems to have zeroed in on is the thing that makes this thriller very different.

The hero is a car salesman.

In most thrillers, our protagonist is, to varying degrees, familiar with crime and those who practice it. Maybe he or she's a spy, or ex-military. A cop or a private detective. An FBI agent. A profiler, maybe.

But the hero is not, generally, someone who sells Honda Accords.

People who sell Hondas are not typically acquainted with the bad guy element. (I'd like to go out on a limb here and say this is also true of people who sell Fords, Toyotas, Nissans, and most other makes.) Tim Blake, who tells the story and sells Hondas for a living, has had his share of troubles over the years, but none that brought him face to
face with fraud artists, human traffickers and killers. But when his daughter Sydney goes missing, he finds himself getting introduced to a whole new class of people.

When I was thinking about what the hero in this book would do for a living, I knew I didn't want it to be police work. I had no interest in having him work for a secret government agency. I didn't want him to be a reporter. (That's my next book.) I wanted him to have a normal, everyday job. And that's when "car salesman" popped into my head.

Let's face it, car salesmen get kind of a bad rap. And that's too bad.

I have a couple of good friends who have sold cars their entire working lives. I've bought cars from them, and I've been happy with the deals they gave me. And they both helped me with this book.

But our relationship with car salesmen (and saleswomen) tends to be somewhat adversarial. We want to get the car for as little as possible. They want to make the deal, getting as much profit as possible. We need wheels and they need the commission. We say we can't spend that much, they say they can't do it for that. Finally, they say, "Let me talk to my manager and see what we can do."

That, we figure, is when they wander out back of the dealership and have a smoke.

Anyway, once I'd made up my mind what Tim was going to do for a living, I invited my retired car salesmen friends Carl and Mike out for lunch and asked them to tell me their best stories. Like the one where the guy took a pickup truck for a test drive and used it to deliver manure. (That story finds its way into Fear the Worst.) Or that other test-drive when a new Toyota Celica ended up sitting atop a
fireplug, and the prospective buyer was nowhere to be found. They had great tales, and what came out was that they'd really enjoyed their careers. Why? "Because of the people," they both said.

I like writing about people -- regular people. I like writing about what happens to ordinary folks when extraordinary things happen to them. Tim Blake is a regular guy about to be plunged into a parent's worst nightmare. Nothing in his life has prepared him for what's about to happen.

I like that.

As this blog is posted, I’ll just be getting back from promoting Fear the Worst in New Zealand, having already spent a few days in Hong Kong and two weeks in Australia. Everyone down there is pumped about Fear the Worst, and I'm hoping North American readers will feel the same way.
Amazon link:


  1. That is interesting he'd make the hero a car salesmen. And dang, his friends endured some wacky stuff!

    L. Diane Wolfe “Spunk On A Stick”

  2. I like the story idea, and the title is KICKIN'! Best wishes for many sales. :)

    The Old Silly

  3. a most interesting idea. The daughter disappears because she doesn't want to admit her dad sells Honda's?

    This would be a very good book. If you ever need a review...

  4. Sounds like a very interesting story, one I might pick up and read even though it has some similarities to our own true story - the villains being spiritual principalities instead of real people or so we think.

    Enjoyed reading the blogpost and wish you great success in the sale of your book.


  5. Hi Morgan,

    We're back from the Outer Banks and I wanted to pop in and thank you for hosting Linwood during his virtual book tour.

    I hope your own release is going well. Hopefully I'll get to read my copy within the next couple of weeks. This week is tight with Vacation Bible School.

    As for Linwood's book, that's in my TBR pile too. That darn pile just keeps growing and growing. lol!


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