The Accident

Linwood Barclay is one of my favourite writers of fiction and each of his novels that I’ve read has been better than the last. The Accident continues that trend.

Barclay’s stock-in-trade is small-town America, the secrets behind the facade of respectability and the seemingly harmless vices that can lead his cast of characters down paths that are unforeseen.

The main character in The Accident is Glen Garber who shares similarities with Barclay’s previous protagonists. Garber works with his hands and runs a small, independent construction business.

He has been married for twelve years and has an eight year old daughter and leads a life of predictable normality until the day his wife dies in a car accident, drunk behind the wheel, in a place she should not have been.

The plot unfolds in the weeks that follow as the lives of friends and neighbours begin to unravel.

The backdrop is the recession, easy credit, sub-prime mortgages, skewed capitalism, the collapse of manufacturing in the west, cheap imports (legal and otherwise) and what ordinary people do to make ends meet.

In many ways, The Accident is a morality tale for our times.

If I have a criticism, it is that Barclay piles one plot too many on top of the the many twists and turns, but this is saved by the gentle humour he brings to the narrative.

A satisfying read and a four and a half star rating from me. Perhaps the perfect five next time.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

4 comments… Add yours
  • Jennyta 21st October 2011

    I always like to hear about what others are reading, SP. I think I might go for this one. Thanks for your review.

  • Reader Wil 21st October 2011

    It sounds like an interesting book. I must confess :I didn’t read one of his books!

  • Mr Parrot 22nd October 2011

    I hope you enjoy it Jenny. And you too Wil. It isn’t Dickens, but it is worth the read!

  • Lessa 22nd October 2011

    Im tempted to pick this up but it sounds a little close to home with the current economic climate, I think I need a little distance between the bad times and reading a book about it or its not really the escape I usually enjoy when having a read!


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