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The Accident

Cover of The Accident

The Accident

A Thriller
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Glen Garber, a contractor, has seen his business shaken by the housing crisis, and now his wife, Sheila, is taking a business course at night to increase her chances of landing a good-paying job. But she should have been home by now. With their eight-year-old daughter sleeping soundly, Glen soon finds his worst fears confirmed: Sheila and two others have been killed in a car accident. Grieving and in denial, Glen resolves to investigate the accident himself--and begins to uncover layers of lawlessness beneath the placid surface of their Connecticut suburb, secret after dangerous secret behind the closed doors. Propelled into a vortex of corruption and illegal activity, pursued by mysterious killers, and confronted by threats from neighbors he thought he knew, Glen must take his own desperate measures and go to terrifying new places in himself to avenge his wife and protect his child.

Glen Garber, a contractor, has seen his business shaken by the housing crisis, and now his wife, Sheila, is taking a business course at night to increase her chances of landing a good-paying job. But she should have been home by now. With their eight-year-old daughter sleeping soundly, Glen soon finds his worst fears confirmed: Sheila and two others have been killed in a car accident. Grieving and in denial, Glen resolves to investigate the accident himself--and begins to uncover layers of lawlessness beneath the placid surface of their Connecticut suburb, secret after dangerous secret behind the closed doors. Propelled into a vortex of corruption and illegal activity, pursued by mysterious killers, and confronted by threats from neighbors he thought he knew, Glen must take his own desperate measures and go to terrifying new places in himself to avenge his wife and protect his child.

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Excerpts-
  • Chapter One

    If I'd known this was our last morning, I'd have rolled over in bed and held her. But of course, if it had been possible to know something like that--if I could have somehow seen into the future--I wouldn't have let go. And then things would have been different.

    I'd been staring at the ceiling for a while when I finally threw back the covers and planted my feet on the hardwood floor.

    "How'd you sleep?" Sheila asked as I rubbed my eyes. She reached out and touched my back.

    "Not so good. You?"

    "Off and on."

    "I sensed you were awake, but I didn't want to bug you, on the off chance you were sleeping," I said, glancing over my shoulder. The sun's first rays of the day filtered through the drapes and played across my wife's face as she lay in bed, looking at me. This wasn't a time of day when people looked their best, but there was something about Sheila. She was always beautiful. Even when she looked worried, which was how she looked now.

    I turned back around, looked down at my bare feet. "I couldn't get to sleep for the longest time, then I think I finally nodded off around two, but then I looked at the clock and it was five. Been awake since then."

    "Glen, it's going to be okay," Sheila said. She moved her hand across my back, soothing me.

    "Yeah, well, I'm glad you think so."

    "Things'll pick up. Everything goes in cycles. Recessions don't last forever."

    I sighed. "This one sure seems to. After these jobs I'm doing now, we got nothin' lined up. Some nibbles, did a couple of estimates last week--one for a kitchen, one to finish off a basement--but they haven't called back."

    I stood up, turned and said, "What's your excuse for staring at the ceiling all night?"

    "Worried about you. And . . . I've got things on my mind, too."

    "What?"

    "Nothing," she said quickly. "I mean, just the usual. This course I'm taking, Kelly, your work."

    "What's wrong with Kelly?"

    "Nothing's wrong with her. I'm a mother. She's eight. I worry. It's what I do. When I've done the course, I can help you more. That'll make a difference."

    "When you made the decision to take it, we had the business to justify it. Now, I don't know if I'll even have any work for you to do," I said. "I just hope I have enough to keep Sally busy."

    Sheila'd started her business accounting course mid-August, and two months in was enjoying it more than she'd expected. The plan was for Sheila to do the day-to-day accounts for Garber Contracting, the company that was once my father's, and which I now ran. She could even do it from home, which would allow Sally Diehl, our "office girl," to focus more on general office management, returning phone calls, hounding suppliers, fielding customer inquiries. There usually wasn't time for Sally to do the accounting, which meant I was bringing it home at night, sitting at my desk until midnight. But with work drying up, I didn't know how this was all going to shake down.

    "And now, with the fire--"

    "Enough," Sheila said.

    "Sheila, one of my goddamn houses burned down. Please don't tell me everything's going to be fine."

    She sat up in bed and crossed her arms across her breasts. "I'm not going to let you get all negative on me. This is what you do."

    "I'm just telling you how it is."

    "And I'm going to tell you how it will be," she said. "We will be okay. Because this is what we do. You and I. We get through things. We find a way." She looked away for a moment, like there was something she wanted to say but wasn't sure how to say it. Finally, she said, "I have ideas."

    "What ideas?"

    "Ideas to help us. To get us through the...

About the Author-
  • Linwood Barclay is a former columnist for the Toronto Star. He is the #1 internationally bestselling author of eight critically acclaimed novels, including Never Look Away, Fear the Worst, Too Close to Home, and No Time for Goodbye, which has been optioned for film. He lives near Toronto with his wife and has two grown children. He is currently at work on his next thriller.

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    Random House Publishing Group
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