Monday, January 15, 2007

Bad Move by Linwood Barclay

Bad Move was a book that I picked up on my last library run. It was by a new to me author, and it seemed to be like something I would enjoy. I was right, four out of five stars.

As a father of two overly curious, streetwise teenagers and husband to a wisecracking news-junkie journalist, work-at-home science fiction writer Zack Walker has a hard time convincing his loved ones to obey his rules for coming them out of harm's way. Who can blame them? Zack's paranoia ranks with that of a Twilight Zone episode. But when city life begins to prove that Zack's fears are not so fantastical, he uproots his family and heads for the tranquility of the suburbs, where planned communities prevail and fathers rest easy. Well not quite...

As Zack discovers that his plumber moonlights as a mercenary and the local domanatrix has a a swimming pool, it becomes evident that the "nice" neighborhood of Oakwood isn't the crime-free paradise he'd been promised. Then Zack stumbles upon the body of a local environmentalist, and a madcap mission of deciet and murder that leads back to his own front door. Now this paranoid pop is in a state of high anxiety and will stop at nothing to keep his family safe. But can he keep himself from snuffed in suburbia?

I really enjoyed this story. I think it falls in the cozy mystery series and I really liked it. I think it was interesting that the main character is a man, and that the author is a man as well. It defintely gives the cozy mystery a new spin.

Zack is a great character whose paranoia can easily be explained as a lot of his points are valid ones. The extremes he goes to to remind his family about safety are absolutely hilarious. The mystery is a good one, and I love the side characters as well. There are two more stories in this series, with another one coming out in May. I will definitely be on the lookout, and if Mr. Barclay's future novels are as good as his first one is, I have found a new auto-buy author. I recommend this series to all who love a good mystery and a few laughs!

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