Bad Move

Front Cover
Bantam Books, 2005 - Fiction - 387 pages
21 Reviews
In the too-quiet town of Oakwood, only the lucky die of boredom…and new homeowner Zack Walker isn’t feeling lucky. Whoever said the burbs were boring will think twice after reading Linwood Barclay’s hilarious debut mystery, in which Dad learns the hard way that he doesn’t always know best.

Zack wouldn’t blame you for thinking he’s safety-obsessed. True, he masterminded a plot to trade his family’s exciting city lifestyle for one of suburban tranquillity. True, even after this strategic move, Zack still has issues with family members who forget their keys in the front door, leave their cars unlocked, or park their backpacks at the top of the stairs—where you could kill yourself tripping over them. Just ask his wife, Sarah, or his teenage kids, Paul and Angie, who endure their share of lectures.

Zack knows that he needs to chill out and assume the best for once—but we know what happens to those who assume.

When Zack realizes their two-faced developer sent a petty thief to fix their leaky shower, he starts fighting hard to ignore the fact that Oakwood isn’t the crime-free paradise he was hoping for. But his brief state of denial comes to an abrupt end when, during a walk by the creek, he stumbles across a dead body. Even more shocking, Zack actually knows who the victim is—and who might want him dead.

With a killer roaming around their neighborhood and Zack’s overactive imagination in overdrive, he’s sure things can’t get any worse. But then another local is murdered—and Zack’s paranoid tendencies get him implicated in the crime. While his wife is trying to remember why she married him in the first place, and his kids are considering whether it’s time to have him committed, Zack decides there’s only one thing he can do. To protect his family—and avoid being busted for a crime he didn’t commit—he’s going to have to override his safety-first instincts, tap into his delusions of machismo, and track down the killer himself.


From the Hardcover edition.

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The plot half was less well done, but entertaining. - Goodreads
He has some insight into his extremes. - Bookreporter.com
But he can work at home as a writer of science fiction. - Goodreads
This is not a spoiler -- the writer decides to - Goodreads

Review: Bad Move (Zack Walker #1)

User Review  - Shonna Froebel - Goodreads

Having read Barclay's latest, I wanted to read one of his earlier, more humorous mystery books to get a feel for it. I am glad to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. Zack Walker is a science fiction ... Read full review

Review: Bad Move (Zack Walker #1)

User Review  - Eric Wright - Goodreads

Zack Walker, klutz extraordinaire, moves his family from a high crime city neighbourhood to the suburb of Oakwood where boredom is the order of the day. His kids object to losing their friends. His ... Read full review

All 4 reviews »

About the author (2005)

Linwood Barclay is a columnist for the Toronto Star. He is the author of several critically acclaimed novels, including Stone Rain and Lone Wolf. He lives near Toronto with his wife and has two grown children.


From the Hardcover edition.

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