Bad Move by Linwood Barclay (#1 Zack Walker)

Bad Move (Zack Walker #1)

Bad Move by Linwood Barclay

Published: 2004




Bad Move by Linwood Barclay is the 1st in the Zack Walker comedic mystery series.

Okay, this is a hard book for me to review.  I greatly admire Linwood Barclay.  But I have a hard time with the comedy/mystery genre.  I’m not a big fan of comedy, but I love mystery.  Combined, I always find they lack something, and that is the reason for the 3 star review.  The book was good, the mystery good, but it lacks the seriousness of the crime, which throws me off.  Probably just me.  My opinion.

Anyway, against his family’s wishes, Zack Walker moves his wife and two teenagers out of the crime-ridden city, and into the suburbs.  He’s rather obsessed with safety, and is constantly trying to teach the family a lesson, which usually backfires.

After witnessing an argument between the real-estate developer and an environmentalist, Zack later finds the environmentalist dead.  When he tries to prove a point to his wife about leaving her purse in the shopping cart by stealing it, he realizes he stole someone else’s purse.  When he tries to return it, he finds that the woman works for the real-estate developer.  She’s dead too.  When he asks his new neighbours for some assistance, he finds out that neither Trixie nor Earl are quite what they seem.  Perhaps living in the suburbs isn’t quite as safe as he thought.

The plot was good, and the book was funny. Zack is an idiot. I’m still on the fence about the genre.

Favorite Quote from Bad Move:

“For years, I envied my friend Jeff Conklin, who, at the age of eleven, found a dead guy.”


Read: September 2014


About the Author:   Linwood Barclay was born in the United States but moved to Canada at the age of four when his father accepted an advertising job north of the border.  Barclay graduated from Trent University in Peterborough Ontario, and worked in various positions in the newspaper industry.    In 2004, he launched his mystery series about an anxiety-ridden, know-it-all, pain-in-the-butt father by the name of Zack Walker.  The book has been sold around the world and been translated into nearly thirty languages.  After the Zack Walker Series, he has written over a dozen stand-alone mystery novels.




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