About Me

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Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Bad Move by Linwood Barclay

I am posting a review from 2008 of a fine book. I have read but one more book by Barclay. I am not sure why I have not read more as I enjoyed the books. Sometimes there is no explanation for reading decisions. 


7. - 417.) Bad Move by Linwood Barclay – Zack Walter has become an asshole to his family. His concerns over family safety (locking doors, not leaving stuff around, keeping the family informed) have become an obsession. The family moves from their “unsafe” downtown neighbourhood to a “safe” surburban development. (I dislike stories set in an unknown major Eastern North American city rather than an actual city.) Unfortunately, Zack must demonstrate the need for security. He hides his wife’s car when she leaves the keys in the house door. The fallout is predictably and hilariously bad for Zack. Life in the suburbs seems less safe as Zack learns more about his neighbours and then finds a murdered community activist on the edge of the creek. His obsession leads to a wonderfully bizarre funny murder adventure. He takes his wife’s purse from an unattended shopping cart as a warning. Unfortunately, it is not his wife’s purse. By the time the story ends and the bodies stop falling the suburbs are definitely not “safe”. Zack has a striking self-deprecating humour. He also has that rarity in mystery fiction – a real family. His wife, Sarah, and his children, Angie and Paul, are important parts of the story. I look forward to reading the next in the series. 


  1. Oh, I liked this book, too, Bill. I like Barclay's writing style and the wit in the story. I agree with you about the family, too; I thought Sarah was a well-drawn character. And you make a good point about the fact that this family and their relationships seem real. The other characters in the suburban development were effective, too, and so was the way Barclay used them to move the plot along. Glad you enjoyed this.

    1. Margot: Thanks for the comment. I recall you have referred to this book in numerous blog posts. Barclay creates interesting characters.