Linwood Barclay is an American-Canadian crime mystery and thriller author of the Promise Falls, Zack Walker, No Time For Goodbyes, and the Chase series, along with several standalone novels.
While I have read all the author’s adult books, Promise Falls is the series that really grew on me, although the first I book I have ever read from this author was No Time for Goodbyes.
Chase, a new young-adult thriller series is on my to-be-read list. The new series includes currently two books.
Here are the Linwood Barclay books in order of reading and publication.
New Linwood Barclay Books
Zack Walker Series
- Bad Move (Zack Walker #1), 2004
- Bad Guys (Zack Walker #2), 2005
- Bad Luck/Lone Wolf (Zack Walker #3), 2006
- Bad News/Stone Rain (Zack Walker #4), 2007
No Time For Goodbye
Promise Falls Series
- Never Look Away (Promise Falls #1), 2010
- Broken Promise (Promise Falls #2), 2015
- Final Assignment (Promise Falls #2.5), 2015
- Far From True (Promise Falls #3), 2016
- The Twenty-Three (Promise Falls #4), 2016
- Parting Shot (Promise Falls #5), 2017
Standalone Linwood Barclay Books
- Mike Harris Made Me Eat My Dog, 1998
- Too Close to Home, 2008 (set in Promise Falls)
- Fear the Worst, 2009
- The Accident, 2011
- Never Saw it Coming, 2012
- Trust Your Eyes, 2012 (set in Promise Falls)
- A Tap on the Window, 2013
- A Noise Downstairs, 2018
Linwood Barclay Biography
Linwood Barclay was born in 1955 in Darien, Connecticut. A few years later, in 1959, his family moved to Canada, where he continued living since then.
He loved reading crime mystery novels, especially since reading the Hardy Boys as a child. Later, in his teens, he developed a strong interest in writing detective novels as he as inspired by Ross Macdonald, another American-Canadian author of popular hardboiled detective series, Lew Archer.
After finishing high school, Linwood Barclay enrolled at the Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, where he got the chance to study under Margaret Laurence, popular author of several fiction and non-fiction books.
During his college years, he started corresponding with Ross Macdonald, who even signed his book when the two met with the note, “For Linwood, who will, I hope, someday outwrite me.”
During the same years, he wrote several novels, however, after graduating in English with a Bachelor’s degree, he had to take on the job as a journalist as he could not sell his books.
The first job he took was with Peterborough Examiner, a local newspaper with which he remained until 1981 when he switched to Toronto Star. During his time there, he became an editor, worked in management, and eventually wrote humor columns for the newspaper, released several podcasts, and published a few article collections.
He also published his Zack Walker humorous mysteries which ended up relatively popular in the UK. The series focuses on Zack, a rather paranoid science-fiction writer and newspaper reporter, who has moved recently to the suburbs being concerned for his family due to the rising crime rate in the old neighborhood.
The author Linwood Barclay became popular with readers and critics alike when, in 2007, he published his notorious book, No Time For Goodbye, which became a hit, especially in the UK and Germany. Following the book’s popularity, he stopped working for about a year to start promoting his book, but before going back to Toronto Star, in June 2008 he left the paper to focus exclusively on writing books.
One of his next books, Trust Your Eyes, gave him an interesting notoriety as the book went through a fierce bidding war between Universal Studios and Warner Bros, both which wanted to option it for a movie.
For his books, Linwood Barclay draws from his knowledge and background of being a journalist for over 30 years, which taught him especially on how to write well without drawing out the words. He also learned about deadlines and that writing is still work, even though it’s not a 9-to-5 rat race.
He does not do as much research before writing his books as someone who writes science-fiction of historical novels does, as he writes mostly about the world he knows, but he does real research as well. Before writing the book Fear the Worst, which features a used-car salesman, the author did invite two retired car salesmen for lunch and grilled them their former jobs and asked them interesting stories from the trade.
So far, the Linwood Barclay books sold over five million copies in 40 countries and have been translated into some 40 languages as well.
The latest Linwood Barclay book, A Noise Downstairs, published in 2018, is a standalone psychological thriller novel that highlights the dangers of an unhealthy hero worshipping, as the book’s main character, an English professor, learns it first hand. Also, it involves a typewrites, which, some say, is the cause of it all. And maybe it is haunted too.
Currently, Linwood Barclay is living in Oakville, Ontario with his wife and two children.
Praise for Linwood Barclay
Trust Your Eyes s is the best so far, a tale Hitchcock would have loved . . . riveting . . . scary . . . funny and . . . tender. (Stephen King)
One of the world’s finest thriller writers on the top of his game. A Noise Downstairs is a blinder – his best yet (Peter James)
Linwood Barclay’s novels – as intelligent as Michael Connelly’s, as compelling as Harlan Coben’s – never fail to astonish. A Noise Downstairs, his best work yet, is a cobra of a story: smooth, slippery, unnerving . . . and likely to strike when you least expect it. I devoured this book (A.J. Finn)
No one can thrill you and chill you better than Barclay (Tess Gerritsen)
One of the best thriller writers in the world (Mark Billingham)
Nothing is more satisfying than tucking into a new Linwood Barclay novel (Shari Lapena)
No Time for Goodbye just flies off the page. It’s a one-sit thriller. You sit down with this book and you won’t get up until you’ve turned the last page (Michael Connelly)
No Time for Goodbye is a high-speed emotional roller-coaster. The surprises will leave you breathless. (Robert Crais)
No Time for Goodbye is a great suburban thriller—and that’s not a contradiction in terms. Linwood Barclay doesn’t make one false step, and the surprises just keep on coming. Don’t start reading No Time for Goodbye late at night: you’ll stay up to finish it (Charlaine Harris)