Linwood Barclay is a Canadian author who specialises in both crime fiction and also humour fiction, although he has found more success recently with his crime fiction that his more humorous pieces of work. Barclay’s has found success both in his home country of Canada, as well as the United States and the United Kingdom, with his series of Zack Walker novels providing him with the breakthrough.
Order of Keisha Ceylon Series
Order of Linwood Barclay Non-Fiction Books
|1||Father Knows Zilch: A Guide for Dumbfounded Dads||1996|
|2||Mike Harris Made Me Eat My Dog||1998|
|3||This House is Nuts: Surviving the Absurdities of Everyday Life||1998|
|4||Last Resort : A Memoir||2000|
Order of Linwood Barclay Standalone Novels
|1||Too Close to Home||2008|
|2||Fear the Worst||2009|
|3||Never Look Away||2010|
|4||Trust Your Eyes||2011|
|6||A Tap on the Window||2013|
|7||Jacket Man (Short Story)||2016|
Order of No Time For Goodbye Series
Order of Promise Falls Series
|2||Final Assignment (Short Story)||2015|
|3||Far From True||2016|
Order of Zack Walker Series
Linwood Barclay was born in America but moved to Canada before his fourth birthday, where he’s resided since. Before gaining acclaim as one of Canada’s premier crime writers, he worked in the newspaper industry since the age of 16, when he got his first job at the Peterborough Examiner, a small Ontario-based paper.
During the following decades, he transitioned to the Toronto Star and began a slow but steady rise through its ranks, going through the positions of assistant city editor, chief copy editor, main news editor, and editor of the life section. Finally he settled down as a humor columnist, a position which he fulfilled for fifteen years before retiring to devote himself exclusively to writing novels.
Now, Barclay is one of Canada’s most prolific and successful writers, with over 15 novels to his name, which have been translated to almost over 40 languages, and have sold over 5 million copies over the world.
Linwood Barclay is best known for his standalone novels as well as the Promise Falls trilogy. He also penned the Zack Walker series of books but those have largely been forgotten in favour of his excellent standalone thrillers.
Linwood Barclay was born in Connecticut in the United States in 1955, although he moved, with his family, to Canada in 1959, which is still where he still calls home to this day. Unlike some authors that may stumble into writing later on in their life, it was always a passion of Barclay’s, and he went to Trent University in Ontario, Canada, to study literature. However, Barclay had to wait several years for literary success, instead finding his feet writing columns for newspapers throughout Canada until the turn of the 21st century.
While writing newspapers columns, Linwood Barclay crafted his first series of work, featuring a character by the name of Zack Walker, who, like Barclay, was a newspaper columnist. The work contained Barclay’s wit, while also engaging in the darker crime fiction market. This mix proved to be a hit in the UK, where he finally found his footing.
But it wasn’t until the release of No Time For Goodbye in 2007 that Linwood Barclay was to achieve real global success, achieving sales of over one million. No Time For Goodbye did not feature the character of Zack Walker, and was, instead, a stand-alone novel which revolves around the character Cynthia Archer, nee Bigge, whose family disappeared one night, while Cynthia slept. The story goes moves forward 25 years, with no answers forthcoming as to the whereabouts of what happened to Cynthia’s family. After her appearance on a TV show to try and find clues, things start to come undone for Cynthia, and it leads her and her own family down a dangerous path trying to find out the truth.
The novel Trust Your Eyes, released in 2012, is arguably Linwood Barclay’s most successful book to date, simply due to the fact that the option on it was picked up by Warner Brothers to bring it to the big screen. The book features a schizophrenic lead character who witnesses a murder online while checking out street views on a piece of software called Whirl360 (not unlike Google Earth). He then has to convince his brother to investigate what he believes is a murder, which in turn leads them to find trouble with people high up in the chain of command. Like the rest of Linwood Barclay’s work, it is a complex tale that keeps readers guessing, in the style of any great crime fiction writer.
LINWOOD BARCLAY AWARDS:
In 2009, Barclay’s standalone novel, Too Close to Home, won an Arthur Ellis Award for the best novel in the Crime Writers of Canada Community. Then in 2012, Trust Your Eyes (which was originally titled 360: A Novel) was a finalist for the Best Read of the Crime Thriller Book Club from the UK Specsavers organization.
LINWOOD BARCLAY BOOKS INTO MOVIES:
Although none of Barclay’s books have been adopted into films so far, although when his standalone novel, Trust Your Eyes, was published in 2012 there was a brief buzz about a movie deal. The deal gained enough traction for Linwood to make it to the cover of Variety magazine and launched a bidding war between Universal Studios and Warner Bros. A finished script delivered on March of 2013, and the project has remained stalled since then.
His first crime novel, No Time for Goodbye, was also optioned by a television station in France, although the project failed to move forward as well.
BEST LINWOOD BARCLAY BOOKS:
Three of the best received Linwood Barclay books from among his multiple series are:
No Time for Goodbye, Linwood Barclay’s fifth novel and his first massive hit after the lukewarm reception of his humorous Zack Walker series. Barclay wrote the book over a period of two months and then sold it to the U.S. based publisher Bantam, who were so impressed with his effort that they paid him a six-figure advance.
No Time for Goodbye places a fourteen-year-old girl at the heart of its mystery. One day, Cynthia Biggie wakes up at home only to find that her entire family has disappeared without a trace. Now Cynthia is 31 years old, married and with a young daughter of her own when her past comes calling. No Time for Goodbye went on to sell millions of copies, and its story was continued years later in No Safe House.
Never Look Away: One of Barclay’s first standalone novels, Never Look Away was published in 2010 and has sold out over forty editions since then. This tense thriller follows the story of David Hardwood, a small town reporter whose world gets turned upside down when a member of his family disappears during a regular day out. Now David must turn his skills as a reporter to the task of finding his missing relative, all the while the newspaper where he works at is about to go under.
Too Close to Home: Linwood Barclay’s second novel showed the world that he wasn’t just a one-hit wonder. Too Close to Home was published in 2008 and has remained popular enough to warrant over forty editions in the time since. The novel takes place in Promise Falls, the same setting which Linwood would later revisit in the trilogy that carries the same name. The protagonist, Jim Cutter, gets shaken out of his placid suburban life when his next door neighbors are shot to death in their home. Now he must find out why his friend Albert Langley was murdered alongside his family, all the while he digs into his own wife’s troubled past.
Linwood Barclay FAQ
Q: What is Linwood Barclay’s real name?
A: The real name of author Linwood Barclay is, in fact, Linwood Barclay. No pen names used here!
Q: What nationality is Linwood Barclay?
A: Although born in the United State of America, Linwood Barclay is a Canadian citizen.