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Barclay started writing with the Zack Walker series if novels back in 2004 however it wasn’t until he started writing standalone thrillers that he became a household name.
The first novel he wrote is Too Close to Home in 2008 and he has written many novels since then. The majority of them are standalones however they all are generally based in the same universe in a town called Promise Falls and there are a few books that have turned into a series.
I’m going to list what I feel are the Top 5 Linwood Barclay books and believe me this was tough to narrow down:
#5: Promise Falls Trilogy:
This is an incredible trilogy and all 3 books should be read together. Read them after the other standalones though – Barclay is best to read in publication order as there is massive spoilers in this one for previous books and recurring characters.
The books are Broken Promise followed by Far From True then the Twenty Three. A very ambitious attempt by Barclay and I found the best way to read them was back to back. They sort of lost a bit if read a year apart as I did originally but when I sat down and read them back to back – wow, just wow. IT all comes together amazingly.
#4: Trust Your Eyes:
A very fun one featuring Thomas Kilbride who is schizophrenic, and obsessed with Whirl360 – basically it’s Google Maps or Google Earth without the brand name. He spends his time in his room constantly traveling the world via Whirl360. However he stumbles upon an image in a window in nearby New York – an image which looks like someone is being murdered. I’m sure we’ve all scrutinized Google Maps etc over the years – imagine seeing an actual murder take place? This is a hell of a book.
#3: Fear the Worst:
Sydney Blake is 17 years old and enjoying her Summer living with her father and working at a hotel. However one night she fails to come home and when checked upon, the hotel manager says that Sydney never worked there……
#2: Never Look Away:
David Harwood is a reporter undergoing a fair bit of stress at work due to outsourcing by the newspaper. He decides that him, his wife and their 4 year old son need a little break so they head to the local theme park. The son goes missing and David and his wife go to look for him. David finds his son…..but now suddenly his wife has disappeared. An incredible book and almost the pinnacle of Barclays writing.
#1: No Time For Goodbye:
I get goosebumps just thinking of the plot of this book. 14 year old Cynthia gets in a big fight with her family and then goes to bed. She wakes up in the morning and they’re gone. All gone. Her mother. Her father. Her brother. All of them have disappeared and are never found. The book takes place 25 years later with Cynthia looking to find the answers.