Today is publication day in the UK and Ireland for A Noise Downstairs (creepy title, right?), and readers in Canada and the United States will see the book on Tuesday, July 24. I think this may be the best book I've ever done, certainly the best since my breakthrough novel, No Time for Goodbye, which came out ten years ago. (More about No Time for Goodbye in a bit...).
A Noise Downstairs is about college professor Paul Davis dealing with post-traumatic stress after discovering a friend, several months earlier, disposing of two bodies. Paul nearly ended up dead himself. As he struggles to come to terms with what happened, and how someone he thought he knew could do something so horrific, he thinks maybe writing about it will help.
His wife Charlotte gives him an old, manual Underwood typewriter - Paul loves these old machines, even if he does his actual writing on a laptop - in the hopes that it will inspire him.
This is my old Underwood, inspiration for the novel
But very soon, Paul starts hearing noises in the night. Chit chit, chit chit chit. Typewriter sounds. Charlotte's wife hears nothing. His son swears he wasn't playing with it after his father had gone to bed. Paul starts to consider the unthinkable, that his friend's victims are trying to send him a message through the Underwood. Is Paul really hearing something? Is he losing his mind? And is trying to discover the truth the most dangerous thing he could do?
US Edition Published July 24th
The advance reviews are fantastic. Consider:
"Vintage Barclay - A Noise Downstairs is an utterly compelling read with a twist you won't see coming."
Shari Lapena, author of The Couple Next Door
"Barclay's nerve-wracking tale will have readers scared to close their eyes at night." Library Journal
"Barclay's novels - as intelligent as Michael Connelly's, as compelling as Harlan Coben's - never fail to astonish. (This), 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, author of The Woman in the Window
"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, author of the Roy Grace novels
And it's also an Indie Next selection, as well as noted as Barnes & Noble Best Mysteries selection.
It was chosen as one of the Summer Reads by the Richard & Judy Book Club, and something crazy happened. It became the biggest selling book in the club's history and finished out the year as the top-selling novel in the UK.
In celebration of this anniversary, my UK publisher, Orion, has issued a special edition, with a dynamite new cover.
It's available now in the UK and Ireland.
Canadian Events this Fall
While I am not doing a cross-Canada tour for A Noise Downstairs, there are some events this fall in Ontario I want to let you know about.
First of all, there's going to an "in conversation" night at the Oakville Centre on September 12. For ticket info, go here.
On September 23, I will be making two appearances at Toronto's Word on the Street festival, one for A Noise Downstairs, and another for my second thriller for children, Escape. Once the schedule is done, you'll find it here.
If you live in the Kitchener-Waterloo area of Ontario, there are going to be several events September 25-27. My novel Broken Promise, the first book in my Promise Falls trilogy, has been chosen for the 2018 Waterloo Region's One Book, One Community event. The schedule of appearances is still taking shape, but you can learn more here.
Toronto's famous International Festival of Authors is back in October, and I will be doing two events. On October 23 I will be interviewing Ian Rankin, and on October 26 I'm on a panel with Joy Fielding and Shari Lapena, talking about killing people (fictionally, of course). The details for these events are also being worked out, so keep an eye on the festival website.
New Linwood Barclay Website
After looking pretty much the same for years, my website, www.linwoodbarclay.com, has undergone a total makeover! (It's also been working out, and may even have lost a few pounds.)
It's filled with information about me, my books and where you can get them, as well as an archive of all these newsletters.
Never Saw it Coming, the film shot last year in Sudbury by director Gail Harvey, based on my book - and my screenplay - is making the festival rounds. Last fall, it was shown at the Whistler Film Festival, and in June it was selected for the Soho International Film Festival in New York. The movie stars Emily Hampshire, of Schitt's Creek and the 12 Monkeys TV adaptation, Eric Roberts (of pretty much everything) and Katie Boland. The movie had a great reception at Soho, and I love this movie more every time I see it. Gail has done a great job with it.
As soon as I have news about a general release - in theaters or TV or cable - I'll alert everyone on my Facebook author page, Twitter, and my website. There may also be a couple of special showings in the Toronto area in August. Again, I'll let you know ASAP.
My wife Neetha and I outside the screening of Never Saw It Coming at the Soho Film Festival
L'Accident, the French series based on the novel The Accident, aired in May on France 3 and got some very good numbers, the producers tell me. One media outlet asked, will there be a season two? Well, I haven't written a sequel to The Accident, but anything's possible, right? If you're in Canada or the United States and would like to see this series - with English subtitles - it is available through the Acorn TV streaming service.
And I'm finally able to tell everyone that my Promise Falls trilogy - Broken Promise, Far from True, and The Twenty-Three - has been optioned for a TV series by Entertainment One. I've been brought in to help write the pitch we'll be making to various networks, and write the pilot if it gets picked up. The Globe and Mail did a story about it, which you can read here:
Chase, my first thriller for young readers, about a very special dog outfitted by a sinister organization with loads of computer software, came out last year in the UK and Canada to some very nice reviews and is now out in paperback in those markets.
The really good news is, Chase has won, in Canada, an Arthur Ellis Award for best crime novel for young readers. The timing couldn't be better, given that the award was announced just as the sequel, Escape, was coming out.