My new book, A Noise Downstairs, will be in stores in July (July 12th in the UK and July 24th in North America). That might – or might not – give you enough time to screw up your courage to read a book about strange sounds in the night. I guarantee you, this one is going to have you staring at the ceiling at two in the morning, wondering, “Did I just hear something?”
A Noise Downstairs is about a college professor named Paul Davis recovering from a traumatic event. He nearly died the night he discovered a colleague trying to dispose of the bodies of two women. Now, months later, while contemplating writing about the episode, his wife buys him an antique, manual typewriter. Not to write on, necessarily, but Paul has always loved these old machines, and perhaps this one will inspire him.
But there’s a problem. In the night, Paul is hearing something.
Chit, chit-chit. Chit.
It’s the sound of typing. Is Paul dreaming it? Imagining it? Are the sounds really coming from that old Underwood downstairs? Is Paul losing his mind? Is he in real danger?
The early reviews are pretty terrific. A sampling:
A.J. Finn, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Woman in the Window, had this to say:
“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.”
Peter James, author of the Roy Grace novels, says:
“One of the world’s finest thriller writers on the top of his game, this novel is a blinder, his best yet.”
Shari Lapena, author of the chart-topping The Couple Next Door, weighs in:
“Vintage Barclay – an utterly compelling read with a twist you won’t see coming. I loved it!”
And there’s this from the bestselling author of What She Knew and The Perfect Girl, Gilly Macmillan:
“A Noise Downstairs will astound, confound and thrill you. You’ll need to read it with your wits about you and you’ll want to sleep with your eyes open afterwards. A masterful novel.”
And this might be my favourite, from my wife, Neetha, who looked up after finishing A Noise Downstairs, a troubled look on her face: “Who is this man I’m married to?”
We didn’t put that last one on the cover, but maybe we should.
The British and North American covers are very similar. Maybe we should have one of those “Can you spot the differences?” games.
There will be more details in an upcoming newsletter, and as always, keep an eye on my website and Facebook author page, but I wanted to tell you now that there will be two tours this summer for the new book.
I’ll be on road in England the week of July 16, ending up in Harrogate for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival. For details and tickets, go to the festival website. As I write this I don’t know what other cities I will be visiting, but you’ll know minutes after I do.
I’ll be home barely forty-eight hours before heading out on a U.S. tour with stops in Ohio and Indiana, as well as Poisoned Pen, that fantastic bookstore in Scottsdale. There will also be a visit to Murder by the Book in Houston, and a visit to St. Louis. It all happens between July 25 and August 1.
For My U.S. Readers
My new publisher in the U.S., HarperCollins, will be offering special promotions, contests, book news and perks in an author newsletter for my books. Based in the U.S.? Sign up for that newsletter now to make sure you don’t miss a thing.
Get Ready to Escape
Escape, the sequel to Chase, my first thriller for young readers, is now out in the UK and Ireland, and will be out in Canada on May 15th. If you, or perhaps someone younger, read Chase, you know the story ended on a bit of a cliffhanger. Young Jeff and Chipper, the computer-enhanced dog with all sorts of special powers – including the ability to communicate – are on the run from the nasty Institute, which made Chipper into the kind of mutt he is. They want him back and will do anything to make it happen.
I think this second adventure is even better than the first, and the last three pages might be the best last three pages of anything I’ve done, and that’s including the books for grownups.
Readers are always asking, what’s the recommended age group for Chase and Escape? I’d say eight or nine, and up! My next-door neighbour, who’s 70-plus, keeps asking me when the sequel is coming out – and he’s not asking for one of his grandkids.
The six-part French TV series based on my novel The Accident is available for viewing, with English subtitles, in the U.S. and Canada through the Acorn TV streaming service. It’s called L’Accident, and stars Bruno Solo. While names and locations have obviously changed from the original novel, the series follows very closely the book’s storyline. And the setting, a French village on the Brittany coast, gives it a kind of Broadchurch feel. I’m very pleased with it.
And the movie version of my novel Never Saw It Coming, starring Eric Roberts and Emily Hampshire, is due out some time this year. I wrote the screenplay for this one. As soon as I have release details, I will tweet them and post them on my Facebook author page.
There are still a couple of other projects in the works that I’m sworn to secrecy about at this point, but hope to be able to tell you something before long.
No Time for Goodbye: Ten Years Later
Has it really been ten years? It was the summer of 2008 and the Richard and Judy TV book club in England had chosen No Time for Goodbye as one of its summer reads. Something no one expected happened. The book became an instant hit, spending seven weeks at #1 in the UK and finishing out the year as the top-selling novel. That book, which has now sold several million copies worldwide, changed everything for me.
Orion, my UK publisher, is putting out a special 10th anniversary edition of the novel, with a new, fantastic cover, and an introduction by yours truly. There will also be a teaser excerpt from A Noise Downstairs in the back.
This special edition paperback will be hitting stores in the UK and Ireland on May 31.
I often can’t remember what I read just a week ago, but there are some standouts.
Even though I’m a Stephen King fan, I somehow managed to get to 2018 without ever having read The Green Mile, his serialized novel from the ’90s. Talk about saving the best to last. I think this may be his masterpiece. I loved everything about this book, and have never been more moved by one of his stories. I was then interested in seeing this movie – I’d never gotten to it, either – and found it the most faithful adaptation of one of his books that I’ve seen.
(And while we’re on King, I was lucky enough to read an advance copy of The Outsider, coming in May. Awesome. I raced through it.)
I really enjoyed Laura Lippman‘s new noir-ish novel Sunburn. (I’m looking forward to sharing the stage with her at the Harrogate crime fiction festival in July. Just the two of us, talking about writing and reading and, I suspect, our mutual love of “Columbo.”)
Walter Mosley, author of the Easy Rawlins mystery series, is one of my favourite writers, and I really liked his latest, Down the River unto the Sea. It stars a new character, ex-cop turned private eye Joe King Oliver.
Someone to watch is KJ Howe (I know her as Kimberley) whose second thriller, Skyjack, starts off at a hundred miles per hour and never stops.
As for what we’re watching, I have the unofficial title of entertainment director at our house, which means I am in charge of finding not just good, but terrific series for us to watch, and I’ve been scrambling a bit lately. The good news is, Homeland is back (and it has never been better) and The Americans has just returned for its final season. I’ll be sorry to see this one go. For the last five years it has been one of the best shows on TV. And The Good Fight, a spinoff from The Good Wife, which I thought had only a so-so first season, is really cooking in its second season.
I’ve probably already raved about such things as Ozark and The Crown and Mindhunter. That other Netflix series, about tracking down the Unabomber, was good, but not fantastic. And on the lighter side, there is a Canadian series called Kim’s Convenience which, if you can find it where you live, is funny and delightful. We’ve been binge-watching.
Staying in Touch
You can follow me on Facebook, and over on Twitter (where I get a bit political at times). When I know more about appearances, the information will show up there first. My website is in the process of being rebuilt; we will keep the existing one as up-to-date as possible until we relaunch. Here are the links for everything: