Last summer, a girlfriend of mine mentioned that she’d just read a book by Linwood Barclay and my curiosity was instantly piqued. Growing up, my mom always read Barclay’s column in the Toronto Star and many a night, over family dinner, she’d read his column to us. The columns I remember were humorous and anecdotal, providing a peek into a slice of Barclay’s life at home with his wife and children Paige and Spencer. Even now, writing this, I find it somewhat strange that I don’t have to Google ‘Linwood Barclay kids’ to find out their names. I remember them from those columns we read some 20 (or more?) years ago. Something about his columns just … stuck.
So when my friend turned me on to his books, I was shocked to discover that a) he’s so prolific; so many titles to choose from! and b) that he’s writing thrillers … and has been for years!
I started off with Never Look Away, followed quickly by The Accident. These books, if somewhat formulaic, are thrilling page-turners and if you’ve got the time, can easily be devoured in less than 24 hours. Each book begins with a horrifying premise that, if you really stop and think about, will give you chills. What if you wake up one morning and your entire family has vanished? What if your daughter disappears and when you visit her place of employment, no one has ever heard of her? What if the entire family next door to you is murdered? But these, shall we say, unfortunate circumstances, are merely the springboards into Barclay’s stories. From there, each story takes unexpected twists and turns. As I’m reading, I’m always trying to get one step ahead of the case but can’t quite make it. And this is what will keep you up at night, unable to turn the light off. You just have to keep reading to find out what the hell is going on.
All five of the books pictured above are fantastic summer reads. Most of the books feature a similar protagonist, a down-and-out but immensely likeable husband or father figure who turns to the police for help but ends up realizing that if you want a job done right, you have to do it yourself. And so the nice dad turns rogue cop and while this approach may be predictable, the adventures that each one goes on are anything but.
Linwood Barclay’s newest book, A Tap on the Window, will be released on August 6. I’ll be one of the first to download it! You should too. You won’t be disappointed.
Check out these great titles from Linwood Barclay:
Never Look Away
No Time For Goodbye
Too Close to Home
Fear the Worst
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