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All of Linwood Barclay’s Books in Order!
Who is Linwood Barclay?
American-born Canadian author, Linwood Barclay is a novelist, a humorist, and a (former) columnist known for his crime novels—notably for the Zach Walker series, but also for The Promise Falls Trilogy.
With the success of his books, he quickly stopped working as a columnist (in 2008) in order to dedicate himself to his writing, publishing more than twenty books since then like Never Look Away, Never Saw it Coming, A Noise Downstairs, Chase, and a lot more—some with recurring characters.
How to read Linwood Barclay’s Books In Order?
I. The Zack Walker series
Zack Walker plotted to transplant his city-savvy wife and two teenage kids to the tranquillity of the burbs–where planned communities prevail and fathers rest easy. Well, not quite…
- Bad Move (2004) – When Zack Walker realizes their two-faced developer sent a petty thief to fix their leaky shower, he starts fighting hard to ignore the fact that Oakwood isn’t the crime-free paradise he was hoping for. But his brief state of denial comes to an abrupt end when, during a walk by the creek, he stumbles across a dead body. Even more shocking, Zack actually knows who the victim is—and who might want him dead.
- Bad Guys (2005) – Zack is back, and much to his family’s relief, the work-at-home science-fiction writer has left the house to take a job as a features writer for the city paper. But now that Zack’s incessant plotting can no longer be hatched from the comforts of his own home, he must be ever more vigilant to outwit the evil at large, whether in the suburbs, the city, or his own imagination. Zack is ready…or so he thinks.
- Lone Wolf (2006) – Newspaper writer, family man, and reluctant hero Zack Walker has stumbled onto some dicey stories before, but nothing like what he’s about to uncover when a mutilated corpse is found at his father’s lakeside fishing camp. As always, Zack fears the worst. And this time, his paranoid worldview is dead-on.
- Stone Rain (2007) – Metropolitan newspaper writer Zack Walker has a knack for stumbling onto deadly stories. But it’s one that his good friend Trixie Snelling doesn’t want told that’s about to unleash a storm of trouble. As a professional dominatrix in the suburbs, Trixie has her share of secrets, but Zack has no idea what she’s really hiding when a local newspaperman threatens to do an exposé on her…not until Zack finds a dead body strapped to the bondage cross in her basement dungeon.
II. The No Time For Goodbye series
- No Time for Goodbye (2007) – Cynthia is happily married with a young daughter, a new family. But the story of her old family isn’t over. A strange car in the neighborhood, untraceable phone calls, ominous “gifts”–someone has returned to her hometown to finish what was started twenty-five years ago. And no one’s innocence is guaranteed, not even her own. By the time Cynthia discovers her killer’s shocking identity, it will again be too late . . . even for goodbye.
- No Safe House (2014) – Seven years ago, Terry Archer and his family experienced a horrific ordeal that nearly cost them their lives. Today, the echoes of that fateful night are still audible. Terry’s wife, Cynthia, is living separate from her husband and daughter after her own personal demons threatened to ruin her relationship with them permanently. Terry is just trying to keep his family together. And the entire town is reeling from the senseless murder of two elderly locals. But when their daughter Grace foolishly follows her delinquent boyfriend into a strange house, the Archers must do more than stay together. They must stay alive. Because now they have all been unwillingly drawn into the shadowy depths of their seemingly idyllic hometown.
The Promise Falls Trilogy
This trilogy featured David Harwood who previously appeared in “Never Look Away” (2010) and Private investigator Cal Weaver from “A Tap on the Window” (2013) and “Parting Shot” (2017).
- Broken Promise (2015) – After his wife’s death and the collapse of his newspaper, David Harwood has no choice but to uproot his nine-year-old son and move back into his childhood home in Promise Falls, New York. David believes his life is in free fall, and he can’t find a way to stop his descent. Then he comes across a family secret of epic proportions. A year after a devastating miscarriage, David’s cousin Marla has continued to struggle. But when David’s mother asks him to check on her, he’s horrified to discover that she’s been secretly raising a child who is not her own—a baby she claims was a gift from an “angel” left on her porch.
- Final Assignment (short story) – Private investigator Cal Weaver doesn’t know what to expect when he’s called to the home of Chandler Carson. The sixteen-year-old has been suspended for writing a violent story about a bat-wielding teen who beats his best friend to death over a girl. Much to Chandler’s mother’s surprise, there’s nothing that Cal is willing to do—or can do—about it. Soon after, Chandler’s best friend is found murdered—beaten to death by a bat. Cal knew the victim, and now he knows the prime suspect. But there’s more to this story than anyone could have imagined…
- Far From True (2016) – After the screen of a run-down drive-in movie theater collapses and kills four people, the daughter of one of the victims asks private investigator Cal Weaver to look into a recent break-in at her father’s house. Cal discovers a hidden basement room where it’s clear that salacious activities have taken place—as well as evidence of missing DVDs. But his investigation soon becomes more complicated when he realizes it may not be discs the thief was actually interested in…
- The Twenty-Three (2016) – It’s May 23, and small-town Promise Falls finds itself in the midst of a full-blown catastrophe with dozens dead from a flu-like virus. Investigator Cal Weaver quickly zeros in on mass poisoning and a tainted water supply. Meanwhile, a college student has been murdered, and Detective Barry Duckworth recognizes a killer’s handiwork from the unsolved homicides of two women in town. Suddenly, the strange events from the last month start to add up….Bloody mannequins in car “23” of an abandoned Ferris wheel…a fiery, out-of-control bus with “23” on the back…“23” on the hoodie of a man accused of assault.
IV. The Chase series
- Chase (2017) – Chipper is a very special dog. As part of a top-secret, multi-million dollar experiment to create the ultimate canine spy technology, Chipper’s whole life has been spent within the walls of a secret organization known only as The Institute. Chipper is supposed to be more machine than mutt, but something’s wrong and The Institute knows it. He’s about to be terminated. Across the state, twelve-year-old orphan Jeff Conway is working all hours at his aunt Flo’s lakeside cabin business. He misses his parents, his old life, and the dog he had to leave behind. When Chipper escapes and his and Jeff’s paths collide, dog and boy find themselves tangled up in the most dangerous game of chase imaginable…
- Escape (2018) – 12-year-old Jeff and genetically engineered spy dog Chipper are on the run from the mysterious and sinister government organization known only as The Institute. Due to a combination of bravery, luck, and some of Chipper’s more useful modifications, they’ve managed to evade their pursuers so far. But The Institute is closing in and Chipper and Jeff will have to stay one step ahead if they want to stay alive…
V. Other novels by Linwood Barclay
- Too Close to Home (2008) – Promise Falls isn’t the kind of community where a family is shot to death in their own home. But that is exactly what happened to the Langleys one sweltering summer night, and no one in this small upstate New York town is more shocked than their next-door neighbors, Jim and Ellen Cutter. They visited for the occasional barbecue and their son, Derek, was friends with the Langleys’ boy, Adam; but how well did they really know their neighbors?
- Fear the Worst (2009) – Tim Blake is an average guy. He sells cars. He has an ex-wife who’s moved in with another man. It’s not a life without hassles, but nothing will prepare him for when his daughter, Sydney, vanishes into thin air. At the hotel where she supposedly worked, no one has ever heard of her. Even her closest friends seem to be at a loss. As he retraces Sydney’s steps, Tim discovers that the suburban Connecticut town he always thought of as idyllic is anything but. What he doesn’t know is that his every move is being watched. There are others who want to find Sydney as much as Tim does.
- Never Look Away (2010) – A warm summer Saturday. An amusement park. David Harwood is glad to be spending some quality time with his wife and their four-year-old son. But what begins as a pleasant family outing turns into a nightmare after an inexplicable disappearance. A frantic search only leads to an even more shocking and harrowing turn of events. Until this terrifying moment, David Harwood is just a small-town reporter in need of a break. Now the only thing he cares about is restoring his family. Desperate for any clue, David dives into his own investigation—and into a web of lies and deceit. For with every new piece of evidence he uncovers, David finds more questions—and moves ever closer to a shattering truth.
- The Accident (2011) – Glen Garber, a contractor, has seen his business shaken by the housing crisis, and now his wife, Sheila, is taking a business course at night to increase her chances of landing a good-paying job. But she should have been home by now. With their eight-yearold daughter sleeping soundly, Glen soon finds his worst fears confirmed: Sheila and two others have been killed in a car accident. Grieving and in denial, Glen resolves to investigate the accident himself—and begins to uncover layers of lawlessness beneath the placid surface of their Connecticut suburb, secret after dangerous secret behind the closed doors. Propelled into a vortex of corruption and illegal activity, pursued by mysterious killers, and confronted by threats from neighbors he thought he knew, Glen must take his own desperate measures and go to terrifying new places in himself to avenge his wife and protect his child.
- Trust Your Eyes (2012) – Thomas Kilbride is a schizophrenic who spends his days and nights on a Web site called Whirl360. He travels the world without ever leaving his bedroom and memorizes the details of every street in every city. Then one day, he sees an image that looks like a woman being murdered in a window in New York City. Thomas’s brother, Ray, knows Thomas’s paranoia all too well. But if this time it’s real, both of them will have more to deal with than Thomas’s delusions. Because someone somewhere is watching them.…
- Never Saw it Coming (book based on the 2011 novella Clouded Vision, 2013) – Keisha Ceylon is a psychic. At least, that’s what she tells people. She watches the news for stories of missing people, then waits a few days and goes to see the family and offers help–for a price, of course. Keisha’s latest mark is Wendell Garfield, whose wife disappeared a week ago. She’s seen him on TV, pleading for his wife to come home, or for whoever took her to let her go. Keisha tells Wendell her vision of what might have happened. Unluckily for Keisha, her vision turns out to be alarmingly close to the truth…
- A Tap on the Window (2013) – Since private investigator Cal Weaver’s teenage son died in a tragic accident, Cal and his wife have drifted apart. Cal is mired in a grief he can’t move past. And maybe his grief has clouded his judgment. Driving home one night, a rain-drenched girl taps on his car window and asks for a ride. He knows a grown man picking up a teenage hitchhiker is foolish—but he lets her in. Cal soon senses that something’s not right with the girl or the situation. But it’s too late. He’s already involved.
- Parting Shot (2017) – A young girl is killed by a drunk driver. Shaken by the tragedy, the local community wants justice. It doesn’t matter that the accused is only a kid himself. When he’s given a soft sentence, the outcry reaches fever pitch. Under siege from threats of revenge, the boy and his desperate family hire Private Investigator Cal Weaver to trace the senders. But in a town full of suspects, it could be anyone…
- A Noise Downstairs (2018) – After nearly losing his own life, Paul is battling PTSD and depression. To cheer him up, his wife, Charlotte, gives him a present: a vintage typewriter—complete with ink ribbons and heavy round keys. Inspired, Paul writes about the terrifying experience that damaged his life. However, the typewriter soon becomes a source of anxiety. Paul swears he can hear the keys clacking in the early hours of the morning. Charlotte and his son deny hearing any strange sounds. Only Paul hears the noise coming from downstairs. Are his claims real—or is he going off the rails as Charlotte fears?
- Elevator Pitch (2019) – It all begins on a Monday, when four people board an elevator in a Manhattan office tower. Each presses a button for their floor, but the elevator proceeds, non-stop, to the top. Once there, it stops for a few seconds, and then plummets. Right to the bottom of the shaft. It appears to be a horrific, random tragedy. But then, on Tuesday, it happens again, in a different Manhattan skyscraper. And when Wednesday brings yet another high-rise catastrophe, one of the most vertical cities in the world—and the nation’s capital of media, finance, and entertainment—is plunged into chaos.
- Find You First (2021) – Tech millionaire Miles Cookson has more money than he can ever spend and everything he could dream of – except time. He has recently been diagnosed with a terminal illness. Two decades ago, a young, struggling Miles was a sperm donor. Somewhere out there, he has kids – nine of them. And they might be about to inherit both the good and the bad from him. As Miles begins to search for the children he’s never known, aspiring film documentarian Chloe Swanson embarks on a quest to find her biological father. When Miles and Chloe eventually connect, their excitement at finding each other is overshadowed by a series of mysterious and terrifying events. One by one, Miles’ other potential heirs are vanishing.
- Take Your Breath Away (2022) – One weekend, while Andrew Mason was on a fishing trip, his wife, Brie, vanished without a trace. Most everyone assumed Andy had got away with murder—it’s always the husband, isn’t it?—but the police could never build a strong case against him. Now, six years later, Andy has finally put his life back together. But Andy’s peaceful world is about to shatter. One day, a woman shows up at his old address, screaming, “Where’s my house? What’s happened to my house?” And then, just as suddenly as she appeared, the woman—who bears a striking resemblance to Brie—is gone. The police are notified and old questions—and dark suspicions—resurface.
- Look Both Ways (2022) – The media have descended on Garrett Island, a small, isolated community that is the setting of a visionary experiment. All the residents’ cars were sent to the mainland and for the past month the islanders have been “driving” the Arrival, a revolutionary autonomous vehicle. With a simple voice command, an Arrival will take you wherever you want to go and, because the fleet is networked and aware of one another, car travel is now 100% safe. The future, it seems, has arrived. But as the celebratory day gets underway, disaster strikes. A visiting journalist has vanished, possibly murdered. Before long, the Arrivals run amok, no longer taking orders from their passengers. They’re starting to organize. They’re beginning to hunt. And they seem hell-bent on killing any human they encounter.
- The Lie Maker (2023) -“Your dad’s not a good person. Your dad killed people, son.” These are some of the last words Jack Givins’ father spoke to him before he was whisked away by witness protection, leaving Jack and his mother to pick up the shattered pieces of their lives as best they could. Years later, Jack is a grown man with problems of his own. He’s a talented but struggling author, barely scraping by on the royalties from his moderately successful first book. So when the U.S. Marshals approach him with a lucrative opportunity, he’s in no position to turn them down. They’re recruiting writers like Jack to create false histories for people in witness protection—people like Jack’s father. The coincidence is astonishing to Jack at first, but he soon realizes this may be a chance to find his dad. Only there’s one problem—Jack’s father hasn’t made contact with his handlers recently, and they have no idea where he is. He could be in serious danger, and Jack may be the only one who can find him.
If you like Linwood Barclay’s books, you may also want to take a look at our Harlan Coben reading order, or at the Tom Thorne series. Don’t hesitate to follow us on Twitter or Facebook to discover more book series.