Linwood Barclay. Please switch on images
December 2016 Newsletter
Looking back on 2016, looking ahead to 2017 -
and beyond
I probably say this every year, but wow, what a year!

In the last twelve months, books two and three of the Promise Falls trilogy have been published (Far From True and The Twenty-Three), I've written two novels that have yet to be released, been on set for a French TV series based on my novel The Accident, and, perhaps the coolest thing of all, went to Hamburg to see the biggest model railway in the world. Yes, you heard that last one right.

The Twenty-Three came out in the UK in September, and November 1 in North America. I like what The Globe and Mail said:

"This trilogy is the best thing Linwood Barclay has written and The Twenty-Three is the best book of the bunch."

And I really like what The Washington Post said:

"A slam-bang conclusion that will surprise even hard-core thriller writers ... The three books are one giant novel with elements that make each one stand apart. The best way to enjoy Barclay's gift for storytelling is to start at the beginning and binge-read, like a page-turning version of Netflix."

With all three books now out, one of the best binge-reads ever is waiting for you.

Promise Falls Trilogy

I felt that all the plot threads from Broken Promise (book one of the trilogy) and Far From True were tied off in The Twenty-Three, but a few readers have felt there are still a couple of unanswered questions.

For example: Is Detective Barry Duckworth okay?

Okay, I'm going to give something away. He is.

Not only is Duckworth okay, but he returns in 2017 in the final Promise Falls novel, which (drum roll, please) finally has a title!

The last Promise Falls book is called Parting Shot.

It stars not only Barry Duckworth, but private investigator Cal Weaver. While Parting Shot is not part of the trilogy, it does deal somewhat with the fallout from it. Barry and Cal are working different cases that are leading to an inevitable intersection.

Parting Shot is due for a late April release in the UK. The North American publication date will be later in 2017. When I find out more, I'll let you know, including sharing the cover!

Chase cover design
Also coming in July, my first novel for younger readers. The first book in this series is called Chase, and we have a tentative cover to show you. I've talked about this one before, and have described it this way: think The Bourne Identity, but the hero is a dog.

And I have just finished the first draft of my first post-Promise Falls novel for adults. It's a standalone thriller, and I'm very excited about it. I don't want to say too much about it, but I'll say this much: Imagine you acquired an old, manual typewriter that may have once belonged to a killer. And imagine furthermore that you could hear someone typing on it in the middle of the night . . .

This book will be coming out in early 2018.

Linwood_s typewriter

Two different - but t hrilling - lists for the holidays!
The number "23" has been a major theme this year! In that vein, I have put together a couple of lists - my 23 favourite thriller movies and my 23 favourite TV shows to binge. In the next newsletter, I'll share my top 23 favourite thriller novels. Check out the lists on my website.
Top movies and TV of 2016
There was a time when we were at a movie theater at least once a week. I still love movies as much as I ever did, but I can go months without heading out to an actual multiplex. (Let us all praise iTunes and Netflix.) I'm happier in the basement in front of our huge screen, not having to deal with the talkers and wrapper crinklers and texters surrounding me.

But one way or another, we've seen some good movies this year. Among them: Arrival, Hail, Caesar!, 10 Cloverfield Lane, Indignation, Hitchcock/Truffaut (a 2015 release). Some movies hailed as among the year's finest - Hell or High Water comes to mind - we've yet to see. And I'd like to recommend a documentary called The Other Side of Desire, about Rickie Lee Jones. Full disclosure: it's directed by our friend Gail Harvey, who is to start shooting Never Saw It Coming, based on my novel of the same name, in March. (I wrote the screenplay.)

And speaking of Hitchcock, a wonderful photo of him by legendary photojournalist Harry Benson now keeps watch over me in my office.

Hitchcock keep watch over Linwood_s office

Regular readers know I am a Batman fan, but if I never see another superhero movie, that will be just fine. Batman v Superman was a pretentious bore. I lasted only ten minutes into Captain America: Civil War. I couldn't even sit through the trailer for Deadpool. I grew up on comic books, and still read them, but please, please, could we have more movies about real people in real situations? Even this year's Star Trek flick, Star Trek Beyond, was nothing more than a two-hour fireworks display without any real story.

The good news is, where movies let us down, TV delivered.

Great shows from this past year: Better Call Saul, Veep, The Americans, The Night Manager, The Night Of,   American Crime Story: The People v O.J. Simpson, 11/22/63, The Crown, and Westworld.

Biggest disappointment of the year: Those new episodes of The X-Files. These were not just the worst outings for Mulder and Scully. A couple of them stood out as the worst television episodes ever made, of ANY series.
Favourite books of 2016
Given that I wrote two novels this year, I didn't read as many books as I might have liked. It's not that I refuse to read while writing (some authors say it distracts them), it's just that there isn't enough time.

But when I took a month in August I raced through End of Watch by Stephen King, The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin, The Fireman by Joe Hill, Grunt by Mary Roach and A Truck Full of Money by Tracy Kidder.

There are three standouts I want to mention:
  • The Secret History of Twin Peaks by Mark Frost. An ambitious, exhaustive look at the backstory of this strange town. Fun to read before the show returns in 2017.
  • It's All One Case: The Illustrated Ross Macdonald Archives by Paul Nelson and Kevin Avery, with Jeff Wong. The ultimate coffee table book for fans of the creator of Lew Archer.
  • Everybody's Fool by Richard Russo. My favourite novel of the year. A follow-up to Russo's Nobody's Fool, this stunning novel manages to be tragic, hilarious, and heartwarming.
A bit of this, a bit of that

Finley Springs Water
In early November I did a quick U.S. tour for The Twenty-Three that took me to Charleston, Scottsdale (where I did an event at the fabulous Poisoned Pen bookstore), and Burbank. The folks at the Burbank Public Library offered bottled water to people who came out for my reading. The bottles looked like this.
For anyone who's read the trilogy, this could not have been more perfect.

And speaking of Poisoned Pen, if you're looking for an autographed, hardcover edition of The Twenty-Three, they have some. Great for gift-giving, even of the "to me/from me" variety .

My friend Peter James interviewed me for his YouTube channel.
You can see it here:

Interview with Peter James

I appeared on the new CTV show Your Morning to talk about The Twenty-Three:

Linwood on Your Morning CTV show

"L'Accident," the French TV series based on my novel The Accident, is set to air on the France 3 network sometime in the spring. If you haven't already seen it, here's a trailer for the six-part series (in French, but still compelling even if you don't know what everyone is saying). I've seen the first two episodes, with English subtitles, and the adaptation is very faithful to the novel.

Trailer for L_Accident

And if you'd like to know how I came up with Detective Barry Duckworth, read this piece for The Big Thrill, the magazine of the International Thriller Writers.

So, that's a wrap
That sounds like a good name for a sandwich shop. But anyway, that's it for 2016. Thanks, as always, to all of you who've picked up one of my books this year. And a special shout-out to the folks who run bookstores, the unsung heroes of the publishing industry. Without all your efforts, none of this would matter.

Best wishes to everyone this holiday season. I'll be back with more news in 2017. In the meantime, you can keep an eye on me here:

So long!