Linwood Barclay

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Linwood Barclay
Born 1955
United States of America.[1]
Language English
Nationality Canadian
Alma mater Trent University
Subject Crime, humor
Notable works No Time For Goodbye; Trust Your Eyes
Children Spencer Barclay, Paige Barclay [2]

Linwood Barclay (born 1955) is an American-born Canadian author, noted as a novelist, humourist, and (former) columnist. His popular detective novels are bestsellers in Canada and internationally, beginning with No Time for Goodbye in 2007.

He was born in Darien, Connecticut, son of Muriel and Everett Barclay. His father was a professional illustrator who moved his family to Canada in 1959 where he had accepted a job with William R. Templeton Studios in Toronto. In 1966 the Barclay family purchased a vacation campground in Bobcageon, Ontario, which they ran for about five years until the death of his father from lung cancer.

Linwood Barclay recognized his interest in writing detective fiction at an early age, inspired by the works of Ross Macdonald, who had grown up in Kitchener, Ontario.[3] After graduating high school Barclay studied literature at Trent University in Peterborough, where one of his teachers was the noted novelist Margaret Laurence. While at university, he began a correspondence with Ross Macdonald that proved inspirational for Barclay. They met once, at which time Macdonald inscribed one of his books to Barclay, "For Linwood, who will, I hope, someday outwrite me."[3]

After graduation, he could not sell any of his novels so he found work on a number of local newspapers, eventually landing a job at the Toronto Star in 1981. In 1993, following the death of Gary Lautens, he began to write a thrice-weekly humour column for the paper. He also released podcasts of his articles and published three collections: Mike Harris Made Me Eat My Dog, Father Knows Zilch: A Guide for Dumbfounded Dads, and This House Is Nuts!. Between 2004 and 2007, while still writing his column, he published four mystery/comedies, all featuring a sleuth named Zack Walker who works as a newspaper columnist by day. The books were published in England and were modestly successful.[3]

His break came in 2007 when he published No Time for Goodbye. A runaway bestseller in the United Kingdom, it quickly sold a million copies there and elsewhere.[3] He took a one year sabbatical to promote his novel and he planned to return to the Star in September 2008 but on June 28, 2008 he wrote his last column, announcing his retirement from the Star. His 2012 novel Trust Your Eyes was a finalist for Crime Thriller Book Club Best Read from the UK Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards.[4] At the time of its publication, it was announced that Trust Your Eyes had been optioned by a Hollywood studio, Barclay making the cover of Variety Magazine because of the bidding war it had caused.[3][5]

Barclay lives in Oakville, Ontario, with his wife of more than three decades, Neetha.



  • Last Resort: A Memoir (2000, finalist for the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour)


  • Mike Harris Made Me Eat My Dog
  • Father Knows Zilch: A Guide for Dumbfounded Dads
  • This House Is Nuts! : Surviving the Absurdities of Everyday Life


Year Title Publisher Notes
2004 Bad Move Bantam 1st Zack Walker novel
2005 Bad Guys Bantam 2nd Zack Walker novel
2006 Lone Wolf Bantam 3rd Zack Walker novel
2007 Stone Rain Bantam 4th Zack Walker novel
2007 No Time for Goodbye Orion Featured on Richard & Judy's Summer reading list
2008 Too Close to Home Bantam Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel (2009)[6]
2009 Fear the Worst Bantam
2010 Never Look Away Delacorte Press
2011 The Accident Orion
2011 Clouded Vision Orion Quick read
2012 Trust Your Eyes [7] Doubleday Canada ISBN 978-0-385-66957-3. Originally titled 360: A Novel ISBN 978-0-553807950
2013 Never Saw it Coming Orion Based on the novella Clouded Vision. ISBN 978-1409141419
2013 A Tap on the Window New American Library ISBN 978-0451414182
2014 No Safe House Doubleday Canada ISBN 978-0451414205. Sequel to No Time for Goodbye 2007
2015 Broken Promise New American Library ISBN 978-0451472670


  1. ^ Linwood Barclay, Orion Books
  2. ^ Author bio, Orion Books
  3. ^ a b c d e Medley, Mark (22 July 2013). "The King of Spooky: Linwood Barclay’s rise from suburban dad to Canada’s biggest fiction export". Toronto Life. Retrieved September 26, 2012. 
  4. ^ ITV Press Centre (25 October 2013). "Winners unmasked at Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards 2013 on ITV3". ITV Press Centre. Retrieved 19 February 2014
  5. ^ Sneider, Jeff (19 February 2014). "Todd Phillips to direct thriller ‘Trust Your Eyes’". Variety. Retrieved 19 February 2014. 
  6. ^ 2009 Arthur Ellis Awards Winners Crime Writers of Canada, (retrieved 11/21/2012)
  7. ^ "Trust Your Eyes". Trailer, Bantam. 2012. p. l. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 

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