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A Noise Downstairs: A Novel by Linwood…
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A Noise Downstairs: A Novel

by Linwood Barclay

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I have read everything to date that Linwood Barclay has written...and while I can say that some were better than others....however I have to say that I have never read a bad, or even mediocre book that he has written. This story features a cast of characters that each had a motive, an opportunity, and a good reason to be suspected of the crime. The burning question throughout was had a crime even been committed? The reader will change their mind a dozen times before the conclusion. Just a word of warning...be prepare to be blindsided by an ending you will never see coming. ( )
  Carol420 | Dec 30, 2018 |
Linwood Barclay has the reputation of being a poor man's Harlen Coben. I don't know if that's a fair reputation because at times he's better than Coben. Unfortunately, this isn't one of those times.

Barclay specializes in taking situations and setting them up as being supernatural in nature, only to pull back the curtain and reveal the trick. Here the supernatural elements involve a typewriter sending messages from beyond the grave to a nearly murdered college professor.

Barclay works hard to send the reader down wrong turns and at times the deception works, but mostly it gets in the way of the narrative. Character development suffers as well, as adequate empathy is never built up with the characters. Barclay has done well in this area in the past so I'm not sure why this book suffers from the malaise.

All in all, this book represents a fine way to spend a weekend. Just don't set your expectations too high and enjoy it for what it is; an adequate thriller with some fairly interesting characters and a few plot twists. ( )
  norinrad10 | Nov 19, 2018 |
"A Noise Downstairs," by Linwood Barclay, is a domestic thriller in which Paul Davis, a college professor and all-around nice guy, finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. He is driving around at night with no particular destination in mind when he spots his colleague and former mentor, Kenneth Hoffman, on the road, steering his Volvo erratically. Davis is concerned, and follows Hoffman to see what is going on and, if necessary, offer his assistance. The subsequent encounter ends disastrously for both men. Paul incurs a serious head injury, and subsequently suffers from PTSD, headaches, memory loss, and occasional disorientation. Adding to his woes is his suspicion that his wife Charlotte, a real estate agent, may be fed up with him. To help him cope while he tries to regain his footing, Paul regularly visits a psychologist, Dr. Anna White.

Barclay delivers the goods in this clever and intriguing page-turner. First, he creates interesting characters, some of whom make choices that could conceivably come back to haunt them. Paul, for example, decides to exorcise his inner demons by confronting them head-on, but in doing so, he may be making a bad situation even worse. In addition, Barclay's devilish and brilliantly constructed plot has red herrings that keep us off-balance and shocking twists and turns. Only extremely savvy readers will figure out, at least partially, where the author is headed. Finally, the dialogue, descriptive writing, and prose style are crisp, fast-paced, and absorbing. We identify with Paul's angst, especially when he starts to believe that he may be losing his ability to think and behave rationally.

This ironic, creepy, and sometimes darkly humorous story focuses on such traits as self-centeredness, a compulsive need to control others, lust, and deceit that lead people to commit terrible deeds. Barclay deftly manipulates us, and at least one development is absolutely stunning and completely unexpected. When matters come to a head in a bloody climax, "A Noise Downstairs" resembles a Shakespearean play with a particularly high body count. Linwood Barclay has created an original, mesmerizing, and intense work of fiction that should attract a large and appreciative audience. ( )
  booklover915 | Oct 9, 2018 |
** spoiler alert ** Great premise, very suspensefully written, great pacing. I thought I'd solved it, and then the author provides another twist.

One major flaw here, which is overlook-able, is that the author breaks a pretty simple rule of fiction: never kill off your protagonist 3/4 of the way through. ( )
  ChayaLovesToRead | Sep 25, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This was my second attempt with this author and I haven't enjoyed either of them. The first try was the final book of a trilogy and, since I hadn't read the other two books, I figured it was my fault. However, this book is a standalone, so my conclusion is that the author and I are not compatible. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. ( )
  fhudnell | Sep 19, 2018 |
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"A man is troubled by odd sounds for which there is no rational explanation"--

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