Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss

Linwood Barclay | Five Days and Counting

September 20, 2007

My new book No Time For Goodbye comes out in North America in less than a week, and while this is my fifth novel, in many ways it feels as though it’s my first.

My four previous works of fiction have been about an obsessive-compulsive, well-meaning, but generally pain-in-the-ass character named Zack Walker. He made his first appearance in 2004 in Bad Move, which was followed by Bad Guys, Lone Wolf, and Stone Rain. While I consider these books legitimate mystery thrillers, they were also intended to be pretty funny. (I know, from writing a humour column the last 14 years for the Toronto Star, that even when you intend something to be funny, plenty of readers will go, “Huh?”)

No Time For Goodbye marks a significant shift in tone for me. After finishing the fourth Zack Walker book, I wanted to do something more ambitious, and darker. And not particularly funny. All I needed was the right idea to get me started. I awoke one morning at five, thinking about what it would be like if one day you got up and discovered your entire family was gone, vanished into the night. No Time For Goodbye was born.

The reaction from publishers and editors was overwhelmingly. Everyone had loved the Zack books, but this new one struck them as something else again.

And so that’s why it feels like a first book. The curious thing is, the book’s already out there.

No Time For Goodbye was released, in translation, in Germany back in June. (I know it’s odd that an English book makes its debut in a foreign country, but what can I say. That’s just how it all worked out.) Published as Ohne Ein Wort (Without a Word) the novel has been an enormous hit, selling about 300,000 copies to date. So expectations are high for the book’s release in the U.S. and in Canada, which is my neck of the woods.

So, five days and counting. Anticipation’s always a killer.

Linwood Barclay

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