A Noise Downstairs

A Noise Downstairs

by Linwood Barclay


$24.29 $26.99 Save 10% Current price is $24.29, Original price is $26.99. You Save 10%. View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Wednesday, July 24


The New York Times bestselling author of No Time for Goodbye returns with a haunting psychological thriller that blends the twists and turns of Gillian Flynn with the driving suspense of Harlan Coben, in which a man is troubled by odd sounds for which there is no rational explanation.

College professor Paul Davis is a normal guy with a normal life. Until, driving along a deserted road late one night, he surprises a murderer disposing of a couple of bodies. That’s when Paul’s "normal" existence is turned upside down. After nearly losing his own life in that encounter, he finds himself battling PTSD, depression, and severe problems at work. His wife, Charlotte, desperate to cheer him up, brings home a vintage typewriter—complete with ink ribbons and heavy round keys—to encourage him to get started on that novel he’s always intended to write.

However, the typewriter itself is a problem. Paul swears it’s possessed and types by itself at night. But only Paul can hear the noise coming from downstairs; Charlotte doesn’t hear a thing. And she worries he’s going off the rails.

Paul believes the typewriter is somehow connected to the murderer he discovered nearly a year ago. The killer had made his victims type apologies to him before ending their lives. Has another sick twist of fate entwined his life with the killer—could this be the same machine? Increasingly tormented but determined to discover the truth and confront his nightmare, Paul begins investigating the deaths himself.

But that may not be the best thing to do. Maybe Paul should just take the typewriter back to where his wife found it. Maybe he should stop asking questions and simply walk away while he can. . . .

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062678256
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 07/24/2018
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 124,751
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Linwood Barclay is the author of eighteen previous novels, and two thrillers for children. A New York Times bestselling author, his books have been translated into more than two dozen languages. He wrote the screenplay adaptation for his novel Never Saw it Coming and his book The Accident has been made into a TV series in France. His novel No Time for Goodbye was a global bestseller. Born and raised in Connecticut, he now lives in Toronto with his wife, Neetha.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

A Noise Downstairs 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Barclay - always delivers. Nail biting, head spinning fun.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing as always by Linwood Barclay
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think about half way through Barclay just decided he was tired of this book. Not one developed character Once he got going with killing his characters off he should have killed them all Such a disappointing for such a good writer
Anonymous 4 months ago
Entertaining read.
Straubfan7 5 months ago
As usual, Barclay's characters don't have a lick of sense - almost like he's writing for dummies. The twists at the end were OK. but you have to wade through countless repetitions and several instances where he contradict things he wrote two paragraphs ago. Definitely not for a thinking person.
GratefulGrandma More than 1 year ago
Paul Davis is in the wrong place at the wrong time. When he stops to help a colleague on a deserted road, he has not idea that he was there disposing of two female bodies. He is lucky to be alive after being hit on the head with the shovel being used to dig the graves. Several months later he is still struggling with the physical trauma, but also with P.T.S.D. He has memory lapses and fugue states, so is seeing a counselor. He is getting ready to return to work, but thinks writing a book about the incident will help him. His wife gifts him with a vintage Underwood typewriter for his office. He is quite impressed with his gift, that is until he hears typing sounds during the night. In his mentally fragile and somewhat unbalanced condition, he begins to think that this is the typewriter the women had to type their apology notes on and that they are trying to communicate with him. I really liked the character of Paul. He was an honest and sincere guy who just wants to help others. He wants to return to work, he wants his life back. The secondary characters in this story, his wife, his ex-wife, his son, his best friend, therapist, other patients and co-workers, all seem to be there to flesh out this story, but do not take anyone for granted. There are several twists in this story as I tried to figure out what was really going on. I know that typewriter couldn't have been possessed, but what was going on? How were these things happening? Is someone trying to drive him mad? So many questions swirling in my head had me on the edge of my seat trying to figure out what was going on and when the finale came .....WOW. I did not figure out what was going on until the very end, just prior to the reveal, but in hindsight, the clues were all there, sprinkled cleverly throughout the story. I listened to the audiobook narrated by George Newbern. He did an amazing job and I almost felt that the characters were telling me the story. I also love Linwood Barclay. I started reading his books because not only is he Canadian, but comes from Ontario, where I live. I am so glad I did because he has a way with suspense and thrillers. His characters could be me or you, they are simple and ordinary people put into an extraordinary situation. I recommend this book to those who enjoy a suspenseful story that is cleverly written, and if you get a chance to listen to this one, even better. I will definitely be reading more books by Linwood Barclay.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
329 pages long. The story draws you in ( slowly). It is a murder mystery and has supernatural undertones. The chapters are fairly short. The characters are great and you can really think you get to know them, but they( the characters) are not who you think they are. As the story goes on, you think you know what is actually happening, but boy there are more twist and turns then one can ever imagine. Think it would make a good movie. Just loved this book. Highly recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Plot-driven thriller. Can't say much without revealing about of the many twists. Full enjoyment requires overlooking some fundamental implausibities.
SGMomma More than 1 year ago
Wow! This book starts with a murder and the quick pace never ends. I was pulled right in reading about Paul and his recovery. I didn't see the twists and turns along the pages. Who hasn't had the experience of hearing something strange in a dark house??? Great story, great characters and surprising ending.
JillJemmett More than 1 year ago
I loved this thriller! I couldn’t put it down. This story was super creepy. I couldn’t tell if Paul was going crazy or if things were actually happening to him. It was hard to tell. At first, I couldn’t tell why the narrative switched between Paul and other characters, mostly Anna White. It’s clear why at the end, so there was a good reason. I kept thinking about how this story would have been so different if it had a woman as the main character. Many thrillers with female main characters imply that the woman is going crazy, and it’s much more frustrating. Usually she ends up having a drug or alcohol problem as well, such as in The Woman in the Window. I liked this story with a male main character much better. I feel like the other people in his life weren’t as hard on him, as they are when there is a woman who seems to be going crazy. I loved the twists at the end. It all made sense, but it was pretty complicated. I really enjoyed this story. I received a copy of this book from the publisher.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book. Had me mad,sad. Until the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read with lots of twists and turns.
ASalt More than 1 year ago
“A Noise Downstairs” by Linwood Barclay follows college professor Paul Davis, who gets hit over the head and nearly killed by his work colleague Kenneth Hoffman after he discovers the bodies of two women in Kenneth’s trunk—two women who were also connected to the college and were made to type out their apologies to Kenneth on his typewriter before being killed. Flash forward eight months later and Kenneth has been jailed, while Paul is still recovering by attending sessions with his therapist, Dr. Anna White. He thinks he will feel better if he puts his experience into words, and that’s when Paul’s wife Charlotte gifts him a typewriter she picked out at a yard sale. The problems start from day one, when Paul’s nine-year old son Josh injures his finger while playing with the typewriter. Then the typewriter starts making noises every night while Paul is asleep. Paul becomes obsessed with the fact that someone is breaking into his house each night and typing away on the typewriter. Even worse, Paul starts to think it was the same typewriter that Kenneth used to have his victims type out the letters of apologies to him and that…it’s haunted. As everyone around Paul, including Paul himself, begin to doubt his sanity, events spiral out of control. The story is narrated in third person, alternating between Paul, Anna, and eventually other characters as well. I found the chapters to be short and the plot to be engaging, with a sympathetic main character (in general, I appreciate stories more with everyday Joes over professional investigators, because they’re more relatable). What I like about this book is that despite hints of paranormal, this is a straight-up mystery with a logical resolution, a red herring, and a very twisty conclusion.
BettyTaylor More than 1 year ago
Linwood Barclay's latest book A NOISE DOWNSTAIRS will send chills down your spine. Undoubtedly one of the best psychological thrillers this year! Late one night college professor Paul Davis saw his colleague and friend Kenneth Hoffman driving erratically. Concerned that something might be wrong with Kenneth, Paul follows him. Wondering what Kenneth is doing Paul first observes him stopping to throw something heavy into a dumpster. Paul then follows him until Kenneth finally pulls off to the side of the road. At that point Paul is horrified to discover that Kenneth has the bodies of two women in the back of the car. Then everything goes black… Now eight months later Paul is in therapy with Dr. Anna White while recovering from the head injury inflicted when Kenneth tried to kill him, while Kenneth himself is in prison having pled guilty to two murders and an attempted murder. Paul decides that perhaps writing about the incident with Kenneth will be cathartic for him. Showing her support, his wife Charlotte purchases an old Underwood typewriter at a garage sale. But it just so happens that it was an old Underwood typewriter that Kenneth was disposing of that fateful night. A few nights later Paul begins hearing a noise downstairs. The noise is coming from the old typewriter. He begins finding messages on the typewriter. This is especially chilling as the women in Kenneth’s car that night had been tied to chairs and made to type out confessions before they were killed. Is this the typewriter they typed those confessions on? Since Charlotte does not hear the noises, she is clearly concerned that her husband is now hearing things. She especially becomes alarmed when Paul speculates that these messages may be coming from the dead women. She suggest that perhaps Paul is actually unknowingly typing the messages. A definite page-turner…suspenseful…intriguing. It kept me guessing to the end. When I got a bit too close to figuring it out Barclay led me into another direction. There have been many thrillers written lately with twists at the end that did not work…that came out of the blue. But Barclay skillfully nudges the reader along, picking up clues here and there, developing a theory and then discarding it as new clues are revealed. Totally masterful writing!
Marla-Bradeen More than 1 year ago
Linwood Barclay is one of my go-to authors for a good suspense thriller, and this book did not disappoint. Filled with complicated characters, mysterious happenings, and nonstop action, A NOISE DOWNSTAIRS is a fast-paced read that will keep you guessing until the very end. Disclosure: I won an uncorrected advance copy of this book in a giveaway.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After Paul Davis leaves a college function one evening, he realizes he is following Kenneth Hoffman, a math and physics professor and colleague at West Haven College. They have worked together for some years and Kennth has been a type of mentor to Paul. Noticing Kenneth driving somewhat erratically and then pulling off the road, Paul stops to see if his friend needs help. When Paul sees the bodies of two women in the back of the car, Kenneth then hits him in the head with a shovel. Kenneth is now in prison and Paul is slowly healing from his head injury. However, he is having nightmares and not sleeping well. Paul feels haunted by what Kenneth did and just wishes he could confront the man and learn if he is just evil. He feels if he can just talk to him, he may then be able to write a story about what happened, then forget it and move on with his life. He shares this with Anna White who is a psychologist treating Paul. She agrees to accompany him to the prison to talk to Kenneth. Paul is married to Catherine who is a busy realtor. Hoping to help him with writing his story, she buys him an old manual typewriter. Paul is pleased with it until he starts hearing the sounds of someone typing at night but no one is there. Paul has a son by his first wife and he gets to see the boy on weekends. However, his first wife thinks he may be becoming a bit unstable and is unsure if he should be allowed to see his son. All of these stresses build and culminate in an ending that no one could foresee. This is a very good book that may keep readers looking over their shoulders. The tension builds and readers won’t be able to put the book down. I enjoyed the story and I think other readers will as well. Copy provided by Edelweiss in exchange for a fair and honest review.
3no7 More than 1 year ago
“A Noise Downstairs” by Linwood Barclay begins with an attack. Paul sees his friend Kenneth’s car and fears there is something wrong. Something is wrong, very wrong; Paul spots two bodies, both wrapped in plastic. Then everything goes black. Kenneth was his friend, and Kenneth tried to murder him. Eight Months later, Paul is seeing therapist Dr. Anna White. He is recovering from the significant head trauma and is haunted by what Kenneth did. He is having nightmares, flashbacks, episodes of disassociation, and panic attacks. He wants to write about the trauma, hoping that the process will help him to understand, to cope, and to move ahead with his life. His wife buys him a used Underwood, and he commences to use the vintage typewriter to put words on the page. Then, in the middle of the night, he is startled awake. There is a noise downstairs, -- clack, clack, clack. What has he done? The action alternates between the interconnected stories of Paul and his therapist, Anna. Readers are pulled into the suspicion and trauma with a little clue here and a little incident there. Unknown the fears take shape, driven by strange happenings, sounds in the night, and mysterious calls to the police. “It’s like a Twilight Zone episode. This can’t be happening. This has to be a nightmare.” This is Barclay at his best. Readers ponder Paul’s nightmares, memory loss, obsession, determination, and optimism. “Sometimes things just have a way of working out.” However, when the end seems clear, is it really the end? In true Barclay fashion, there is a twist, an additional surprise, and an unexpected revelation. Barclay takes readers on a perilous trip as characters slip into delusion, paranoia, and mental instability. I received a copy of “A Noise Downstairs” from Linwood Barclay, William Morrow, and HarperCollins Publishers, and I could not put it down.
LeslieLindsay More than 1 year ago
Fast-paced summer thriller about a seemingly possessed typewriter will have you thinking you have it all figured out and then... So I'll admit to being a Linwood Barclay newbie. But I am so, so glad I've been introduced. His writing is sharp, compelling, and addictive in similar vein of Harlan Coben meets David Bell meets Stephen King. A NOISE DOWNSTAIRS (William Morrow/HarperCollins 2018) is a fabulous thriller beach read that you can easily finish in a long afternoon because it's so fast-paced and has all the makings of a terrific read: murder, an unreliable protagonist, and just when you think you have it all figured out... You're wrong. College Professor Paul Davis seems to have it all: house on Long Island Sound, a second wife, a son, a teaching job at a local university. But when he spots a colleague out on the road late at night, his curiosity gets the better of him and he becomes victim /witness to a crime. And now, eight months later, he's still struggling with PTSD, anxiety, depression; he hasn't returned to work. He thinks maybe he'll write about the situation--a little catharsis couldn't hurt, right. His wife, Charlotte, purchases a second-hand typewriter for him, but soon Paul is certain he can hear the machine late into the night? Or is it just his mind? His PTSD? An intruder? Paul starts to question everything. And frankly, so too will the reader. A NOISE DOWNSTAIRS is at once menacing and creepy, but also a good whodunit-and-why; I thought I had it figured out (at least in part), and then new things were revealed, shifting theories. Personally, I love when that happens! This is the kind of read that gives you 'waves' of reveals, in that you let out a collective sigh only to be geared up again for yet another...thrill. Is there a twist? Yep. I found the end both satisfying and yet mind blowing. I found similarities between A NOISE DOWNSTAIRS and the writing style of David Bell meets Harlan Coben but also Lori Rader-Day's THE BLACK HOUR (college professor trauma) and maybe also some of Lisa Scottoline's work.
gmcootie More than 1 year ago
A Noise Downstairs by Linwood Barclay is a must-read psychological thriller with so many twists and turns you’ll lose count. Is it somebody? Is it something? Does that typewriter have a mind of its own or are those voices from beyond? The cover says, “There’s a noise downstairs . . . and it’s not what you think,” and that’s about all you can say. And that you will change what you think over and over and over. To say more would give it all away. Paul suffered physically and emotionally from an attack by Kenneth, and he can’t get past it. His wife Charlotte had been growing distant but the attack seems to have brought them closer together. His son Josh is entering “The Terrible Tens” and is difficult, but the attack on his father seriously affected him. Paul’s therapist Anna helps as much as she can, but she has problems of her own, including caring for her father Frank who suffers from dementia. One of her other patients, Gavin, is more than creepy; he’s scary and possibly dangerous. Paul is not as close to his old friend (and Charlotte’s current colleague) Bill as he once was, but Bill is there for Paul. Pay close attention to these and all the other characters you will meet, because they will all play important roles, and each and every one of them will keep you guessing until the very end. A Noise Downstairs grabs you from the start. The suspense starts building right away and never really lets up. You don’t know what to expect but you have the feeling something bad is about to happen. And this is a feeling you will experience several times throughout the book. When Paul confronts Kenneth you are as astonished and scared as he is. You shiver whenever Gavin shows up. And as you learn more about Paul you begin to wonder if he had other issues before the attack and may somehow be responsible for some of what is happening to him now. I thoroughly enjoyed and recommend A Noise Downstairs. I read the last half in one sitting because I couldn’t put it down. Thanks to author Linwood Barclay and LibraryThing for an advance copy of A Noise Downstairs in exchange for an honest review.
booklover- More than 1 year ago
Several months ago, Paul Davis was attacked by a killer with a shovel. Somehow he survived the massive head wound he received. The killer was a friend ... a colleague ... and it was just happenstance that he saw two women's bodies in his friend's trunk before they were hidden and buried. Now Paul suffers severe panic attacks, short term memory loss. But the most terrifying are the noises he hears that no one else does. Most recently, his wife bought him an old typewriter. At night, he swears he can hear it typing .. by itself. It is suggested that he insert a sheet of paper and see what happens. And what he finds sends him into a massive spin. The women that his friend killed were made to type out an apology to the killer. Those apologies are now being typed on his typewriter with no one around. Is this the actual typewriter that the killer owned? Are the messages from beyond the grave? Is Paul hallucinating? Is he paranoid? Either he's losing his mind - or someone wants him to think he is. His therapist is firm in her belief that he is not going crazy ... on the other hand, she doesn't believe that dead women are contacting him through type written messages. But who would want to torture this man .. and to what end? This one goes to the top of my favorite books this year! It's a well-written psychological thriller that is riveting in its edginess and features standout characters. Expect fast paced action with this one. The twist at the end is one that will knock you off your feet. Many thanks to the author / William Morrow Books / Edelweiss for the advanced digital copy of this psychological thriller. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Slow going untill climax unfortunately i figured it would end up the way it did not exactly but close enough something about how the characters are presented i dont know how to explain im a reader not a writer i didnt care for it