A Noise Downstairs by Linwood Barclay

Synopsis: 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. . . .

Review: I’ve read a series by the author before, but I was curious to read something else by him. This novel was perfect for that.

Paul Davis is trying to rebuild his life. It’s not easy… Ever since he was almost murdered by a co-worker because he discovered two dead bodies in his car, he’s been climbing back up. But the blow to the head left him with some after-effects. He is also in therapy and his latest idea is to face his attacker and retrace everything that made him this way. Then his wife gives him a typewriter that looks suspiciously like the one the victims used before they died. Is it the killer’s? And is it haunted? Very strange things have been happening since it entered their home.

I had a good time with the novel. I suspected the truth, but I wasn’t sure and had to wait until the end to figure out exactly what had happened. More than that, there were also several surprises that I didn’t see coming and I thought the author handled the story very well!

So this was a very good thriller and I’m curious to read other novels by the author.

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