Bestselling thriller writer Linwood Barclay thinks that Pet Sematary is Stephen King's scariest book

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      Had a nice half-hour chat with Toronto author Linwood Barclay yesterday, in advance of his virtual appearances at the Whistler Writers Festival on October 16 and the Vancouver Writers Fest on the 23 and 24.

      Knowing he was pretty fond of Stephen King--who has written cover blurbs for Barclay's books, and acknowledged that he's a big fan of the Canuck novelist--I asked him which King book he thought was the horror master's best.

      I told him that my first pick would probably be The Dead Zone, followed closely by The Stand.

      "I kind of gravitate towards Pet Sematary," he replied, "because I think that book is the scariest, and I think it's the one that really gets you where you live.

      "You know, as a parent, if you've had kids, and you read that book it really hits home on a very kinda gut level. I don't know if it's my favorite of his books or not, but I certainly think it's the scariest one."

      Stephen King (far left) poses with Linwood Barclay (second from right), Barclay's wife Neetha, and King's son Owen.
      Linwood Barclay on Twitter

      Barclay had reread a few King novels over the pandemic, including Christine, Pet Sematary, and The Stand, but says that it's hard for him to pick an all-time favourite because "there's so many of them that are so groundbreaking."

      For much more on Linwood Barclay read my feature story on him in next week's Georgia Straight.

      Read it on paper for that old-school Pet Sematary vibe.