Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Broken Promise

Author: Linwood Barclay
Genre: Suspense
Type: Hardcover
Series: 1st book in the Promise Falls series
Pages: 484
Publisher: Random House Canada
First Published: July 28, 2015
First Line: "I hate this town."

Book Description from GoodReadsAfter his wife’s death and the collapse of his newspaper, David Harwood has no choice but to uproot his nine-year-old son and move back into his childhood home in Promise Falls, New York. David believes his life is in free fall, and he can’t find a way to stop his descent.

Then he comes across a family secret of epic proportions. A year after a devastating miscarriage, David’s cousin Marla has continued to struggle. But when David’s mother asks him to check on her, he’s horrified to discover that she’s been secretly raising a child who is not her own—a baby she claims was a gift from an “angel” left on her porch.

When the baby’s real mother is found murdered, David can’t help wanting to piece together what happened—even if it means proving his own cousin’s guilt. But as he uncovers each piece of evidence, David realizes that Marla’s mysterious child is just the tip of the iceberg.

Other strange things are happening. Animals are found ritually slaughtered. An ominous abandoned Ferris wheel seems to stand as a warning that something dark has infected Promise Falls. And someone has decided that the entire town must pay for the sins of its past…in blood.

My Review:  Recently I had a hankering for a good suspense read - the kind that you can lose yourself in the plot and characters and have a little edge of your seat action.  Linwood Barclay's latest book, Broken Promise, hit the spot.

One of the things that stood out for me was the fact that this is a wonderfully well paced book. There were no dull moments and it had just enough things happening with its interesting and diverse cast of characters that I had a hard time putting it down.  I will admit that I guessed one of the big twists but overall it was still a very enjoyable book.

Barclay is also adept at having a lot going on in his books with various plots. There are several gripping subplots that were easy to immerse yourself in and I enjoyed seeing how Barclay weaved these plots around each other and resolved them in the end ... for the most part.  

The characters are varied and interesting with each of them having a strong purpose to propel the plot forward.  You definitely love some and love to hate others.  And although there are quite a few characters in this book Barclay easily reminds his readers of who is who without dumbing things down or spoon feeding his readers which I appreciated.  

The chapters are fairly short and the story is told via multiple points of view.  David Harwood tells the majority of the story but I liked how other characters took up the reigns so that readers could get inside their heads to round out the story telling.  David was a likable main character and even though there was one subplot involving his 'love life' that was a little hard to swallow overall his decisions were believable and he was an easy guy to get behind.  The other characters rounded out a very diverse and interesting cast of characters.

While this book could work as a stand-alone it is actually the first book in a new series and some readers may recognize David Harwood from Barclay's earlier book Never Look Away which focuses on David's life a few years before Broken Promise's story begins. I have yet to read Never Look Away but not getting David's background didn't hinder my enjoyment of this book but I understand how other people may like to get a more detailed look at David's life before jumping into Broken Promise. 

At the end of Broken Promise Barclay leaves his readers hanging just a bit with some unfinished business.  Not so much to be frustrating but just enough to have them coming back for more from the cast of Promise Falls.  And you can bet that I will be eager to revisit Promise Falls and its inhabitants for the next installment of the series.

My Rating: 4/5 stars

Disclaimer:  My sincere thanks to Random House Canada and Linwood Barclay for providing me with a complimentary hardcover copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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