Linwood Barclay

Broken Promise

"Barclay does write excellent psychological thrillers."


The morning it all started, newspaper reporter David Harwood had plenty to worry about. A single parent with no job, forced to return with his young son to the small town of Promise Falls to live with his parents, the future wasn't looking too rosy. So when his mother asked him to look in on his cousin Marla, who was still not quite right after losing her baby, it was almost a relief to put the disaster his own life had become to one side. The relief wouldn't last long.

At Marla's house David is disturbed to find a smear of blood on the front door. He's even more disturbed to find Marla nursing a baby, a baby she claims was delivered to her 'by an angel'. Soon after, a woman's body is discovered across town, stabbed to death, with her own baby missing. It looks as if Marla has done something truly terrible.

While the evidence seems overwhelming, David just can't believe his cousin is a murderer. In which case, who did kill Rosemary Gaynor? And why did they take her baby and give it to Marla? With the police convinced they have an open and shut case, it's up to David to find out what really happened, but he soon discovers the truth could be even more disturbing.

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I have read all Linwood's books thus far and he is an author who reaches great heights with some, and then slightly falls short on others. Here we have Detective Duckworth looking into the case, with Harwood also carrying out his own investigations. Linwood can be quite the master of the 'sleight of hand' which shows him at his best, although here it was early into the book that the answers became quite obvious. However, there were so many threads to this plot that every time a mention was made to a particular crime, I found myself thinking I had forgotten about it, and wondered who was guilty as I had been taken off track with so much else going on. 'Broken Promise' is the first of a series and the story is to continue in the next book, so not every loose end is tied off. Whilst I enjoy reading books from a series, the issue I find is due to the copious number of books I will read between this one and Linwood's next offering. I am one of those who don't necessarily remember the storylines and characters, but know if I enjoyed the book or not. I hope Linwood is planning on releasing the next instalment in quick time – or that there will be a resume at the beginning of the next one to refresh memories. Barclay does write excellent psychological thrillers, and I am hoping once this continues I won't be disappointed with how the story ends.

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