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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

(27)Broken Promise by Linwood Barclay

David Harwood gave up his job with the Boston Globe to move back home with his parents after his wife died.  He figured that the small town life and positive influence of his parents would help ease the pain for his young son, Ethan.  What he didn't expect to happen was to lose his job at the local paper shortly after the move.  Journalism jobs are scarce in Promise Falls and David is going stir-crazy running errands for his mother.  One day she has him take some food over to his cousin, Marla.  Marla hasn't been right in the head since her baby died in childbirth. So, imagine David's surprise to find Marla with a newborn baby allegedly dropped off at her house by an angel dressed in white.  David has good reason to be skeptical and the blood on the front door is a pretty good indication that something sinister happened.  David gathers up Marla and the mysterious baby and set off in search of his parents.  What they find though is using his investigative skills t to find out what really happened to the baby's mother, but can he find out the truth before it is too late for Marla?

If I can say anything about Promise Falls it is that this little town has had some freaky shit go down.  Marla's mysterious angel is maybe the least freaky thing about Promise Falls.   When 23 squirrels are found dead, there are mannequins found in an abandoned Ferris wheel, and the local college has somebody attacking women after dark.   The town obviously has a history, but it is mostly kept secret to the reader.  As the reader, your mind is all over the place trying to piece it all together and it makes for a wild ride.  Things are not wrapped up nice and neat like a typical Linwood Barclay story, but the good news is that the sequel, Far From True,  just came out last week.   David is one of the only citizens in this weird little town that seems to have his shit together, even though he is unemployed and living with his parents.  I enjoyed watching him hold it all together while everything was falling apart around him.

Bottom line - Broken Promise is a wonderful suspense novel about a town full of quirky characters and a mysterious past.  But,  because the story is building towards a sequel, be aware that a lot of things are left unresolved.