We go back to Promise Falls just a few days after the truth was revealed about the mysterious baby in Broken Promise. The residents of Promise Falls are feeling nostalgic as they settle in to watch the final movie at the local drive-in movie theater that is to close it's gates. Just as the patrons are settling in their world is shattered by an explosion and the screen topples onto two cars parked in front. Four people are dead. The one car held a couple of kids who had borrowed a convertible. The other victims, Adam Chalmers and his young wife Merriam, were parked in the classic Jag. Private Detective, Cal Weaver, gets involved when Adam Chalmer's daughter calls him for help. Somebody had broken into her father's house after his death was announced and she wants to find out what they took. In the course of his investigation Cal discovers a dark secret that starts in the secret bedroom found at the Chalmers' house, but continues with some of Promise Falls most prestigious residents. But what is the connection between that secret bedroom and the continued events that involve the number twenty-three?
Linwood Barclay is such a skilled novelist. He immerses his readers in the quaint little town with dark and scandalous secrets, Promise Falls. By now I feel like I am familiar with the residents and dynamics of this community. From the disgraced former mayor trying to launch a comeback to Detective Duckworth, these are people that I feel I have gotten to know fairly well. But they all are residents of this weird little town! I had kind of figured out the "whodunit" aspect of this installment and I have started to piece together the connections between the women being attacked at the college and the events at the Chalmers' home. But the book ends on a serious cliffhanger, leaving me wondering if I am way off in my guesses.
Bottom line - while it is not necessary to have read Broken Promise first, it sure would be helpful to fully understand the dynamics of Promise Falls. Either way, Linwood Barclay does an amazing job of leading his readers down an intriguing path of scandal and mystery. A fun read if you love a good mystery.