Broken Promise by Linwood Barclay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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.
When he gets to Marla's house he's 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.' And when, 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.
But while the evidence seems overwhelming, David just can't believe that his cousin is a murderer. In which case, who did kill Rosemary Gaynor? And why did they then 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 that the truth could be even more disturbing...
I am a fan of Linwood Barclay and was very pleased to read and review this latest novel - I did not realise it was to form part of a series but once I realised this it made sense that not all of the plots were solved at the end.
Like all of his previous novels he manages to hook the reader from the start - various little mysteries happening as sub plots in the book and the main story interwoven with these makes for a clever novel that keeps the interest going to the end.
Good main characters help this novel move along - the main character David Harwood a journalist (single parent to Ethan aged 9) is forced to move back to his home town with his son and move in with his parents when finds himself out of work. Moving back in with your parents is no easy thing to do and David resolves that this will be just a temporary move until he can find work locally.
When he visits his cousin Marla to deliver some food his mother has asked him to take to her he begins the start of a mystery he just has to solve. Blood on Marla's door and a baby she is caring for that is not her own who she claims was given to her by an angel is just one of the mysteries that he uncovers. Sub plots include a woman found stabbed, 23 dead squirrels and a college campus where several women have been attacked. I liked Detective Duckworth who made a good contrast to David and great sounding board for some of the theories.
Marla, having lost her own baby is in a fragile state and when she is suspected of the murder of Rosemary Gaynor and stealing her baby David becomes involved in trying to find out the truth.
There is a lot going on in this book and I felt I had to go back and re-read some of the novel in places as it was becoming a little confusing but it was still a good read. Plenty of twists and turns as you would expect with this author and given that it is to form a series the fact that some issues were not fully resolved is acceptable. Lots happening to keep the reader interested with good identifiable characters. Another success for Linwood Barclay - gets a well deserved 4 stars from me.
I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.