Broken Promise is a treat, full of ingenuity and flair and, what's more, it's a book that does not accentuate its effects, but assumes that the reader will be paying the closest attention.
If you like your crime more twisty than a bowl of fusilli pasta, then you will love Linwood Barclay and this tale of a small town newspaper reporter investigating a gruesome murder and a missing baby.
a relentless white-knuckle ride of a thriller, set in the fictional small American town of Promise Falls... There is real storytelling craft on display here, and if ever a book deserved the description 'page turner' it's this one.
Fast and smartly plotted.
Like a less surreal Twin Peaks, this is a compellingly grotesque portrait of the American dream in meltdown.
Like a less surreal Twin Peaks, this is a compellingly grotesque portrait of the American dream in meltdown. And don't expect all the answers in this first volume - Barclay is keeping plenty of secrets back for parts two and three.
Broken Promise smoothly combines a page-turning Harlan Coben pace with a Jeffery Deaver-esque twist. There's even a hint of classic Stephen King in the presentation of an American small town with disturbing secrets. Barclay's evocation of middle-class America and the frustrations of a man forced to return to his roots form the heart of this cleverly constructed mystery that amply demonstrates why Barclay is one of the biggest-selling US writers of crime fiction. The first chapter may read simply "I hate this town", but readers will be seduced by the dark heart of Promise Falls.
Barclay's greatest strength is weaving menace into everyday situations and he delivers this in spades in Broken Promise.