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Broken Promise

by Linwood Barclay

Part of the Promise Falls Series

Books with reviews by our Reader Review Panel Crime / Mystery eBooks of the Month Thriller and Suspense

LoveReading View on Broken Promise

Linwood Barclay is ace at dreaming up disturbing scenarios and then letting them play out in increasingly creepy ways. This time, the author of No Time for Goodbye (a huge seller in 2008) gives us David Harwood, a newspaper reporter who's out of a job, and living back with his parents and his son Ethan in his hometown of Promise Falls. In typical Barclay style, the author lets us know from the off that things are about to go horribly wrong: "A couple of hours before all hell broke loose, I was in bed, awake since five, pondering the circumstances that had returned me, at the age of forty-one, to my childhood home." When he visits his cousin Marla, who is still grieving the death of her baby, he finds her taking care of a little boy the same age her own son would have been, and claiming she was given him by an "angel". But there's blood by her front door, and when David tracks down the baby's real home, he finds the body of a woman. The first in a new series to be set in Promise Falls, Broken Promise is fast-paced and fun, ramping up to a thoroughly unsettling, clever conclusion. 

Books in The Promise Falls Trilogy:
1. Broken Promise
2. Far from True
3. The Twenty-Three

Serial Reader? Check out our 'Fall in Love With a Book Series' collection to find amazing book series to dive in to.

Alison Flood

Broken Promise Synopsis

When David Harwood is asked to look in on his cousin Marla, who is still traumatised after losing her baby, he thinks it will be some temporary relief from his dead-end life. But when he arrives, he's disturbed to find blood on Marla's front door. He's even more disturbed to find Marla looking after a baby, a baby she claims was delivered to her 'by an angel'.

Soon after, a woman's body is discovered, 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? Why did they then take her baby and give it to Marla? It's up to David to find out what really happened, but he soon discovers that the truth could be worse than he ever imagined . . .

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Broken Promise Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review Linwood's previous title, No Safe House. Click Here to read the full reviews.

  • Pam Kennedy - 'This book is excellent, a very good sequel it was well worth waiting for.'
  • Sophia Ufton - 'Amazing book! Please read!'
  • Phylippa Smithson - 'It's fast paced but in attempting to take itself seriously, the endurance of continuing to read the words became at times near impossible for me.'
  • Hilary Nuth - 'No Safe House is another action packed read from Linwood Barclay...I think that No Safe House more than matches its predecessor NoTime for Goodbye.'
  • Sarah Harper - 'Fast paced and hard to put down with an unexpected twist. Brilliant!'
  • Jan Kirkcaldy - 'It takes you on a roller coaster ride of the unexpected where everything changes at each turn of the page.  Exciting, often violent and unpredictable it is definitely well worth reading.'
  • Edel Waugh - 'When I started this book I only intended reading a few chapters... Many hours later I finished it. Yes it is that good!'
  • Gavin Dimmock - 'what a cracking read this one is; a fantastic tale which I devoured within a few days spent on sun kissed beaches.'

Broken Promise Press Reviews

'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.' THE INDEPENDENT

'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.' RED ONLINE

'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.' BIG ISSUE

'Fast and smartly plotted.' SUNDAY MIRROR

'Like a less surreal Twin Peaks, this is a compellingly grotesque portrait of the American dream in meltdown.' SUNDAY EXPRESS

'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.' MAIL ON SUNDAY

'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.' SUNDAY HERALD

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781409146476
Publication date: 25/02/2016
Publisher: Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ) an imprint of Orion Publishing Co
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781409145943
Publication date: 10/09/2015
Publisher: Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ) an imprint of Orion Publishing Co
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781409146476
Publication date: 25th February 2016
Author: Linwood Barclay
Publisher: Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ) an imprint of Orion Publishing Co
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 528 pages
Genres: Reader Reviewed Books, Crime / Mystery, eBook Favourites, Thriller / Suspense,
Categories: Crime & mystery, Thriller / suspense,

About Linwood Barclay

Linwood Barclay was our Guest Editor in October 2013 - click here - to see the books that inspired his writing. Linwood Barclay is married with two children and lives near Toronto. He is the author of four acclaimed Zack Walker mysteries, a former columnist for the Toronto Star, and is the author of the Richard & Judy 2008 Summer Read winner and number one besteller, No Time For Goodbye. In the video below Linwood Barclay answer questions from Lovereading members.  Author photo © Bill Taylor

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