If you’ve followed any of my other blogs in the past then you will know that Linwood Barclay is one of my favourite authors. Since reading Too Close To Home over four years ago, I have been addicted to Linwood’s story telling. It kills me a little that we only get one book a year (but good news, we will get three books in 18 months according to the Bookseller!) I’ve been lucky enough to have been granted access to proofs for Linwood’s past three titles a few months before publication day and I did get a little excited when Broken Promise landed on my Kindle!
Broken Promise is, and this is a bold statement, but I think it could be Linwood’s best book to date. The story follows the life of a few familiar characters that we’ve met in other books including detective Barry Duckworth but we are also introduced to David Harwood. David has lost his job, lost his wife and has to move back in with his parents with his teenage son Ethan. To distract him from his problems, David’s mum asks him to drop some meals off to Marla, his cousin, who is still recovering after the loss of her baby. But when David turns up to Marla’s house, finds blood on the door and Marla cradling a baby, shivers run down his spine. But, for David, the nightmare is only just beginning.
Every single Barclay book has a vast array of characters which can sometimes prove -slightly- challenging at times to remember exactly who is who but for some reason, Broken Promise didn’t present that issue. I could remember who everyone was and recognise the relationships between the characters which made it a really smooth and easy read. David is a fantastic protagonist who I instantly placed trust in – he had faced a lot of hardship but managed to set a fantastic example to his teenage son. I loved being able to read about Barry Duckworth again – he’s such a great detective and his doughnut addiction really does make me laugh! We are also re-introduced to the rather greasy, slimy ex-mayor Finley who really rubs me up the wrong way. I felt like I needed to keep a very close eye on him!!
What I love most about Barclay’s books is his ability to keep the reader on the edge. He has the ability to keep me guessing until the very end which is a very enviable skill – I normally find myself guessing the endings/twists in plots but not with Barclay. He also manages to throw in so many curve-balls throughout the narrative that you end up completely doubting yourself and your idea of what’s happened. I also love the fact Broken Promise ends on a bit of a cliffhanger which I imagine will spill over into the next book set in Promise Falls.
I am just addicted to Barclay’s books. He really is a genius and I already cannot wait for his next book! If you want a bit of a taster of Broken Promise before you commit to buying it then I recommend you listen to the first four ‘parts’ read by Linwood himself. If it doesn’t get you excited then I don’t know what will!