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Broken Promise: Book summary and reviews of Broken Promise by Linwood Barclay

Broken Promise

A Thriller

by Linwood Barclay

Broken Promise by Linwood Barclay X
Broken Promise by Linwood Barclay
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  • Published in USA  Jul 2015
    464 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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Book Summary

From the New York Times bestselling author of No Safe House comes an explosive novel about the disturbing secrets of a quiet small town.… 

After his wife's death and the collapse of his newspaper, David Harwood has no choice but to uproot his nine-year-old son and move back into his childhood home in Promise Falls, New York. David believes his life is in free fall, and he can't find a way to stop his descent.

Then he comes across a family secret of epic proportions. A year after a devastating miscarriage, David's cousin Marla has continued to struggle. But when David's mother asks him to check on her, he's horrified to discover that she's been secretly raising a child who is not her own - a baby she claims was a gift from an "angel" left on her porch.

When the baby's real mother is found murdered, David can't help wanting to piece together what happened - even if it means proving his own cousin's guilt. But as he uncovers each piece of evidence, David realizes that Marla's mysterious child is just the tip of the iceberg.

Other strange things are happening. Animals are found ritually slaughtered. An ominous abandoned Ferris wheel seems to stand as a warning that something dark has infected Promise Falls. And someone has decided that the entire town must pay for the sins of its past…in blood.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Linwood's adept characterizations and knack for unsettling twists make this a surefire bestseller." - Publishers Weekly

"David is an appealing hero, flawed but dogged in his pursuit of the truth. Not all the mysteries are solved in this book, which offers an exciting start to a new series set in Promise Falls." - Library Journal

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Reader Reviews

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Susan B. (Hahira, GA)

Home Again
As many of us find these days, circumstances often find us back in our parents' homes or towns either out of our economic need or to be full time caregivers.

David Harwood, widower and single parent, finds himself in just such a situation. A print reporter he has tried to make a life for himself and his son in the big city however, in order to do so he finds he must compromise the quality of their life. The decision to move home is not easily arrived at but is inevitable.
Unfortunately, as a print reporter he finds that his career is short lived when the hometown paper he is to write for, folds shortly after his return leaving him jobless and forces him to stay in his parents' home beyond what he had hoped. It also compromises his time by drawing him into a complicated family drama.
Small town politics, intrigues and scandals eventually come to the fore as he is drawn deeper and deeper into what is obviously not just a family matter.
This is an intricate and tightly woven story that will hold you tightly until the last page but I must warn you, this is only the beginning. It brings you to the precipice and leaves you hanging in the best tradition of cliffhangers.
I HIGHLY recommend this and cannot wait to see how this plays out in the next installment.

Eve A. (Henderson, NV)

Broken Promise
I have now discovered Linwood Barclay. I had heard of him but never read any of his books. This is a good one. It is the story of the small town of Promise Falls, a man and his son, his family and a baby who appears out of nowhere, Murders, intrigue and twists make for an interesting story from beginning to end. In doing research on this author, I discovered an earlier book of his called Never Look Away. It has the same Promise Falls characters earlier in their lives and I look forward to reading it..

Tracy B. (New Castle, DE)

Broken Promise
This was a couldn't put it down book. Just when I had thought I had figured it all out the ending was a tease. A caring family & another protecting of a secret. Thanks for a new author to add to my list. QUICK QUICK write the next one.

Priscilla M. (Houston, TX)

An eminently readable mystery
Broken Promise is the first book I have read by Linwood Barclay, but it won"t be the last. I have always been more than a little character driven in my reading choices, and this author creates true to life, two-dimensional people. Real people are rarely all good or all bad, and Barclay does a masterful job of making the reader care about the good guys as well as feel some sympathy for the impulses that drive the bad guys. The well constructed plot progresses at a steady pace and comes to a realistic conclusion. Promises are often broken, but so are people and dreams. I look forward to more stories about this little town and its inhabitants.

Anne C. (Herndon, VA)

Fascinating mystery!
Lots of things are broken in Promise Falls, New York; the local economy, the newspaper which has to shut down suddenly, the hospital coping with low ratings, the abandoned amusement park, and the lives of many people dealing with sorrows and secrets in their lives. The hero, David Harwood, tries to help a family member and realizes there is a bigger conspiracy behind the violent death of a young mother.

This book stands far above the usual genre of thriller, due to the masterful way the author shows each character in the story as a complete human being, with reasons to make choices between good and evil. Rather than concentrate on violence and gore as so many thrillers do these days, Linwood Barclay provides a realistic view of the town and its inhabitants as they struggle to understand a series of strange events. I found myself caring about the characters and hoping they could solve their problems.

The end of the book hints that there will be more of the story to come, and I certainly hope I can re-visit Promise Falls again in the author's next book.

Debi B. (Charleston, SC)

Broken Promise ~ Linwood Barclay
I have read other books written by Mr. Barclay and have thoroughly enjoyed those books. I was not disappointed with Broken Promise. I couldn't put the book down and every time I thought I had things figured out, I was wrong. I love reading books like this .... all consuming.

...22 more reader reviews

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Author Information

Linwood Barclay Author Biography

Photo: Bill Taylor

Linwood Barclay is a New York Times and #1 international bestselling author whose critically acclaimed novels have been optioned for film and TV

Link to Linwood Barclay's Website

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