Broken Promise: A Thriller by Linwood Barclay

Release Date - July 28, 2015

Linwood Barclay

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

I cannot think of a more intriguing premise from the number of books I've read this year. In Broken Promise, reporter/editor David Harwood returns to his childhood home after disliking his new life in Boston. He moved there to accept an editing job, but his long hours away from his son are wearing thin. Back in his hometown, he is back with the local paper, but soon has a lot of time on his hands when the company closes its doors.

While running an errand for his mother, David visits his cousin, a woman who lost her baby a year earlier, and finds her cradling a baby. She claims an angel in white brought this baby to her door. When the child's mother is found murdered, David agrees to investigate and find out if his cousin is a mentally imbalanced killer or if there is something far more sinister going on in Promise Falls.

Love the plot. I won't argue that. What I didn't love is how many other characters popped up, and how many other situations appeared that drew me away from the main plot. We have the dead squirrels, the Ferris wheel with mannequins and an ominous message, and a college campus rapist running loose. It became overkill. Each time the story switched from David and his investigations to the dieting detective whose battle to avoid eating doughnuts became almost a plot on its own or one of the other myriad of characters, I felt myself getting a little more disinterested.

Sadly, I soon grew too tired of keeping track of the different characters and was skimming chapters to get back to David. It wasn't long before I'd figured out the truth regarding his cousin. It's really not an ideal way to go through a book. I knew the solution to the mystery long before the book ended. I wish I could have found more enjoyment from Broken Promise, but in the end, for me, this mystery was a miss.


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