Broken Promise by Linwood Barclayby Linwood Barclay (Goodreads Author)

Published July 28th 2015 by NAL, Distributes by Penguin Group Syno(USA) LLC

5 Stars

Synopsis: From New York Times bestselling author Linwood Barclay comes an explosive novel set in the peaceful small town of Promise Falls, where secrets can always be buried—but never forgotten…
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.

My Review: I have had this book for awhile and kept putting off reading it, now I wish I had read it right away. I was riveted and once I got into it, I could not put it down. This is the first book in a trilogy and all the books have been published, so I will definitely get into the next one. This is a suspense/mystery that will keep you guessing most of the way, but not necessarily about the crime you are thinking.

David Harwood, a single dad, leaves a job at the paper in Boston because he spends no time with his son. He moves back to Promise Falls to take a job with the local paper, which closes its doors his first day on the job. He and his son Ethan are now living with his parents until he can find a new job and get back on his feet. His mother asks him to take some food to his cousin Marla, who is having some mental health issues and when he gets there she has a baby that she says an “angel” brought her. Marla lost her baby in childbirth 10 months earlier. Using information on the stroller, David goes to the house where he believes the baby lives and they find the mother’s body, dead in the kitchen. The story takes off from there.

There are many storylines going on at the same time in this book. The story starts with the discovery of 23 dead squirrels, all hanging by their necks on a fence. There are several attempted rapes at the local college, a physician with a gambling problem who is being threatened, a local police detective who wants to know what’s happening to his town, an ex-mayor who was outed after he was found ‘associating’ with underage prostitutes, but wants to make a comeback, a local town-worker whose daughter was murdered several years earlier and whose wife has recently died of cancer, and then some naked mannequins found in a carnival ride at a local amusement park that has closed down and is being sold off in the car numbered 23. This number comes up several times in the police investigations. What is its significance? All these seemingly disconnected stories are easy to follow, yet the story is easy to follow. They are not all solved at the end of this book, in fact, there are more unanswered questions, but it works and I can’t wait to get to the next book. This is a character driven story and the characters are well drawn. I can’t help but like many of them and hope that things work out for them. A great book for those who like mysteries and suspense. Pick it up and give it a go, I don’t think you will regret it. I won this book from a Goodreads Giveaway and I am glad I did.