An online marketing consultant, an avid reader of 400 + books a year. Professional reader, reviewer, and blogger. Enjoy ARCs and new releases.
By: Linwood Barclay
Series: Promise Falls #2
Publication Date: 3/22/2016
My Rating: 4 Stars
A special thank you to Berkley/NAL and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Linwood Barclay heats up the action, drama, secrets, betrayal, and scandal in the fictional Upstate New York small-town of Promise Falls, with the second installment,FAR FROM TRUE, following “Best Cliffhanger Mystery Thriller Suspense Series” Broken Promise, #1, landing on myTop 50 Books of 2015 and teaser novella, Final Assignment#1.5.
Barclay fans will love all the characters from previous books: Detective Barry Duckworth (loves his donuts), David Harwood, his parents, Marla, Lucy Brighton, Cal Weaver, Derek Cutter, and Randal Finley, etc…..
Keep your score card handy, in order to keep up with all the characters and how each is connected. There are murders to solve, as evil lies from the past began to surface, further complicating the lives of those in Promise Falls.
A run down drive-in movie theater, the Constellation collapses, killing four people and injuring others. Demolition was not scheduled for the following week. The owner had sold the property to a developer, Mancini Homes and he and his wife were headed to Florida for retirement. A shootout at the laundromat, an attempt to kidnap a child, and we are just getting started.
This was supposed to be the last night at the drive in. Of course Randel Finley, who is trying to work his way back into the good graces of the people and politics, does not listen to David Harwood, former reporter and now assistant to the former mayor. David did not even want this job; however, he needed the money to start his new life over with his young son.
David is not cut out for all the drama. He had enough of it with his late wife, Jan, and the episode with Marla and her baby. Even his former reporting days had not prepared him for this kind of unrelenting stress.
Detective Duckworth is on the case. In the meantime, Lucy, (daughter Crystal), we met in FINAL ASSIGNMENT, hires Cal Weaver regarding a break in at her dad's house. (Adam) and step mom, Miriam. They were at the drive-in --her father’s Jag car was crushed. Former writer, and bad boy ex Harley biker. (hedonist)
Turns out Lucy’s dad was up to no good (naughty, naughty)—a sex room, (a man on the verge of sixty with a younger wife, a past, no new books, a hidden sex room, fully equipped with sex toys, spouse-sharing, prostitution, and a break-in. (how many involved-and participants) ? A missing letter, and an ex wife. Someone is after some incriminating evidence and Lucy is in search for something critical. Her biggest concern is to protect her daughter and provide for special needs.
As always, things become complicated, connected, and one thing leads to another. Nothing is how it appears. Everyone has hidden secrets and motives. Connection between Jack Sturgess and Olivia? Now Cal and Lucy become close, jeopardizing the case, a step mom appears, and of course we are updated on the events from the last book, Thackery College drama, the murders of Olivia Fisher and Rosemary Gaynor, blackmail, murder, and last but not least the mystery surrounding NUMBER 23. From the 23 dead squirrels, number on Mason’s hoodie, the three mannequins with “you’ll be sorry” in carriage 23 of the Ferris wheel at Five Mountains—coincidence?
The explosion at the drive-in occurred at twenty-three minutes past twenty-three hundred hours. (military time)-No coincidence. Duckworth no longer believed the frequency with which “23” was popping up was just happenstance. Something was going on. Mr. Twenty-three (per media) is tying to scare everyone to death. Terrorism? Finley is such a politician, always working an angle and David may be the person to finally put him in his place (maybe—for 5 seconds).
Readers are left with another cliffhanger and new drama. Sorry, folks, we need to wait until the next installment to solve this mystery of Twenty-Three.
As I mentioned in my tweet this week to Lisa Unger and Linwood Barclay. I want a joint collaboration to combine both fictional upstate New York troubled cities Unger's (The Hollows) with Barclay’s (Promise Falls). Possibly Unger’s Eloise or Finley (psychics) could head over to Promise Falls to help solve this #23 Mystery. Can you image these two cast of characters in one book, plus the creativity of Unger and Barclay? Explosive!
Entertaining! Even though I am enjoying this series and a huge Barclay fan, with lots of wit, mixed with crime thrills---#1 Broken Promise was a little more intense; possibly from the usage of so many characters--#2, this go around (making your head spin); a lot of S**T going down. However, anxiously awaiting #3! Highly recommend all his books.
Peyton Place + Desperate Housewives + Murder + Lies + Dark Secrets + Twenty-Three = Promise Falls