Broken Promise by Linwood Barclay has a lot of mystery, a fifty-fifty blend of suspense and thrill with a tiny bit of romance. It is book one of the Promise Falls series. It leaves off with more unanswered question than solutions making the next book Far From True very tantalizing. This book is written in third and first person. Chapter to chapter the point of view changes. Most of the story is told from the main character David’s point of view. Those chapters are written in first person. Every other character’s point of view is told in third person. Because this story is being told from so many points of view often the reader knows more than other characters, but there are always new twists and surprises so the work holds the reader’s interest.
Broken Promise has a minimal back story for most of the characters. This adds to the mystery that anyone could be a suspect. The plot is complex but never gets confusing because the narrator changes so much the reader has a comprehensive knowledge of everything going on. The plot of this book was interwoven with the subsequent novels. The strange happenings that occur in this work and the relationships characters form are critical to understanding future books. The beautifully elaborate plot is genius because certain things will be important in future novels are presented here and serves as a misdirect that keeps the reader reasoning out the puzzle. The whole series reads more like one long work than several individual stories merely starring the same people as some series do.
Broken Promise has great age representation with the vivacious elderly characters. This book has the cliché foils: a warm, caring, homemaker with great family and a driven career woman with family troubles. It’s an overdone and unsurprising dynamic. The characters show diversity and are well developed, but there were times the dialogue seemed off. In short parts, the dialogue is wordy, oddly specific or articulate like it is doubling for narration, so it was hard to feel the character in the dialogue.
I think this was an excellent book and recommend it to you. This book is a solid eight out of ten. Reviews for the rest of the novels in this series will be up soon.
This series includes:
Far From True
A companion novel though not technically in the series is: A Tap on the Window