The Twenty-Three by Linwood Barclay

Just when I thought Promise falls was completely immersed in tragedy it gets worse. The death toll explodes as a sudden outbreak hits promise falls. No one knows how it happened or who has fallen victim. The local hospital falls into mayhem as everyone wants help and doctors don’t know the problem. It is heart-warming that through the fear and confusion the community bands together to spread the word of the danger and check on their loved ones. The Twenty-Three is the scariest promise falls novel yet.

This book has a multiple point of view style and diverse characters as the rest of the series. I like that the mystery stayed alive until the very end of the book. As the series has gone on some characters of uncertain moral fiber that at some points seem like prime suspects become esteemed members of the community. It is a very uplifting message about getting the fulfillment of serving the needy.

This is one of those books that drops off in an ambiguous spot. So much death and destruction happens in this book and you never really find out how well your characters handle it or the direction the character’s lives take afterward. I value the unique choice to leave the aftermath up to the reader’s imagination.  After three books I could see readers wanting “closure” since they have followed the same characters for three books so the uncertain ending was a bold, unexpected choice. I love it.

The story all came together nicely at the end. There was a logical connection to the events. It seems improbable that so many dangerous events could be happening at once, or that so many characters with sketchy pasts could all settle down in Promise Falls. Other than the amount of action would be incredible for real life it is a well-reasoned, elaborate story that impressively does not have plot holes and maintains the mystery until the end.

I would rate this book a 9/10.


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