It doesn’t seem two minutes since I was writing about Broken Promise, the first in the Promise Falls trilogy by Linwood Barclay, and here I am with a brief review of the second volume.
Far From True picks up from where the last book left off, which is only to be expected I suppose. The mystery of Marla’s baby has been solved, but life is far from back to normal as other mysteries remain.
Promise Falls is a fading town in New York State. Businesses are closing, among them the Constellation Drive-in Theater which is showing its last film before the land it occupies is sold to a property develop. But the Constellation literally goes out with a bang as there is an explosion and the screen collapses, falling on the cars near the front and killing their occupants.
While this event is tied to the ongoing plot of murder and mayhem, it is the repercussions of the deaths of a couple in a open-top, vintage Jaguar that are at the heart of the book. Private investigator, Cal Weaver, (last seen in A Tap on the Window) is hired daughter of one of the victims to look into a break-in at her father’s house. There he discovers a hidden room where salacious activities have taken place – as well as evidence of missing DVDs. But is it the DVDs that the thief was interested in.
Meanwhile, police detective Barry Duckworth is still investigating a perplexing murder, the odious Randy Finley’s campaign to run for mayor is gaining speed and David Harwood, who we met in the first volume, is embroiled in trying to protect a single-mother from the machinations of her murderous in-laws.
All of which sounds preposterous, but Barclay is such a good storyteller that it all seems perfectly normal. His writing perhaps lacks the dry humour of his other books, but Far From True doesn’t suffer as a result. Instead it cracks along with the momentum of a runaway train and I could easily have devoured it at one sitting.
The final volume, The Twenty-Three, is due to be published in November when I’m sure all will become clear. And for once I can’t wait for summer to begin and end.