cover image Broken Promise

Broken Promise

Linwood Barclay. NAL, $25.95 (496p) ISBN 978-0-451-47267-0

Promise Falls, N.Y., is a less salacious but deadlier version of Peyton Place in this engrossing smalltown thriller from Arthur Ellis Award–winner Barclay (No Safe House). Reporter David Harwood, recently returned to town, visits his emotionally fragile cousin Marla Pickens, who lost her baby girl during birth 10 months earlier. Harwood is startled to find her caring for a 10-month-old baby boy, brought to her, Marla claims, by an angel. Meanwhile, Det. Barry Duckworth of the Promise Falls PD has multiple (and strange) crimes to contend with, including an especially ugly murder. Marla’s newly acquired baby is at the heart of the mystery, but as Duckworth and Harwood pursue their separate investigations, secrets held by everyone from Harwood’s parents and Marla’s mother to hospital administrator Agnes Pickens and sleazy former mayor Randall Finley are exposed. Linwood’s adept characterizations and knack for unsettling twists make this a surefire bestseller. Author tour. Agent: Helen Heller, Helen Heller Agency (Canada). (July)