Sometimes books work best if you haven’t read the blurb before diving in. I mean, I always read the blurb before deciding whether I’ll request/borrow/buy/read a book (unless it’s one of my go-to authors and Linwood Barclay probably makes that list anyway!) but here for example Barclay opens with a prologue that – had I just read the blurb – I’d realise what was going to happen. Or at least maybe happen. Instead I’d kinda bonded with the likeable (potential) victim, not realising they may soon be gone. So… my breath was [indeed] a little taken away initially.
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It has to be said there’s a lot to like about Find You First by Linwood Barclay. I enjoyed the element of suspense but found the character development to be particularly interesting, becoming far more attached to some than is sensible in a thriller.
I read a media release, or perhaps a comment by Stephen King, noting this book opens with a bang and it certainly does. And the pace pretty much keeps going until it’s done. I’ve read most if not all of Barclay’s books and this is probably fairly close to being a favourite.
I’m posting this review earlier than planned as I accidentally read some of my TBR pile in the wrong order. As I only had this one electronically I didn’t have the usual media release and mistakenly thought it was out before some of the others on my list. So, oops.
Also, I’m a fan of Linwood Barclay and have read and reviewed many of his other books (and series) here, so happy to have read it slightly earlier than intended.
Linwood Barclay is one of my go-to authors, so I’ll snap up any book he releases. Recently I’ve been enjoying his Promise Falls series, but this is a standalone and – though elements are kinda ‘guessable’ – it’s still twisty and most definitely a great read.
Fans of Linwood Barclay may remember his recent trilogy, set in Promise Falls. I loved the first instalment (Broken Promise) struggled just a little with the second (Far From True), but enjoyed the third (The Twenty-Three) more.
It did however, end with a cliffhanger. My mother later read it… “It can’t end there!” she wailed. Okay, so she may not have wailed…. that just sounded better. 🙂 #alternativefacts
Well, the trilogy* did end. Officially. Until this – featuring some of the characters we came to know and love – was released… in some circles as a standalone, but also billed as Promise Falls #4!
I love love LOVED the first book in the Promise Falls series – Broken Promise – by Linwood Barclay. I loved our protagonist and struggling hero, David Harwood and the slightly-strange hometown he returned to.
I eagerly opened the second book (Far From True) on its arrival and was disappointed. Our lead character was relegated to a minor character and there was a new lead (PI Cal Weaver).
Other characters (police detective Barry Duckworth and dodgy businessman and former Mayor Randall Finley) reappeared and the underlying menace remained in the background… taunting us with something we weren’t yet seeing; but the crimes under investigation didn’t really grab my attention. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed the novel but was a tad confused. Barclay had introduced so many supposed protagonists and threads that I no longer knew who and what I needed to care about.
And finally, we get to the final and third book in the series, The Twenty-Three.
There were a lot of them, as I mentioned in that review, but that was okay as obviously Barclay was setting the scene for future books in the series. The inclusion of a crime which wasn’t ‘quite’ solved in the first series also made way for an overarching and continuing story arc.
Far From True, is the second instalment in the Promise Falls series.
After starting a few series part-way through (some more successfully than others), I’m excited to have been able to read the first in a new series. Of course I hadn’t realised that when I requested Broken Promise. I love Linwood Barclay and the plot sounded interesting so it wasn’t until it arrived and I checked Goodreads, I discovered it referred to as Promise Falls #1.
And what a fabulous first-in-a-series it is! Like David Baldacci’s (recent) Memory Man, I enjoyed this so much I’m eagerly awaiting more in the series.
Black River by Matthew Spencer opens with a murderous bang. Is it just me or is it kinda confronting when we’re introduced to a character on commencement of a book only to have them killed a la Drew Barrymore, Scream-like, upon meeting them? Although Spencer doesn’t have us ‘bond’ with the victim, it reminded me of Linwood Barclay’s Take Your Breath Away which I read earlier this year and opened by putting readers in the point-of-view of someone who was almost immediately killed. Which helped me deduce that THEY were not, in fact, going to be the lead protagonist. 💡