Book review: Parting Shot by Linwood Barclay

Sunday, May 7, 2017 Permalink

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!

Book review: Parting Shot by Linwood BarclayParting Shot
by Linwood Barclay
Series: Promise Falls #4
Published by Orion
on May 1st 2017
Source: Hachette Australia
Genres: Thriller / Suspense
ISBN: 9781409163947
Pages: 440

After a tragedy rocks the community of Promise Falls, Cal Weaver is asked to investigate the threats being made to the accused's family.

He's heard all about Jeremy on the news: the young man who drank too much, stole a Porsche and killed a girl, and who claimed afterwards not to remember a single thing. It seems an open and shut case, but for reasons he can't explain he accepts the job.

Soon Cal finds himself caught up in a vicious revenge plot, and it's only a matter of time before threats turn into action . . .

I’ll add a little more blurb here as the back cover kinda misses one element / stream of the plot. And it may be because (#spoiler if you haven’t read the end of The Twenty Three), Detective Barry Duckworth survives. Readers (including my ‘wailing’ mother) were thrown into turmoil as the book (and series) ended implying he might have died.

Parting Shot picks up a year later and Barry’s back at work. So, along with Cal (from the Promise Falls series) we’ve again got Barry, who’s lost some weight and attempting to recover from almost losing his life. There are a few references to the climax of the trilogy, which was good as I’d forgotten the detail, but not enough backstory required that you couldn’t read this as a standalone.

So, as well as Cal protecting Jeremy, there’s a separate thread with Barry being presented with a victim who claims to have been kidnapped by aliens. He thinks. He talks of being tied to a bed and injected with needles and has ‘lost’ two days. As it happens his story isn’t as farcical as it sounds and Barry’s soon on the trail of a new kind of criminal… though one Promise Falls knows well – one who’s out for retribution.

I think it’s pretty obvious what’s happened in the abduction case, and I suspect readers will get there before Barry. We also learn two-thirds of the way through, who is responsible. I usually hate it when we know ‘whodunnit’ and I don’t have to tax my little grey cells guessing, but Barclay offers us several mysteries in one here, so there’s plenty to think about.

I read this in a day and would have read it in a sitting if I’d had time. And even though I kinda knew where it was going Barclay – as he so often does – threw a damned twist in at the end that had me shouting, “Noooooo!” #bastard (Well, not really. But kinda!)

I obviously enjoyed the time spent with Barry and Cal. Barclay is able to engage us in the characters’ stories and lives and they’re realistic… fallible and far from the never-failing, inordinately lucky, almost superhuman hero we’re often offered.

It seems these Promise Falls-themed loosely linked books will continue and I’m glad of that. There’s brief reference to a few of the players from the trilogy so I suspect they’ll be back in a new outing. So that’s something to look forward to.

Parting Shot by Linwood Barclay was published in Australia by Hachette and is now available.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.

* And I swear it was called a trilogy!



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