I was happy to be given a copy of Linwood Barclay’s latest novel, “Broken Promise,” in exchange for an honest review. He has been one of my favorite authors, and I had high expectations…that were more than met overall.

When David Harwood (introduced in an earlier book, although this title stands alone quite nicely) returns to his hometown of Promise Falls, New York, he is a widower with a young son, Ethan. He gave up his job at the Boston Globe so he could spend more time with Ethan, returning to the newspaper where he originally worked, being hired away by the Globe. However, as soon as he starts work, the hometown newspaper is shut down, and he is out of a job, living with his parents, trying to figure out what to do next.

The town of Promise Falls is heading downhill, with plenty of scandal and crime to keep an out of work reporter busy investigating. (Barclay’s line about the town is that it is like a suit that was once new but is now shiny and threadbare…love that line!) Things like dead squirrels, woman stabbed in her home, baby disappearing, attempted rapes at the college, illegal immigrants, sleazy local politicians, gambling problems/debts, and more.

There are several story lines running parallel to each other, and you just KNOW they will come together…and they do.

There is a slight hanging thread, which seems primed to be the beginning to the next book in what looks to be a great series.

Setting is well done, characters are many and complex, but not to the point of making you want to pull out your hair and throw the book across the room. Barclay seems to be a consistently entertaining writer, and I will eagerly read his future books!

5 stars from me! And THANKS to NetGalley.