Broken Promise, by Linwood Barclay

Americans just do it better. Bigger and better. Sorry, but they just do.

BrokenPromiseCoverAmericans just do it better. Bigger and better. Sorry, but they just do.

What am I talking about? Well, this sort of book actually. The sort of book that really is a masterclass of suspense.

No wonder this man sells millions of books, and I really do mean millions. Barclay started life as a journalist, so it’s no coincidence that the protagonist of the book, David Harwood, is a reporter. But he’s a man with many worries, a single parent, made redundant, and forced to go back home to live with his parents at an age that makes it uncomfortable in the extreme.

His home town of Promise Falls is painted with such a fine hand that it really is like finding yourself in small-town America. There’s corruption and vice, complicated by the fact that everyone knows everyone, or is related in some way.

So when David goes to visit his cousin, Marla, who is still not "quite right" after the loss of her baby, he is astounded to find her nursing a baby, a baby she insists was delivered to her by an angel.

And when a woman’s body is discovered across town stabbed to death, with her own baby missing, it looks as if Marla has done something dreadful indeed.

This is a tightly-plotted and suspenseful page-turner of a book, with twists and turns and clever nuances that will keep you guessing to the last page.

I’m thrilled that this star of an author is coming to Brighton.

Linwood Barclay will be appearing at The Bookish Supper Society on Wednesday, September 9. Tickets from