"Broken Promise" (NAL/Penguin Random House), by Linwood Barclay
Linwood Barclay returns to the small town of Promise Falls for his latest novel, "Broken Promise," bringing back several characters and delivering another gripping tale.
In this story, journalist David Harwood returns to his childhood home to create a better school situation for his young son Ethan. He takes a job at the local newspaper, but the paper folds on his first day at work.
Then he's asked to visit his cousin Marla, who lost a baby during childbirth a year earlier. He arrives to find her cuddling a 10-month-old boy. She claims an angel gave her the child. Harwood does some investigating and learns where the baby's mother lives. He goes to the house, where he finds the woman's body. As he investigates her death, he's led to places he'll wish he'd never explored.
"Broken Promise" examines several residents of Promise Falls and their hidden secrets and desires.
The story is fascinating and the characters are intriguing, but several plot threads are left unanswered. The final section is a sneak peek at the next book set in the town, which is messed up in many ways.
This is like the best epic fantasy novels that hint at more ghastly tales to follow.