Full disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Penguin Random House of Canada in exchange for an honest review.
Last August, when I read Linwood Barclay’s Broken Promise, I nearly threw the book across the lawn at my in-laws’ when the end of the book provided zero resolution.
Six long months later, the sequel (in a planned trilogy) Far From True, arrived at the door and it was all I could do to continue reading the book I was in the middle of instead of jumping right back into life in Promise Falls.
There’s no real way to write about this without some spoilers. But if you haven’t read the first book, none of this will mean anything anyway so I think it’s safe to keep going.
When we left Promise Falls, the murder of Rosemary Gaynor was still unsolved and the police were looking at similarities between her murder and that of a young woman killed three years earlier, the number 23 was showing up in ways that could no longer just be coincidental, and the head of security at Thackeray College was all kinds of shady.
None of that was resolved in Far From True.
But more mystery and intrigue was added. The local drive-in theatre is closing and hosting one last movie night. The town turns out and just as the movie is about to start, there’s an explosion and the screen comes down, killing four. That leads to the discovery of a Christian Grey style playroom at one of the deceased’s homes, which may include the possibility of videos of certain citizens in compromising positions. There’s also a missing wife of a professor at the college and the attempted abduction of the kid of the woman David Harwood, the reporter from the last book, is seeing.
None of this was resolved either.
If you haven’t read Broken Promise, you can’t read Far From True. Nothing would make sense. This is the kind of series that can’t stand on its own book by book, the kind of series that would be so much better to read back to back. I wish that the third book was out already because I would love some resolution!
That said, this was an excellent bridge book. That is, it bridges the gap between things that I wanted to know from the first book and clearly laid a lot of groundwork for whatever is coming in the final book. If anything, reading Far From True has made me more eager for the finale. There was a lot going on in Broken Promise and I didn’t think that Barclay could cram anymore in. This isn’t a thriller about one person or family or department; this is a series that is actually about an entire town. A seriously messed up town with a lot of corruption, people bent on revenge and strange happenings, but an entire town nonetheless.
So now we wait for several months to find out how this all unravels. The Twenty Three is expected in November. For those of us that don’t want to wait, there’s a novella that’s being billed as book 1.5 – Final Assignment.