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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Twenty-Three

The Twenty Three

Promise Falls Trilogy #3

ISBN: 9780451472724

Publisher: Penguin Berkley

Publication Date: 11/1/2016

Format: Other

My Rating: 5 Stars From New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Linwood Barclay comes the third jaw-dropping thriller set in Promise Falls. Everything has been leading to this. It’s the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, May 23rd, and the small town of Promise Falls, New York, has found itself in the midst of a full-blown catastrophe. Hundreds of people are going to the hospital with similar flu-like symptoms—and dozens have died. Investigators quickly zero in on the water supply. But the question for many, including private investigator Cal Weaver, remains: Who would benefit from a mass poisoning of this town? Meanwhile, Detective Barry Duckworth is faced with another problem. A college student has been murdered, and he’s seen the killer’s handiwork before—in the unsolved homicides of two other women in town. Suddenly, all the strange things that have happened in the last month start to add up… Bloody mannequins found in car “23” of an abandoned Ferris wheel…a fiery, out-of-control bus with “23” on the back, that same number on the hoodie of a man accused of assault… The motive for harming the people of Promise Falls points to the number 23—and working out why will bring Duckworth closer to death than he’s ever been before…

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My Review

A special thank you to Berkley and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. International #1 bestselling author, Linwood Barclay takes readers back to the beginning Broken Promise Promise Falls Trilogy, #1 (2015). "Best Cliffhanger Mystery Thriller Suspense Series," landing on my Top 30 Books of 2015—with the highly anticipated THE TWENTY-THREE a spine-chilling thriller conclusion Promise Falls Trilogy #3. (or is it)? Everything comes full circle. Promise Falls is an explosive series about the disturbing evil secrets of a quiet yet mysterious small town (turns out, not so quiet). Love the cover!

The final book in the Promise Falls trilogy, The Twenty-Three is a pulse-pounding, race-against-time thriller. Set in a fictional upstate New York small town outside of Albany, called Promise Falls—a town slowly dying, with a number of the businesses closing, or recently closed, and the younger generation, forced to move on to larger cities with better opportunities. Presently murder, and a whole lot more. A serial killer is targeting their town. A multi-layered plot, with an array of intriguing and well-developed characters, and a town of scandalous secrets, lies, conspiracy, murder, possibly revenge, and a list of crimes-and the mysterious number, "twenty-three". There is also a backstory of Olivia Fisher, (#1) a young woman with a bright future, killed years ago in a brutal murder. Her mother died of cancer recently, and the dad remaining - still grieving, and left to control the fiancé, who has turned into a raging alcoholic. Final Assignment (Promise Falls Trilogy, #1.5) 2016 Far From True (Promise Falls Trilogy, #2) 2016 How do the dots connect? Who has a motive for harming the people of Promise Falls?" Who is Mr. Twenty-Three? Saturday, Memorial Day weekend, May 23 and we all know what happens with the number 23. It spells HORROR for Promise Falls. The motive for harming the people, points to the number "23". It had all started with the horrific murder of Rosemary Gaynor. However, it really went back to the original: Olivia Fisher’s death- the first. Then most recently Lorraine Plummer. What do college students and women being murdered have to do with the other happenings? A serial killer is on the loose once again with his signature mark. And then there were some strange goings-on around town. Everything from dead squirrels, and a Ferris wheel coming to life all on its own to a college predator and a flaming bus. As if all that weren’t enough, the bombed drive-in, and now someone was poisoning the water. People are dying and even the lines at 911 were busy. Someone is poisoning the town’s water supply and possibly a multiple murderer—a serial killer. One in the same, or multiple people with different agendas? What is the missing link? Promise Falls was already on the edge about a possible terrorist attack after the drive-in. However now things were getting out of hand. The town’s water supply is being tainted. A fuel spill, chemicals, or was someone intentionally seeking to harm? Everyone was drinking the tap water and getting sick, and dying. Causing nausea, headache, vomiting, severe drop in blood pressure. To seizure, cardiorespiratory arrest and Hypo tension. By the time it is over, the number of dead is over two hundred, including those fatalities for the elderly, who died before they could even get them to the hospital. Who wants revenge? In the meantime, Sam Worthington and Carl were missing. David Hartwell has to warn them about the water. Randall Finley, running for mayor is of course, trying to push his bottled water to gain attention for his campaign, while making more enemies and causing suspicions. Who had a working knowledge of the town’s infrastructure? Victims of crime the ones you do not hear about. What about relatives of perpetrators? The pain. Lives getting turned upside down and they are not responsible but get blamed. Shunned. How can they move on and start over? Who has a tormented past? A history of psychological abuse? Motive? Madness. Payback? An agenda. . . Detective Barry Duckworth is front and center with #3. His detective work is brilliant; however, he may be in danger as he gets closer to the truth. Will he find the killer of the homicides and connect the dots, before it is too late, or will he die trying? The sins of the past and present collide. With an array of suspects, and clues --is there more than one killer, and how are they linked together? With more twists and turns than you can image, Barclay keeps readers glued to the pages of yet another riveting thriller. A mix of psychological, crime, cop procedures, forensics, mystery, suspense, wit, and humor----all rolled into one action-packed thriller! Only Barclay, can pull out a shocker at 98% which is mind-blowing! One of my favorite authors. Just when you think, all the pieces of the puzzle are solved----BAM! Here comes another. Read them all! For fans of Harlan Coben, Michael Connelly, Karin Slaughter, Lisa Unger, Lisa Gardner, Gregg Hurwitz, and John Hart-this spine-chilling series is award-winning and "movie worthy!"

Let's see what Janet Evanovich can do for the "number 23" and favorite sleuth, Stephanie Plum in Turbo Twenty-Three (Nov 15) "a magical number" for November.

Review Links:


“No one can thrill you and chill you better than Linwood Barclay.”—Tess Gerritsen “Barclay masters the nightmare in a small town formula practically invented by Lisa Gardner and Harlan Coben...A riveting, pulse-pounding tale.”—Providence Journal “Riveting... Great entertainment from a suspense master.”—Stephen King “Expertly plotted...superior entertainment.”—The Washington Post “Twist-driven thrillers packed with emotion are a hallmark of Barclay’s career.”—USA Today “A killer of a thriller.”—The New York Times Book Review “One of the best thrillers of the year.”—Lisa Gardner

About the Author

Linwood Barclay

Linwood Barclay is the #1 internationally bestselling author of thirteen novels, including Trust Your Eyes, A Tap on the Window, No Time for Goodbye and that novel's followup, No Safe House.This summer, his thriller Broken Promise, the first of three linked novels about his fictional upstate New York town Promise Falls, will be released.

Book two will come nine months later, and another nine months after that, the conclusion will be released.Over the years, several of Barclay's novels have been optioned for film and television.

Most recently, No Time for Goodbye has been optioned for television in France, and in 2012, Trust Your Eyes was the object of a film rights bidding war between Universal and Warner Bros.After spending his formative years helping run a cottage resort and trailer park after his father died when he was 16, Barclay got his first newspaper job at the Peterborough Examiner, a small Ontario daily. In 1981, he joined the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest circulation newspaper.He held such positions as assistant city editor, chief copy editor, news editor, and Life section editor, before becoming the paper’s humour columnist in 1993. He was one of the paper’s most popular columnists before retiring from the position in 2008 to work exclusively on books.

In 2004, he launched his mystery series about an anxiety-ridden, know-it-all, pain-in-the-butt father by the name of Zack Walker. Bad Move, the first book, was followed by three more Zack Walker thrillers: Bad Guys, Lone Wolf, and Stone Rain.His first standalone thriller, No Time for Goodbye, was published in 2007 to critical acclaim and great international success. The following year, it was a Richard and Judy Summer Read selection in the UK, and did seven straight weeks at #1 on the UK bestseller list.The book has been sold around the world and been translated into nearly thirty languages.

Barclay was born in the United States but moved to Canada just before turning four years old when his father, a commercial artist whose illustrations of cars appeared in Life, Look and Saturday Evening Post (before photography took over), accepted a position with an advertising agency north of the border. Barclay, who graduated with an English literature degree from Trent University, in Peterborough, Ontario, was fortunate to have some very fine mentors; in particular, the celebrated Canadian author Margaret Laurence, whom Linwood first met when she served as writer-in-residence at Trent, and Kenneth Millar, who, under the name Ross Macdonald, wrote the acclaimed series of mystery novels featuring detective Lew Archer.

It was at Trent that he met Neetha, the woman who would become his wife. They have two children, Spencer and Paige. Read More

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