The Promise Falls trilogy – Linwood Barclay

After Mythos and On Royalty, I was in the mood for something light. So I picked up Far From True, only to stop after a couple of chapters  when one of the characters, a detective, started puzzling over some old murders. It was the first mention of these deaths, and it took up just one paragraph, which seemed to me to be compressing the narrative just a little bit too much.

This was when I realized that I’d unwittingly started on the second book of a three-volume trilogy. Since I’m a sucker for mystery stories, I obviously had to read all three to find out what happened to everyone. They’re good reads, with interesting characters and crisp dialogue. And because they all use the same 3-chapter structure – A focuses on this individual, B on these people, and C on a third – you’re always rushing through B and C to find out what happened to A, and then rushing through A and B to find out what happened to C, and so on. Which goes a long way to explaining why I went through the whole trilogy in just under two weeks. Compulsive is the word, I believe.

Just one quibble. While I’m happy for a little ambiguity in the way a story ends – having to wonder what happened next, as we do in life with many of the people we meet – the final volume wraps up so many plot strands so fast that you can’t help thinking the author had one eye on his watch and a plane to catch.

Barclay 1   Barclay 2   Barclay 3

 

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