Monday, 19 September 2016

The Twenty Three - Linwood Barclay

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…

This is the third book in a trilogy featuring the town of Promise Falls. I was less than thrilled when I reached the end of the first book (review here)to realise it was part of a trilogy. The second book Far from True which I review here when I thought I knew all the answers - I was wrong BIG time! But before all this came Never Look Away - not part of this trilogy but some of the back story to the one of the characters.

I've said it before - I am a big Linwood Barclay fan and I could not wait to read this latest book. However, I'm unsure that this tale needed three books - or even a fourth? There could still be some loose ends to tie up. 

You could read this book as a standalone. There are some nice recaps of the earlier goings on, not just for new readers but those that read the first two books too, as I doubt even the youngest will recall two books worth of info. They are done in a little gentle nod way, so you don't find yourself thinking, yes, I know all this get to the new stuff. 

The book opens with lots of different people getting sick. Barclay is a great observer of human nature and I could just imagine the many scenes playing out, so many different characters making such a small debut in his novel and yet he had all their traits right off. Little everyday nuances that you wonder why is he telling you this - so ordinary and that's how he reels you in, you overlook the clues! 

Barclay plays cat and mouse as usual with leading you to conclusions - or at least those you jump to yourself. All I can say is "I never saw it coming" especially the last line of "Thought about cake".......

I'm giving this book 5 out of 5 stars. My thanks to Netgalley and  The Berkley Publishing Group. 

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