Broken Promise

Linwood Barclay's novel follows a widower who uncovers a dark family secret in a mysterious and sinister town.

Linwood Barclay

After his wife's death and the collapse of his newspaper, David Harwood has no choice but to uproot his nine-year-old son and move back into his childhood home in Promise Falls, New York. David believes his life is in free fall, and he can't find a way to stop his descent.

Then he comes across a family secret of epic proportions. A year after a devastating miscarriage, David's cousin Marla has continued to struggle. But when David's mother asks him to check on her, he's horrified to discover that she's been secretly raising a child who is not her own — a baby she claims was a gift from an "angel" left on her porch.   

When the baby's real mother is found murdered, David can't help wanting to piece together what happened — even if it means proving his own cousin's guilt. But as he uncovers each piece of evidence, David realizes that Marla's mysterious child is just the tip of the iceberg. (From Doubleday Canada)

Read an excerpt | Author interviews

From the book

The descent had begun five years ago, after my wife, Jan, passed away. A sad story, and not one worth rehashing here. After half a decade, there were things I'd had no choice but to put behind me. I'd grown into my role of single father. I was raising Ethan, nine years old now, on my own. I'm not saying that made me a hero. I'm just trying to explain how things unfolded.

Wanting a new start for Ethan and myself, I quit my job as a reporter for the Promise Falls Standard — not that hard a decision, considering the lack of interest by the paper's management in actually covering anything approaching news — and accepted an editing position on the city desk at the Boston Globe. The money was better, and Boston had a lot to offer Ethan: the children's museum, the aquarium, Faneuil Hall Marketplace, the Red Sox, the Bruins. If there was a better place for a boy and his dad, I couldn't think where it might be. But . . .

There's always a "but."

From Broken Promise by Linwood Barclay ©2016. Published by Doubleday Canada.

Author interviews

Linwood Barclay set to thrill again

7 years ago
Duration 5:59
Best-selling author comes out with Broken Promises, the first of three connected novels.

Linwood Barclay at home

9 years ago
Duration 3:44
The best-selling Canadian author's crime novels are critically acclaimed around the world, yet he's little-known here at home, Deana Sumanac reports