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From New York Times bestselling author Linwood Barclay comes an explosive novel set in the peaceful small town of Promise Falls, where secrets can always be buried—but never forgotten…
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.
Other strange things are happening. Animals are found ritually slaughtered. An ominous abandoned Ferris wheel seems to stand as a warning that something dark has infected Promise Falls. And someone has decided that the entire town must pay for the sins of its past…in blood.
Promise Falls, N.Y., is a less salacious but deadlier version of Peyton Place in this engrossing smalltown thriller from Arthur Ellis Award winner Barclay (No Safe House). Reporter David Harwood, recently returned to town, visits his emotionally fragile cousin Marla Pickens, who lost her baby girl during birth 10 months earlier. Harwood is startled to find her caring for a 10-month-old baby boy, brought to her, Marla claims, by an angel. Meanwhile, Det. Barry Duckworth of the Promise Falls PD has multiple (and strange) crimes to contend with, including an especially ugly murder. Marla's newly acquired baby is at the heart of the mystery, but as Duckworth and Harwood pursue their separate investigations, secrets held by everyone from Harwood's parents and Marla's mother to hospital administrator Agnes Pickens and sleazy former mayor Randall Finley are exposed. Linwood's adept characterizations and knack for unsettling twists make this a surefire bestseller. Author tour.