The Twenty Three by Linwood Barclay

‘The Twenty Three’ is the final novel in Linwood Barclay’s Promise Falls trilogy. While the previous novel ‘Far From True’ left me feeling a bit lost and confused, this novel brought all the loose ends together and made sense of them. Then it left a few loose ends of its own.

It is the Saturday of a holiday weekend and many of the residents start to get ill. The hospital is soon overflowing with sick and dying people. Many people don’t even made it to the hospital.

It doesn’t take long for Detective Barry Duckworth to realise that the source of the mystery illness is the town’s water supply. And since the date is 23rd May, Duckworth soon suspects that the poisoned water is linked to other recent events featuring the number 23.

In addition to the water poisoning, Duckworth is also investigating another murder. The murder method is identical to that used in two earlier cases.

Through a series of coincidences, Duckworth finally gets some leads to the murderer and also finally works out the significance of the number 23. This gives him an obvious suspect.

Just when I thought the case was about to be solved, there was yet another twist in the story.


Our main characters – Barry Duckworth, Randall Finley, David Harwood and Cal Weaver were all left a bit unfinished at the end of the novel. I know this is the end of the series but I really want to know what happens next, particularly for Duckworth and Harwood.

This novel was a page turner. I was absolutely riveted and I still wanted more at the end. I’m hoping that Linwood Barclay will bring back the main characters in future novels.


Book Published 2016


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Filed under Barclay, Linwood, Book Reviews, Series Fiction, Thriller

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