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Advance Readers' Comments for FAR FROM TRUE

In February, a select group of readers who previously won copies of BROKEN PROMISE by Linwood Barclay, won copies of FAR FROM TRUE, the second novel in his Promise Falls trilogy. Take a look at some of the readers' comments to give you more insight...and watch out for spoilers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laura H. from Branchburg, NJ
I loved this book! After reading BROKEN PROMISE, I had a number of questions about the characters and different events that occurred. FAR FROM TRUE not only answered some of those questions but, introduced a wider range (community) of characters and actions and events. There are a number of subplots that are intriguing and woven together as we meet and learn more about the residents of Promise Falls. The book left me, as a reader, wanting to learn more as more members of the town became embroiled in further and more sinister situations. And just when you think, a number of issues have been resolved, the author leaves you with a bang --- just as he began this novel.
 
Rating: 5
 
Describe the book in three words: Compelling characters, spider’s web of community connections, mysterious events
 
How did FAR FROM TRUE compare to BROKEN PROMISE?: In retrospect, BROKEN PROMISE seems to be a teaser for FAR FROM TRUE, where the characters continue to develop and to increase. The events and situations become more sinister and meatier, and more questions come up.
 
How would you describe this book to a friend?: This novel continues the story of David Harwood, an out-of-work reporter who returned to his hometown and became involved with mystery and mayhem. The author starts with a bang as a drive-in movie screen collapses and results in death, injury, and a number of questions. We learn more about the residents of Promise Falls and connections that tie many of them together. Devious, sexual, mysterious, and sinister happenings occur that makes you wonder what kind of town is this, who really are its residents and what makes them tick.
 
Would you recommend?: Yes, I previously recommended BROKEN PROMISE to friends. After reading FAR FROM TRUE, I know they would enjoy reading the second book of the trilogy as much as I did.
 
Would you read the final book of the Promise Falls trilogy?: Definitely, YES! I enjoy reading series as one gets to know the characters and their personalities. I really want to know what happens to some of the characters, the resolution of issues, and who the killer or killers are! I hope it will be the “dessert” that will end this interesting trilogy.
 
Andrew B. from Wethersfield, CT
FAR FROM TRUE is a spell-binding, suspenseful read that more than fulfills the promise of the first book in the trilogy, BROKEN PROMISE. The story picks up just a week or so following the events of the first book so the momentum continues straight-away. The “heroic” characters we were interested in from the first book are back in full force. Overweight, but dedicated police detective Barry Duckworth and former newspaperman turned political operative are now joined by former policeman turned private detective Cal Weaver (an honest, but devastated cop from one of Barclay’s previous novels) as the focus of the narrative. While their paths don’t cross that often, they do cross paths with most of the other suspicious characters in the narrative, each learning a little about the various mysteries at stake, but none (as of yet) having the complete understanding of the great ‘23’ mystery that serves as the core of the series. Of course, there are other significant mysteries and murders that occur on the sidelines of the central mystery, each as gripping as the overriding, yet to solved one, and Barclay aptly resolves those to the great satisfaction of even the most cynical mystery rider. Like the city bus that goes blazing all afire down one of Promise Falls main streets, Barclay takes the reader on a sharp, harrowing ride through the mystery that remains Promise Falls.
 
Rating: 5
 
How did FAR FROM TRUE compare to BROKEN PROMISE?: Because we know many of the characters from the previous novel, FAR FROM TRUE is a somewhat easier novel to follow and because of what we know, there is a little more character development. It is equally, if not more, suspenseful and mesmerizing. You may need to refresh your memory about some of the returning characters, but Barclay is pretty good about quickly and easily supplying any necessary background information.
 
How would you describe this book to a friend?: A suspenseful, rewarding follow-up to the promise that Linwood Barclay established in the first book of the series, BROKEN PROMISE, this second book, FAR FROM TRUE, ups the danger and suspense immediately in the first chapter. It doesn’t calm down until the very end. It satisfies in that several loose ends from the first book are deliciously wrapped up here, and a new mystery, introduced at the very start, is also resolved after several unexpected and shocking twists and turns.
 
Would you recommend?: To my mystery loving friends, I’d say: read both books, and postpone your life for a few days. You’re going to be so caught up in the events in the town of Promise Falls, that you’re going to want to give your full attention to the books.
 
Would you read the final book of the Promise Falls trilogy?: As for the final book, why do I have to wait until November? I want it now. I can’t wait to find out how Barclay is going to resolve this, and connect some of the characters we have met, and resolve several of the murders that we have either encountered or heard about from the past that seem to have a mysterious connection. And, what does "23" have to do with everything? I have multiple suspicions, but some may just be red herrings!
 
Deb M. from Perry, OH
I thought FAR FROM TRUE was a good read and it kept me engaged. I was wanting to read “just one more chapter.” There were some loose ends from BROKEN PROMISE that were not tied up (or even brought up). Old twists developed further and new twists were introduced.
 
Rating: 4
 
Describe the book in three words: Fast-paced, engaging, complex
 
How did FAR FROM TRUE compare to BROKEN PROMISE?: Compared to BROKEN PROMISE, I found FAR FROM TRUE similarly engaging with the ending leaving me wanting to read the sequel immediately. It seemed to require less character development, despite a plethora of characters, yet more plot development as the complexities of life in Promise Falls are revealed.
 
How would you describe this book to a friend?: FAR FROM TRUE is a page-turner with a plot that gradually reveals the ever-increasing complexities of life in the small town of Promise Falls where nothing and no one are as they seem. An engaging book with some laugh-out-loud passages as well as those that make you think: “Wow, I didn’t see that coming!”
 
Would you recommend?: Yes, I already have.
 
Would you read the final book of the Promise Falls trilogy?: Yes, I can’t hardly wait. I want to know who “23” really is.
 
Janet C. from Niles, IL
I enjoyed it a lot. At times I was surprised by the way things were going. I couldn't believe how it ended. I can't wait for the next book.
 
Rating: 5
 
Describe the book in three words: Suspenseful, ominous, spellbinding
 
How did FAR FROM TRUE compare to BROKEN PROMISE?: I really enjoyed BROKEN PROMISE, but I think I liked FAR FROM TRUE even more because I was already familiar with some of the characters. I felt like I could get into the heart of this book quicker. My only drawback was that sometimes initially my brain was a little fuzzy as to who each returning character was and how they related to the others. I think it would be a good idea to have a list of characters and a brief description either at the beginning of the book or end...so the reader can familiarize themselves with the returning characters. A map of Promise Falls would have been great, too. It would give a clearer picture of where things were happening in relation to other events.
 
How would you describe this book to a friend?: FAR FROM TRUE is the second book in the Promise Falls trilogy. It has a background story of strange things happening in town that Detective Duckworth determines has something to do with the number 23. In the first book, there was 23 squirrels hanging from trees and a ferris wheel starts turning with 23 scrawled on it. 23 continues in this book with a drive-in theatre screen crashing down on cars at exactly 23 hundred hours and 23 seconds. Later, a blazing bus goes careening down a road with 23 written on it. Finally, Detective Duckworth receives a note from the “23er,” suggesting he's on the right track. The reader learns you never know what goes on behind closed doors. The people in town will even kill to keep the secret hidden. This little town has it all: explosions, murders, sex, child abductions and romance.
 
Would you recommend?: I would definitely recommend this series. I already have to my friends. We like suspense thrillers.
 
Would you read the final book of the Promise Falls trilogy?: Yes. I can't wait to read the final book. I feel like I was left hanging...almost like it ended mid-sentence.
 
Kelly P. from Strongsville, OH
These are very complex books.
 
Rating: 5
 
Describe the book in three words: Intense, suspenseful, cliff-hanger
 
How did FAR FROM TRUE compare to BROKEN PROMISE?: This book was trying to wrap up some unanswered questions from BROKEN PROMISE.
 
How would you describe this book to a friend?: This book is intense and I would recommend reading BROKEN PROMISE first so as to be able to follow the story in FAR FROM TRUE.
 
Would you recommend?: Yes. It’s a very engrossing book.
 
Would you read the final book of the Promise Falls trilogy?: Yes.
 
Wendi M. from Randall, MN
I really, really, really liked it.
 
Rating: 4.5
 
Describe the book in three words: Exciting, mysterious, engaging
 
How did FAR FROM TRUE compare to BROKEN PROMISE?: I didn’t love it quite as much, but I still loved it.
 
How would you describe this book to a friend?: This is a fast-moving mystery that takes place in a small town where lots of strange things seem to be happening around the number 23. The daughter of one of the victims hires a private investigator to look into a break-in and a hidden room is discovered in the victim’s house. You need to read the book to find out all the rest of the dark and evil things that are buried and haunt the residents of this little town.
 
Would you recommend?: I already have. I love this author so much I recommend all of his books.
 
Would you read the final book of the Promise Falls trilogy?: Absolutely.
 
Ivy P. from Montclair, NJ
I loved Linwood Barclay's ability to bring a string of murders, sexual trysts, narcissism together in a symphony of suspense. From Duckworth's infamous girth to Findley's pompous destructive ego to Blackmore, Felicia, Sam, Cal and David, it's a ride through Promise Falls worth taking.
 
Rating: 4.5
 
Describe the book in three words: Engaging, surprising, provocative
 
How did FAR FROM TRUE compare to BROKEN PROMISE?: It was neck-in-neck, leaving not an inch of disappointment.
 
How would you describe this book to a friend?: It's one of those suspense stories that is easy to get into. You'll laugh, cheer for a few of the characters and want to smack a couple of them at the same time. Small towns have big secrets.
 
Would you recommend?: I already have recommended it to several friends.
 
Would you read the final book of the Promise Falls trilogy?: Most definitely.
 
Kathy I. from Gardena, CA
One of the few books to grab and keep my attention in a long time.
 
Rating: 5
 
Describe the book in three words: Clever, riveting, thrilling
 
How did FAR FROM TRUE compare to BROKEN PROMISE?: Although I detest a cliff-hanger, I knew it was coming so I was prepared for it. Aside from that, I loved both of these books and was happy getting to know more about the continuing characters. Both were compelling and very difficult to put down at bedtime.
 
How would you describe this book to a friend?: First, you must read BROKEN PROMISE, but don't be too disappointed at the lack of closure because FAR FROM TRUE keeps the story going. It's definitely a thriller with lots of twists and clever turns. It is very well written and will make you yearn for part three.
 
Would you recommend?: YES! When a book is this well written and compelling, it's hard not to share the fun.
 
Would you read the final book of the Promise Falls trilogy?: Yes. I can't wait.
 
Michael M. from Valley Village, CA
I thought it was great fun. A very involved mystery with some very interesting characters and very intriguing events. It created a mystery that I was into and wanted to see what happened.
 
Rating: 5
 
Describe the book in three words: Unpredictable, clever, page-turner
 
How did FAR FROM TRUE compare to BROKEN PROMISE?: I liked it just as much. Some of the characters continued from BROKEN PROMISE to FAR FROM TRUE, but all the new characters (and there were quite a few of them) brought new life to the new mystery. I read this book very quickly because I was totally drawn in. Not sure I love the cliffhanger ending only because who knows when I will get to read book three. I am afraid I will have forgotten what happened in book two (though, to be honest, that wasn't an issue --- I had forgotten most of book one but it all came back to me while reading this book). There are characters you root for and characters you love to hate.
 
How would you describe this book to a friend?: I loved it! This is a very engaging mystery with a lot of different plots --- some that get resolved and some that will continue in a future book. This book is well worth your time but read BROKEN PROMISE first.
 
Would you recommend?: Yes and I already have. This is definitely a book mystery and thriller lovers would totally love it. The plots are unpredictable (thank god) and it is hard to put down. I don't know how some people would feel about a cliffhanger ending, but it didn't bother me and hopefully won't bother them.
 
Would you read the final book of the Promise Falls trilogy?: Absolutely!
 
Deb K. from Jericho, VT
It took me a little bit to refresh my memory of the plot lines from BROKEN PROMISE, but once I was acclimated, I really enjoyed the book. Great characters that you care about and a fast-paced, gripping story. I was a little disappointed that more of the mysteries weren’t wrapped up, but I’ll look forward to the third book this fall.
 
Rating: 4
 
Describe the book in three words: Twisty, cliffhanger, scandalous
 
How did FAR FROM TRUE compare to BROKEN PROMISE?: While BROKEN PROMISE left us on a cliffhanger, I felt like some of the mystery was resolved and was satisfied with the ending. FAR FROM TRUE left us with many more mysteries than we started out with. Frustrating! I am really looking forward to the third book to find out some answers!
 
How would you describe this book to a friend?: Promise Falls is full of people with secrets.  From the opening scenes when explosions take down the drive-in theater screen, to spouse-swapping couples, attempted kidnappings, corrupt politicians, and an unknown criminal with a fixation on the number 23, you will be hooked!
 
Would you recommend?: Already have and will again!
 
Would you read the final book of the Promise Falls trilogy?: Absolutely!
 
Lea Ann M. from Seattle, WA
I enjoyed the book, though I did think there were a few too many characters to keep track of. The plot did give the reader something to think about and to try to keep a step ahead in figuring out who killed who. [SPOILER] And then, yes, indeedy, there was the fly in the ointment at the very end! [END SPOILER] Good touch. I hope the next book comes out soon.
 
Rating: 4
 
Describe the book in three words: Intriguing, challenging, surprising
 
How did FAR FROM TRUE compare to BROKEN PROMISE?: By coincidence, I was reading BROKEN PROMISE when FAR FROM TRUE arrived at my home. I finished the first book and then went on to the second. I will say that I did enjoy the first one a bit more than the second, primarily because of the plethora of characters and situations in the second book. I did appreciate the author bringing his readers up to speed in the second book as to what basically happened in the first one. It was especially helpful to those who may not have read BROKEN PROMISE.
 
How would you describe this book to a friend?: FAR FROM TRUE is a somewhat complicated mystery that takes place in a small United States town. Things are not as they first appear with either the characters nor the happenings.  But, this made me want to hurry along with my reading to see what did happen, to whom, when, how...all of the questions that arise in a good mystery.
 
Would you recommend?: Yes, I would and have recommended this series to others.  While it's not the "perfect mystery," few such books exist. This one is skillfully written to allow the reader to want to continue reading, to solve the mystery and to be shocked at the final page.
 
Would you read the final book of the Promise Falls trilogy?: Not only would I be interested in reading the final book of this trilogy, but I am looking forward to it. The author has done a masterful job of "hooking" the reader into looking forward to the final book.
 
Kathy F. from Stokesdale, NC
 
Rating: 4
 
Describe the book in three words: Engaging, twisty, unexpected
 
How did FAR FROM TRUE compare to BROKEN PROMISE?: Not as good as BROKEN PROMISE. There were too many characters in this book and I found it difficult to keep track of them all at times. More storylines in a book is not always better. If all these characters are carried into the third book, it's going to be hard to remember their stories.
 
How would you describe this book to a friend?: A good read that keeps you interested in what's happening. You should read BROKEN PROMISE first to follow the flow. Prepare yourself for another cliffhanger.
 
Would you recommend?: Yes. I like Linwood Barclay's work even though this series makes you suspend belief at times. How much more can happen in this tiny little town?
 
Would you read the final book of the Promise Falls trilogy?: Definitely!! I have to find out who Mr. Twenty-three is and what that is all about. I am interested in what else is going to happen in the soap-opera town of Promise Falls.
 
Sonnia F. from Naples, Florida
 
Rating: 4
 
Describe the book in three words: Intriguing, mysterious and somewhat manipulative
 
How did FAR FROM TRUE compare to BROKEN PROMISE?:  While I was so looking forward to reading FAR FROM TRUE after having been totally captivated by BROKEN PROMISE, I didn't get the same feeling from the very beginning that the first book had provided.  Eventually, it happened (I was captivated), but I felt I was being manipulated by the author in this volume. There's no doubt he provided many "aha, gotcha moments", but I didn't have as much fun this time around.
 
Would you recommend?: I recommended BROKEN PROMISE to friends  and shared my copy with them. I am doing the same with FAR FROM TRUE.
 
Would you read the final book of the Promise Falls trilogy?: I look forward to reading the third book after having been "teased" by the ending and the excerpt provided at the end of FAR FROM TRUE!
 
Erika L. from Washington Township, NJ
I really enjoyed FAR FROM TRUE. It was a fast paced read, and I kept wanting to read more.
 
Rating: 4
 
Describe the book in three words: Thrilling, fast paced, exciting
 
How did FAR FROM TRUE compare to BROKEN PROMISE?:  I liked FAR FROM TRUE even more than BROKEN PROMISE.
 
How would you describe this book to a friend?: FAR FROM TRUE is a fast paced thriller that will keep you turning pages. Not only is the mystery that needs to be solved interesting but Linwood Barclay also does a great job of developing all the characters and make you invested in their future.
 
Would you recommend?: I would recommend this series to a friend who enjoys reading mysteries.
 
Would you read the final book of the Promise Falls trilogy?: I am definitely interested in reading the final book of the Promise Falls trilogy. I can't wait to see how it will all come together in the end.
 
Brenda W. from Columbus, GA
I really enjoyed it and couldn't put it down.
 
Rating: 4
 
Describe the book in three words: Fast-paced, exciting, intriguing
 
How did FAR FROM TRUE compare to BROKEN PROMISE?: I liked it better. Even though I know there is another book coming, I felt like this book wrapped things up better than BROKEN PROMISE. With the first book, I felt like it was just a setup to get me to buy FAR FROM TRUE.
 
How would you describe this book to a friend?: In a small town, people keep dying in intentional ways. When everyone is hiding something, there's no one to trust.
 
Would you recommend?: Yes, absolutely. I thought it was really enjoyable.
 
Would you read the final book of the Promise Falls trilogy?: Yes.
 
Kevin D. from Barrington, IL
It was very well written and moved very quickly into action.
 
Rating: 4
 
Describe the book in three words: Action-filled, mystery, characters
 
How did FAR FROM TRUE compare to BROKEN PROMISE?: I thought it was better because it didn’t have to take time developing each character’s back story.
 
How would you describe this book to a friend?: The book jumps into action pretty quickly and it has a lot of subplots. There is a very good pace to the story.
 
Would you recommend?: Yes because I enjoyed it and enjoy passing on books that are good reads.
 
Would you read the final book of the Promise Falls trilogy?: Yes.
 
Kathy C. from Springfield, OH
I enjoyed this one more than the first book.
 
Rating: 4
 
Describe the book in three words: Big cliff hanger
 
How did FAR FROM TRUE compare to BROKEN PROMISE?: I thought this was a better book. I especially liked Cal and would like to see more of him. I did not care for Randy Finley who seemed to be written as a caricature of a corrupt politician.  However, I enjoyed the scene when he tended to his sick wife. This seemed to make him more of a real person.
 
How would you describe this book to a friend?: A thriller with interesting characters who keep you guessing.   
 
Would you recommend?: Yes, it's an easy read with interesting characters and plots.
 
Would you read the final book of the Promise Falls trilogy?: Of course! I have to find how this wraps up and what "23" is all about.