Broken Promises is the first book in the Promise Falls series, which began after the success of hero David Harwood in the novel, Never Look Away. I was drawn to David as a character in the first novel as he ran around town trying to find his missing wife while dodging the detective who was convinced David had killed her. In this installment, David helped his cousin, Marla, when she was accused of killing a woman and stealing her baby.
David’s background as a reporter gave him some credibility for why he would be so intent on helping his cousin, but I had a harder time believing in his motive here. Since the events didn’t concern him, it lacked the personal element that I find makes these novels work particularly well. And unlike other protagonists, such as Nick Heller in the Joseph Finder series whose job revolved around danger, David didn’t naturally embody the skills necessary to track down a killer. Still, I went along with it, and just allowed myself to be entertained.
As for the story, it was very well developed and packed with people and events that all fit into the larger piece of the puzzle. Barclay is a master at giving sufficient information about each character to make them seem like real people with hopes and fears. I was especially amused with the banter between David’s parents, which read just the way old married couples pick at each other.
I can’t wait to read the next book in this series. These are so fun and ridiculous that they are pure entertainment!