The Twenty-Three : Promise Falls

  • by Linwood Barclay
  • Narrated by Richard Poe, Brian O’Neill
  • Series: Promise Falls
  • 12 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Everything has been leading to this.
It's the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, May 23rd, and the small town of Promise Falls, New York, has found itself in the midst of a full-blown catastrophe. Hundreds of people are going to the hospital with similar flu-like symptoms - and dozens have died. Investigators quickly zero in on the water supply. But the question for many, including private investigator Cal Weaver, remains: Who would benefit from a mass poisoning of this town?
Meanwhile, Detective Barry Duckworth is faced with another problem. A college student has been murdered, and he's seen the killer's handiwork before - in the unsolved homicides of two other women in town. Suddenly, all the strange things that have happened in the last month start to add up. Bloody mannequins found in car "23" of an abandoned Ferris wheel, a fiery, out-of-control bus with "23" on the back, that same number on the hoodie of a man accused of assault. The motive for harming the people of Promise Falls points to the number 23 - and working out why will bring Duckworth closer to death than he's ever been before.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Don’t Drink the Water ...

... and never visit Promise Falls! Promise Falls, Upstate NY, is having a really bad month. Okay, I am pretty sure that Promise Falls does not really exist (I could not find it in my Maps app); but Mr. Barclay makes it feel awfully real in his Promise Falls series. In any case, I suggest that you visit there only virtually, via this audiobook series, because Promise Falls is turning into a dangerous place to live! However, you really, really must start from the beginning, with “Broken Promise.” In fact, if you want to get properly diligent about it, you should first listen to Barclay's “Too Close to Home,” “Never Look Away,” and “A Tap on the Window,” in order to learn the full back-story on the characters that re-appear in the Promise Falls series. (BTW: I suspect that we will be hearing more from Barclay about Promise Falls, because he leaves a few plot threads dangling here in “The Twenty-Three.” I cannot wait for the next episode!)

Mr. Barclay uses a clever technique in this Promise Falls series, where each entry features a different character, who gets to speak in the first person. First, out-of-work newspaper reporter David Harwood (whom we learned about in “Never Look Away”) tells the story from his point-of-view in “Broken Promise.” Then, private investigator Cal Weaver (from “A Tap on the Window”) picks up the story in “Far from True.” Finally, police detective Barry Duckworth (introduced in “Too Close to Home”) tells us about Promise Falls’ poisoned-water mystery here in “The Twenty-Three.” You will like Barry Duckworth. He has smarts, intuition, diligence … and an inordinate sweet-tooth. What’s not to like?

In each of the Promise Falls series so far, the publishers used two narrators: one to voice the featured character, and one to narrate the rest of the story. “The Twenty-Three” has the best pair of narrators in this series, in my opinion. I especially liked Richard Poe’s depiction of Detective Barry Duckworth. Poe believably conveys not only Duckworth’s investigative thought processes, but also his — funny! — battle with doughnuts; and Poe capably voices the other characters with whom Duckworth dialogues.

Bottom Line: If you like mysteries, then buy this audiobook … but first listen to its prequels in the Promise Falls series.
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- Snoodely

Wanted More, Many Loose Ends But Still Good Listen

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Not if they haven't read book one or two. Most authors add refreshers in the story so readers can get reacquainted with the characters but this one really didn't. Frequently I had to go research to rememeber who was who.


Who was your favorite character and why?

David has always been my favorite and I was really disappointed with how they left his part of the story kind of a mystery at the end.


Have you listened to any of Richard Poe and Brian O’Neill ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

These two narrators are excellent. I really enjoy listening to any book they narrate.


If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Vengence is a Bitch


Any additional comments?

I love Linwood Barclay and have listened to every one of his books but this one left me with so many questions and from I understand, this was the end to the series. To those who have listened to book one and two, I encourage you to listen to this one too. The end of the book just felt rushed and the last line of the book was just stupid. I think the readers deserved a more complete ending, that's all.

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- Jennifer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-01-2016
  • Publisher: Recorded Books