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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.
©2016 Linwood Barclay (P)2016 Recorded Books
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Snoodely on 12-18-16

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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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By R. Pontiflet on 02-26-17

Okay Story.... But Too Slow...

This is a good story but somehow not enough ... too slow. The search for the person(s) who poisoned the town's water supply kept the story moving towards that resolution. However, while the path to that resolution had good twists and turns, I found a good bit of it boring. The unexpected twist at the end was very surprising and did earn the story some redemptive points, but not much.

The plot centers around finding out who had a motive that drove them to harm the people of Promise Falls ... who was as mad as hell and couldn't take it anymore? and to get even they poisoned the town's water supply. Investigators were on the hunt and plot twists ensued. The story was mostly about who died as a result of the poisoned water. I lost interest and didn't care anymore.

The narration was significantly the most irritating aspect of this listen. The narrators performed in a breathless, on the verge of hysteria, like they were doing scenes from the long ago TV show, "Dragnet." Frustrating, irritating and annoying ! !

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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