Number of pages: 486
This is Linwood Barclay's fourth novel set in the town of Promise Falls, and stands apart from the previous three books that involved the number 23, so it can be read separately, with minimal spoilers for the other titles.
In the first chapter, Barry Duckworth is approached by a young man who believes he was abducted by aliens, as he blacked out after leaving a bar; in reality, he's been given a tattoo, identifying him as the person who killed Sean (who apparently is the pet dog of an old woman with dementia).
In what initially seems like a separate storyline, private investigator Cal Weaver, who narrates several of the chapters in the first person, is hired to protect a teenager who is receiving death threats after supposedly driving a car that killed a girl, while under the influence.
As with any Linwood Barclay novel, nothing is as it seems, and the book subverts the reader's expectation at every possible opportunity. I thought this was a decent book, though not quite as good as the previous Promise Falls Book, The Twenty-Three; at first it seemed a bit too slow moving, and some of the major plot points were easy to guess a long way off. I noticed that there was a large number of deaths in this book, particularly towards the end when the pace sped up and the story got more gripping.
However, the only other real issue I had with the book was that many of the major plot points seemed to be explained at least twice. I found this as gripping as most other books I've read by Linwood Barclay, and I'm wondering if he plans to revisit Promise Falls again, or whether this is, as the title suggests, his parting shot.
Next book: Before I Go to Sleep (S.J. Watson)