Sunday, 6 August 2017

The Twenty-Three

Finished July 5
The Twenty-Three by Linwood Barclay

This is the third and final novel in the trilogy that started with Broken Promise and continued with Far From True. The book starts in a very dramatic way, with detailed descriptions of several people as they start their day as normal only to find things going horribly wrong. A librarian is one of the first people to die. As the reader gradually begins to suspect that there is large-scale poisoning of some sort going on, we look at all the players that we found in the first two novels. David Harwood, living with his son Ethan and his parents is worried about a woman he's come to have feelings for, and her son.
Cal Weaver is worried about his sister Celeste and the unfriendly attitude of his brother-in-law, but he also has strong feelings for the little girl Lucy Brighton that he met recently. When Lucy telephones him for help, he knows that he must assist this special girl that he's made a strong connection with.
Marla Pickens, still recovering from the dramatic events that restored her son to her, worries about her father Gill, as well as her young son Matthew.
George Lydecker's parents worry about where he is, now that he's been missing for longer than they've known him to be before.
Detective Barry Duckworth, worries about his son Trevor, and about the community in general. He's also beginning to put together some of the pieces to the puzzling crimes in the town. While the boyfriend of a cold case murder victim is starting to pull himself together after years of guilt and sadness, his girlfriend's father has finally given up trying to help him. 
Duckworth finds that a new murder victim with the same look as two previous unsolved murders may hold the key to finally finding the killer. The larger community catastrophe of the mass poisoning also has him making the connections to finally figure out the meaning of the number 23 that has been appearing all over town. 
At the college, the new head of security finds a lot on her plate as well, and she works closely with Duckworth to make the crimes occurring on campus get the attention they needed all along. 
Lots going on here, grief and relief, but the ending leaves us with new questions.

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