Sunday, February 7, 2010

"The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out." Unknown source

David Harwood, reporter, has been working on a story of a privately run correctional corporation, wanting to build a prison in his town. David has records of payoffs of politicians by Elmont Sebastian, the president of the corporation. Most of the information is complete, but David's editors delay in publishing it.

One day, David, his wife, Jan, and their four year old son, Ethan, go to Five Mountains, an amusement park. As they approach the gate, Jan remembers her back pack and returns to the car, telling David that she will meet him inside.

David waits but Jan never appears.

David begins searching and notifies park security, a search is mounted but Jan isn't found. When park officials check the surveillance records of people entering the park, there is no record of Jan entering.

When local police arrive and begin investigating, they find that only two tickets were purchased. The lead detective believes that David may have caused his wife's disappearance.

David conducts his own search and discovers that many of the things he and Jan had built their life around were untrue. He needs to find his wife and learn why she couldn't trust him with the truth.

As a character, David is most sympathetic. His plight is tragic but we also witness what his wife is doing and wonder why David, a reporter couldn't see how things really were. Jan is a true Machiavellian, out only for herself. She is totally unlikable but this is probably what the author intended so all of our compassion is with her husband.

The plot is magnificent. Barclay is like a master fisherman, casting his lines in different spots and then reeling them back with a story that catches the reader's breath.

1 comment:

Diane said...

I've enjoyed this author's books in the past, but I have not read this one yet. Thanks for recommending it! Make me anxious to read it.

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Broken Promise