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The Twenty-Three

(Promise Falls #3)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  7,195 ratings  ·  799 reviews
From New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Linwood Barclay comes the jaw-dropping finale of the Promise Falls Trilogy.

It’s May 23, and small town Promise Falls finds itself in the midst of a full-blown catastrophe with dozens dead from a flu-like virus. Investigator Cal Weaver quickly zeros in on mass poisoning and a tainted water supply.

Meanwhile, a col
Hardcover, 451 pages
Published November 1st 2016 by Berkley (first published September 22nd 2016)
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Janey I can tell you now that the fourth book of the "trilogy" (huh?) doesn't resolve nearly as much as you would want, and adds its own loose ends. Maybe i…moreI can tell you now that the fourth book of the "trilogy" (huh?) doesn't resolve nearly as much as you would want, and adds its own loose ends. Maybe it's a marketing strategy to make people buy the next one or maybe a supposedly literary technique (one I haven't come across before despite having a degree in English Literature) but I felt cheated. I want to know what has happened to people I got interested in - I know it's fiction but we are supposed to get involved aren't we? This has left me so disappointed I won't be reading any more Linwood Barclay.(less)
Fiona Mccormick A lot of people are lucky enough to receive advance reader copies of books in exchange for an honest review, either from a review site or the publishe…moreA lot of people are lucky enough to receive advance reader copies of books in exchange for an honest review, either from a review site or the publisher.(less)

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Average rating 4.03  · 
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 ·  7,195 ratings  ·  799 reviews

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Sep 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is the explosive finale to the Promise Falls trilogy set in New York State. It is told from multiple points of view and all past events have been leading to this. Promise Falls and its residents are about to experience a catastrophic fallout from previous events that results in the deaths of hundreds amidst which are a number of murders. It all begins on the Saturday of the Memorial weekend, and people are suffering from extreme nausea, vomiting and other flu like symptoms. Many are dying a ...more
Chelsea Humphrey
Oct 22, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: from-publisher
:( I know I'll be in the minority, and I'm a huge Linwood Barclay fan, so I hate to give this a less than glowing review, but I can't overlook the many issues I had with this one. This trilogy required a great deal of time and energy to have as much fluff and filler as it did and for it to end how it was left. ...more
Mary Beth
Mar 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 250-up-to-date
I really do love this trilogy. and this is the third book in the Promise Falls Trilogy. I was surprised that there actually is a fourth book that comes out this November.
I really love this author too. I suggest that when you start to read this trilogy that you binge read it because if you don't I really think it would be hard to follow.

More mass mayhem awaits Barclay fans in the final installment of his Promise Falls trilogy, in which bodies stack up “in the morgue like firewood before the wint
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

I haven't read the first two books in this trilogy, but it didn't seem to bother this book as a stand alone. There were references and I would like to read the first two so I can know what all went on, but I was fine with what was going on here.

I thought the blurb sounded really good but I misread it a little bit and some of it was from the first two books, so once again, I need to go back to those books.

All of these people drink the water, in coffee, plain, etc and many die before they can ge
Dec 15, 2016 rated it liked it

In this third book in the 'Promise Falls' trilogy, the water in Promise Falls gets poisoned, which causes havoc in the town. The books in the series can be read as standalones but it's best to read them in order for a full understanding of the story arc and the characters.

If you haven't read the first two books this review might contain some (minor) spoilers.


The upstate New York town of Promise Falls has no end of troubles. An unknown perpetrator has been orchestrating all kinds of havoc r
Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I just reviewed my reviews for the first two books of this trilogy, and I could basically say the same things for this book. Linwood Barclay has done an exceptional job of refreshing my memory of happenings from the first two books.

I highly recommend reading this trilogy from the beginning. I would even suggest binge reading these three books. Once again, there is a LOT of activity in Promise Falls! I suspect Mr. Barclay had a floor-to-ceiling flow chart on his wall for several years. If you hav
Jackie Ullerich
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I deeply appreciated Linwood's vivid, detailed writing. Small town politics, sex, murder. The dialogue made these characters come to life. There are a lot of them, so I would highly recommend that you read this series one book after another so that you can keep track of them. You will get information about each characters' personal lives. One of this series' strengths is how Linwood delves into the backgrounds of even minor characters—not to the same extent as the main characters, so it doesn't ...more
Oct 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is the 3rd book in the 'Promise Falls Trilogy' by author Linwood Barclay.
I have read the previous books in this series and although I think it certainly helps make sense of everything I don't consider it essential and can be read as a stand alone.
In this 3rd instalment hundreds of people are taken to hospital suffering from flu like symptoms and many have died. It's the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, May 23rd, and the small town of Promise Falls, New York, is in a state of panic. Investi
Jody McGrath
Oct 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
As if things haven't been crazy enough in Promise Falls, the crazy is about to racked up to extreme. Somehow the town's water supply has been poisoned, killing hundreds and making hundreds more sick. On top of that another body is found with a smile cut abdomen, just like the others. With city resources stretched to their limits, police are in a hurry to figure out the water supply, but one detective starts putting the clues together. What does 23 mean? Are the serial killings and the rest of ev ...more
Oct 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow! And when I add it to the other two books in the Promise Falls Trilogy, it's wow, Wow and WOW!

The title refers to the number 23, the number of a Ferris wheel car in which bloody mannequins were found, and on the back of a fiery bus (see Far From True, the first in the trilogy, and Broken Promise, the second. In this one, all hell breaks loose on May 23, when hundreds of Promise Falls residents are becoming violently ill - many dying - suspected to be a result of something nasty in the water.
Nov 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

A really good ending to the Promise Falls Trilogy.

I rated the first 2 books a solid 4 stars each. While the series ending did provide satisfactory closure, I rated this one lower because about a quarter of the way through, I realized I was over all the cray cray going on in this small messed up town.

With so many characters and sub plots, it took me awhile to remember who was who and who did what. I think this took some of the fun out of this long awaited finale. I think I would have en
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
Wow Mr Barclay - you have me hooked!

The Promise Falls Trilogy is an exceptional read, the weak link being the middle book, Far from True, where there was quite a bit more back story than was required.

I couldn't put The Twenty-Three down. I literally walked around with it in front of my face. Mr Barclay writes twisted plots. I gave up trying to second guess him in the end and just enjoyed the read. Every time I thought I knew where he was heading, he would do an about face and throw another red h
The mystery of all the strange events in Promise Falls involving the number 23 culminates in this story...the 23 bloody mannequins discovered in the abandoned Ferris wheel, the out-of-control bus #23, the 23 dead squirrels, etc. It’s the Saturday of the Memorial Day weekend, May 23, and the worst of all these phenomena occurs. Both Detective Barry Duckworth and private investigator Cal Weaver know the number has some significance and think they’ve figured it out. Now all they have to do is find ...more
The holiday weekend started with a bang! Emergency services were being called until they weren’t answering – the emergency department at the hospital was overrun with sick and dying people. What was happening? Why were the residents of Promise Falls becoming sick and dying where they stood?

Detective Barry Duckworth was already run off his feet investigating murders and explosions in his town – now with this latest horror, the department couldn’t work out what was happening – or why? Calling in
Mary Beth
Mar 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Review to be done shortly, behind in reviews.
Sep 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Linwood Barclay, and Berkley Publishing Group for providing me with a copy of this book, which allows me to provide you with this review.

In the finale of his Promise Falls trilogy, Barclay ties everything together while impressing the reader with a fast-paced novel that is sure to leave as many questions lingering as it supplies answers. Still smarting from the recent drive-in bombing, Promise Falls must face another life-altering event. The wa
Pat (not getting friend updates currently)
Phew that was pretty full on. This instalment starts with a bang. People in Promise Falls are dropping like flies, many are dying. Is it something in the water or a deadly airborne virus?

Sheriff (I think) Duckworth is still obsessed by the number 23 and in solving what is now three similar murders. The sex club members are being killed off. Suspects for everything (remember the drive in bombing?) are being identified and discarded and re-considered. And as many more townsfolk die of the mysterio
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Oct 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2016
Finally! That's how I felt when I started to read this book. The last book had a terrible cliffhanger and I've been waiting months to get to continue with the story. So, did this book live up to my expectations? Yes, and no. Don't take me wrong, it's a fantastic book, a page-turner. I loved that everything was starting to come together. However, not everything felt completely resolved, and right now I checked to see so it really is a trilogy and that no more books are planned in the series becau ...more
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
A good finish to the trilogy! I can’t remember from the previous books, but this time I found Duckworth’s 1st person narrative quite annoying. This wasn’t one that would have been possible to solve as there were multiple explanations going on, which can be pretty annoying if you spend the whole book looking for the one ‘culprit’.
Judy D Collins
International bestselling author, Linwood Barclay takes readers back to the beginning Broken Promise Promise Falls Trilogy, #1 (2015).

"Best Cliffhanger Mystery Thriller Suspense Series," landing on my Top 30 Books of 2015—with highly anticipated THE TWENTY-THREE a spine-chilling thriller conclusion Promise Falls Trilogy #3. (or is it)? Everything comes full circle.

Promise Falls is an explosive series about the disturbing evil secrets of a quiet yet mysterious small town (turns out, no
Aug 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: b, 2019

The final book in the Promise Falls trilogy, The Twenty-Three is a pulse-pounding, race-against-time thriller.

The day begins like any other Saturday - a shower, coffee, breakfast. But suddenly, all hell breaks loose in the town of Promise Falls. People are dying in the street - the hospital and emergency services are overwhelmed by sheer numbers. Is it mass food poisoning, a virus, or something more sinister? Has someone, rather than something, caused this?

Detective Barry Duc
Dec 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
People are all going to the hospital with flu like symptoms and many have died. The poisoning is traced to the water supply but who would do such a thing. Then there is a murder and it shows signs of being related to others murders that have occurred in town. Clues keep turning up, all with the number “23”. Can Det Barry Duckworth solve these crimes. Great read. I would like to thank the Publisher and Net Galley for the chance to read this ARC.
Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life.

I enjoyed this final installment in the Promise Falls trilogy. I was eager to finally get some answers when I picked up this book and I feel like I got them for the most part. Like the other two books in the trilogy, this novel did have its own focus but there was a lot of things that needed to be wrapped up from the previous books in the series. This was a really fast paced and exciting story.

This book starts with a bang. People in Promise F
Susan Johnson
Nov 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
This is the final book in the Promise Falls trilogy and it starts off with a bang. People start dying everywhere. They get violently ill, vomit and die. As the hospital fills beyond capacity and all service personnel are called in, people wander dazed and confused. What is going on?

Barclay certainly knows how to write a thriller. It keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the book just as the other two volumes did. This has been an amazing series keeping you hooked to the story and what
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
That was a damp ending eh

The whole third book was just slightly over imaginative

I liked the first two books but Linwood in the conclusion of the trilogy just didn’t deliver in my opinion
Rachel Hall
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

An absolutely grandstanding, high octane third and final instalment in the Promise Falls trilogy delivers maximum bang for your buck and will leave readers unwilling to see the back of this up against it town located in upstate New York. The sensational conclusion sees the long-game plotting prowess of Linwood Barclay culminate in a pulsating finale which is the most lethal and potent visit yet to Promise Falls. The Twenty-Three calls for readers to don hazmat suits over the course of an action
The Twenty-Three is the third book in Linwood Barclay’s Promise Falls series, and it’s my favourite of the three. Although I’m a big fan of Linwood Barclay, I’m going to be honest and say this series has disappointed me. It’s not my favourite, but I remained curious to see how it played out.

With The Twenty-Three we have a three-point-five-star rating. At first, I thought it would be another book that I wasn’t crazy about. Once things started to move, I found myself hooked. Towards the end, howev
Oct 17, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf, publisher, reviewed
This is the third book in the Promise Falls series and unfortunately I didn't read the first two books. There were too many open threads from the prior books for The Twenty-Three to work as a standalone. There were a lot of characters and if I'd had any prior knowledge about them I might've found them more interesting, but without that knowledge I found it all very confusing. It just seemed like everyone in Promise Falls had had something bad happen to them in the first two books. I got a third ...more
Feb 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

Twenty-three people who, had they behaved with a greater sense of community, might have made the difference between life and death...

This book brings the Promise Falls trilogy to a close and, like its predecessors, it has a lot going on. There are multiple plot threads in play and while they all get some sort of resolution, the author doesn’t necessarily tie everything up with a nice little bow. So if you like 100% clean and neat endings then just be prepared to walk away perhaps fe
Dec 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nov-16
I enjoyed this third book in the trilogy. However, there were alot of loose ends at the end. It seems there will now be another book in 2017.
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Play Book Tag: The Twenty-Three by Linwood Barclay - 4 stars 1 11 Feb 05, 2017 08:21PM  

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Linwood Barclay is the #1 internationally bestselling author of seventeen novels for adults, including No Time for Goodbye, Trust Your Eyes and, most recently, A Noise Downstairs. He has also written two novels for children and screenplays.
Three of those seventeen novels comprise the epic Promise Falls trilogy: Broken Promise, Far From True, and The Twenty-Three. His two novels for children – Chas

Other books in the series

Promise Falls (4 books)
  • Broken Promise (Promise Falls, #1)
  • Far From True (Promise Falls,  #2)
  • Parting Shot (Promise Falls, #4)

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