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Final Assignment
Cover of Final Assignment
Final Assignment
Promise Falls Series, Book 1.5
Stephen King has called him "a suspense master." Now the New York Times and #1 international bestselling author of Broken Promise delivers a taut thriller about a crime that will give the town of Promise Falls a punch to the gut...

Private investigator Cal Weaver doesn't know what to expect when he's called to the home of Chandler Carson. The sixteen-year-old has been suspended for writing a violent story about a bat-wielding teen who beats his best friend to death over a girl. Much to Chandler's mother's surprise, there's nothing that Cal is willing to do—or can do—about it.

Soon after, Chandler's best friend is found murdered—beaten to death by a bat. Cal knew the victim, and now he knows the prime suspect. But there's more to this story than anyone could have imagined...

"Barclay has established himself alongside the masters of suburban fiction."—The Associated Press

"Twist-driven thrillers packed with explosive action are a hallmark of Barclay's career."—USA Today

Includes a preview of Linwood Barclay's new hardcover, Far from True
Stephen King has called him "a suspense master." Now the New York Times and #1 international bestselling author of Broken Promise delivers a taut thriller about a crime that will give the town of Promise Falls a punch to the gut...

Private investigator Cal Weaver doesn't know what to expect when he's called to the home of Chandler Carson. The sixteen-year-old has been suspended for writing a violent story about a bat-wielding teen who beats his best friend to death over a girl. Much to Chandler's mother's surprise, there's nothing that Cal is willing to do—or can do—about it.

Soon after, Chandler's best friend is found murdered—beaten to death by a bat. Cal knew the victim, and now he knows the prime suspect. But there's more to this story than anyone could have imagined...

"Barclay has established himself alongside the masters of suburban fiction."—The Associated Press

"Twist-driven thrillers packed with explosive action are a hallmark of Barclay's career."—USA Today

Includes a preview of Linwood Barclay's new hardcover, Far from True
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    Praise

    Titles by Linwood Barclay

    Title Page

    Copyright

    Dedication

    One

    Two

    Three

    Four

    Five

    Six

    Seven

    Eight

    Nine

    Ten

    Eleven

    Twelve

    Excerpt from Far From True

    About the Author

    One

    "Come on, let's go into the woods and look around!" said Charlie, swinging the baseball bat all over the place, banging it on trees as he walked by them.

    "I don't know," said his friend Martin. "I don't like it in there. It always creeps me out! Let's stay out here by the road."

    "Just a little ways. Far enough in so we can see cars go by but they can't see us."

    "Well, okay," Martin said.

    They walked more far into the woods. Then Charlie stopped and turned around to look at Martin right in the face and he said all angry-like, "So why did you go out with my girlfriend Katherine?"

    "What? What are you talking about?"

    "I know you and Katherine have had something going on! You went behind my back. I saw you guys making out!"

    "That's bullshit, man. I would never do that. You're my friend!"

    "Oh, yeah?" said Charlie really angrily. "I don't think so."

    He swung the bat and hit Martin right in the head. BANG!

    "Ow!" Martin yelled. "That hurts!"

    Charlie hit him again and Martin fell down. Charlie kept swinging the bat at Martin's head, breaking open his skull and—

    "What do you think?"

    I looked up from the laptop. "I'm sorry?" I said.

    "What do you think?" Greta Carson asked. "Don't you think it's well written?"

    "I'm not really a judge of literature," I said. "I don't see any spelling mistakes, if that's what you mean."

    Greta's son Chandler said, "The computer finds those and fixes them."

    "Please," Greta said, putting a hand on her son's knee, as if that's where his mouth was and she was shutting him up. "Mr. Weaver doesn't care about those things. What matters is the story. Isn't that right, Cal?"

    So she was calling me by my first name. We were already pals. I'd only been here ten minutes and I already had a feeling I didn't want this case, whatever this case turned out to be. Based on what she'd told me over the phone, I would have turned it down, but she'd gotten my name from an old friend of my wife's, so at the very least I felt I had to come out here.

    I folded down the lid of the laptop and looked at the pair of them. Mrs. Carson was in her late forties, stick thin, her black hair molded tightly to her skull, pulled to the back of her head and spun around into something that looked like a small cinnamon bun. She wore a black silk blouse and expensive jeans, a tasteful strand of pearls at her neck.

    Her sixteen-year-old son, Chandler, had a sense of style, too. Huge, white, unlaced sneakers that made him look something like a Clydesdale, jeans and a pullover sweatshirt emblazoned with three letters—PFH—that stood for Promise Falls High, where Chandler attended the eleventh grade. His mother had told me before I got here that he was relatively new to the school. He'd spent the previous two years at Claxton Academy, which was private.

    "I think it's a basic problem with the public school system," Greta Carson told me on the phone. "They're not into thinking outside the box."

    Chandler's short story, of one kid beating another kid to death with a baseball bat, was evidently innovative thinking.

    Her call had led me here, to this classic Victorian three-story house in one of Promise Falls' more upscale...

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Final Assignment
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Promise Falls Series, Book 1.5
Linwood Barclay
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