This is my review of the book the Corners of the Globe by Robert Goddard, which I have read recently. Having finished book one of the trilogy The Ways of the World I started this book, book two. Our hero Max, is now acting as a British secret agent, and has been sent to find the mysterious German spy master Fritz Lemmer.
The first task he is given is to go up to the Orkney Isles to retrieve, an encoded secret document, that turns out to have details of all of Lemmers agents. Having obtained the document, Max is then chased across the land by Lemmers agents. They are trying to get hold of the document, before Max can get it decoded.
The chase is very exciting and a great page turner. The pile of bodies that there is at the end is quite impressive. I won't reveal what happened to the document, did it get decoded or not, but Lemmer evidently had agents working in the British Government at the highest levels. So Max really does not know who to trust, especially when he is put on the police wanted lists as a killer.
The chase goes from the North of Scotland to south of France, and reconnects with the peace conference that is going on in Paris. Without revealing too much the Japanese delegation now comes into play. All parties seem to be converging on the cruise ship that is going to Japan, but if the third book is true to form then this may not be the case.
The only frustration with the book is the ending. To say that it is a cliffhanger is an understatement, with Max about to be killed. But I don't think Max will be killed immediately as he is needed for the third book. With Christmas coming soon it is on my Christmas list. I have been told I have to wait till and cannot get it before then.
This is a really enjoyable escapist book, just right for curling up in front of the fire and forgetting what is going on in our world, having been transported back almost a century. This was book 2 week 1 fiction 2 (audio books 0) non fiction 0
Robert Goddard The Ways of the World
This is the start of a new booklist. The observant will have noticed that I have had a few weeks off from recording what I have read. Time and energy are limited resources and recording what I have read was just one task too many, whilst making maximum use of the beautiful sunny weather that we have had in South west Scotland over the last few weeks.
So we will start this new list with a book that I have read before, as I now have the second book in the trilogy to read. This is book one of the “Wide World Trilogy”. When I read this book the first time I was a little disappointed with the ending as I had not fully realised that the book was part of a trilogy and was very rather shocked that the book just ended in a cliff hanger. It was as if the publisher decided that the book would be split into three to maximise income.
Coming back to it for a second time I am aware that I have the next installment waiting to be read, so will just carry on and read that having finished this book. The story is set in 1919 and the conference that is going on in Paris to discuss how the world will be split up following on from World War one. Sir Henery Maxted has been murdered, and his son James 'Max' takes it upon himself to investigate the murder, much to the rest of his families displeasure.
The story then progresses as peeling an onion, as each layer is removed then another one appears. The story is fast paced, complex and exciting. (This was why I was so upset the first time round when I cam to the end). It paints a very realistic detailed portrayal of the characters, and all is not what it seems. Secret agents, double agents and spies are everywhere. About the only thing that one can predict is that if a character seems to be 'A' then in fact they will be 'B'
Gradually Max thinks he knows what might have happened to his father and then starts out on the long progress of trying to avenge his murder. You will have noticed that I have avoided revealing too much of the plot because it is a really good book and I do not want to spoil it in any way. The Times has called it I believe 'An intelligent escapist delight' and I agree.
A really great book to start this new booklist. So this is book 1 week 1 fiction 1 (audio books 0) non fiction 0
Sea Change by Robert Goddard
Friends this is my review of the book Sea Change by Robert Goddard. Though this book was written 14 years ago I don't recall reading it before, and came across this copy in a charity shop so I thought I would get it.
It is a story set in the early 1700's and concerns the collapse of the South Sea Bubble. The story line is a clever mixture of real and invented characters, woven around one of the greatest financial scandals to hit Britain for over 200 years. The recent banking crisis’s probably exceeds it.
The hero of our story is William Spandrel is poor mapmaker who is in serious debt. He is offered discharge of these debts by Sir Theodre Janssen a director of the south sea company if he will convey an important package to a friend of Janssen in Amsterdam, Ysbrabd de Vries.
William accepts the job, takes the package to Amsterdam and then things go rapidly wrong for him. Ysbrabd is murdered and he is blamed for his murder. Ysbrabd's wife along with the package then go missing. William quickly realises that he is a pawn in a much bigger picture, all trying to either stop or encourage revolution in England.
The only way William can save his life is to get the package back, which means following it across Europe. But once found which chasing party does William give it to. Will he help revolution to occur or help prevent it? I can't really say much more without spoiling the plot twists and turns.
This is a classic Robert Goddard story with lots of twists and surprises. Great descriptive detail bringing the characters and story to life. A really enjoyable book to read.
This was book 7 week 5 fiction 7 (audio books 1) non fiction 0
This is my review of the book The ways of the World by Robert Goddard, which I have read recently. I have always enjoyed reading Robert's book and was looking forward to this one. I am pleased to say it did not disappoint, though did leave me slightly frustrated at the end but we will come to that later.
Like so many books recently this is based around the Great War, but in this case it is in 1919. A period that I know very little about, but this did not matter. Robert some how manages interweave history and characters together in a way that makes the story line totally plausible.
Without giving too much away the story line is all about the negotiations at the end of the Great War. Armistice was signed in 1918, but the war was still officially in place, all be it no fighting in the trenches, just the diplomats, fighting over who will get what.
Add a murder and an ex-RFC flying ace James Max Maxted, our hero, give it a good stir of mystery and out comes a page turning mystery. Three quarters of the way through the book, I did think that there are a lot of loose ends here, and in fact new ones seem to be being added. How was it all going to come to an end.
Well a few of the strands are drawn together but the majority are left open as it is book 1 of a trilogy, which I had not noticed when reading. So very frustratingly I will have to wait to read the next part of the story. Other than that this was a very enjoyable book.
So this was book 50 week 39 fiction 47 (audio books 14) non fiction 3
Out of the Sun by Robert Goddard
Friends this is my review of the book Out of the Sun by Robert Goddard. Those of you following this blog, will know that I like Robert's books, and even though this one was written some time ago (1996) it was one that I had not read, when I saw it for sale.
Of course the quotes on the back, are full of superlatives, and it is a good book, but maybe it is a format that he has copied in later books, as it was a little predictable.
This is about Harry Barnett, and in late middle age he unexpectedly finds out that he has a grown up son David. The result of a distant fling (don't want to give too much away). David is a brilliant mathematician, but he is languishing in hospital in a diabetic coma. Was this attempted suicide, or attempted murder. Harry has to find out, and in doing so uncovers a great mystery relating to an American forecasting institute. Harry goes in search of the truth, followed by a trail of bodies.
Normally Robert's heroes do not die, well certainly not till the end of the story, so seemingly when the story is solved, and there is half a book to go, one knows that things are not what they seem. The story then goes on to suspect, and then knock down all the characters that have been introduced in the first half of the book, one by one as if knocking skittles down in an alley. Till finally all that is left is the least likely person and of course they did it.
This was an enjoyable read as book 16 week 12 fiction 14 (2 on audio) non fiction 2
Caught in the Light by Robert Goddard
This is my review of the book Caught in the Light by Robert Goddard, which I have read recently.
To date I have always enjoyed reading Robert's books and choose to read this book for that reason. Fortunately this did not disappoint, but rather increase my appreciation for Roberts skill in writing.
The cover of the book has the quote “This is his best book yet” and I would not disagree. It seems as if every chapter revealed a set of facts only to be overturned completely in the next chapter. I am not sure how Robert manages to do it, but he does and produces an exciting credible enjoyable story at the same time.
Anyway enough of that down to some “so called” facts about the story. Our hero is one Ian Jarrett, who is a professional photographer on assignment in Vienna. Where he meets as if by chance a beautiful lady Marian Esguard and falls for her. So much so that he decides to leave his wife, who is back in England and live with Marian.
But from then on things do not go quite as planned nor are they as they seem. It is not giving away too much to say that Marian does not turn up when she should and in fact vanishes. Ian then starts to search for her and the mystery unfolds.
A great book to read, quite hard to put down. This was book 43 week 30 fiction 41 (12 on audio) non fiction 2
Fault Line by Robert Goddard
A couple of weeks ago we had been kindly sent a preview copy of this book by Patsy Irwin, and I was reading another book at the time, so my wife grabbed it to read for herself. Fortunately she could not put it down, so I have finally got to read it myself over the last few days.
This is a typical Robert Goddard, with a mystery going back in time, that is slowly unravelled during the course of the book. The story is about a family china clay business. The majority of the action takes place spread between the South West of England, and Naples and Capri in Italy.
Gradually with each twist in the book either due to location or time frame, the number of key characters is gradually reduced due to their demise, having been killed off – often murdered!! Each time the number of characters is reduced, the speculation as to the who and the why needs to be updated.
There is a major red herring running through the book, that hooked me – hook line and sinker (To do with the early time frame) I don't want to spoil the story by giving a detailed analysis of the plot, because part of the enjoyment in reading a book like this is not knowing how the twists and intrigue work out.
Can you work out the answer before reading it - Thats the question? This is a book that is hard to put down – A very enjoyable read – one that I would thoroughly recommend. This was book 40 week 31 – read novels 27, poetry 1, study 2, audio 10
Blood Count by Robert Goddard
Life is pretty busy at the present and getting time to write for the blog is suffering, I have a couple of partially written things waiting to be finished off, but they will have to wait for another day, as the weeks and books march on. If I get behind in this then it ends up with shorter reviews than normal, which we don't want.
I have read most of Robert Goddard's books and this one did not disappoint. In fact even though I was busy I was reading it for the odd minute or two near the end as it was very exciting. It is said that Dickens wrote his novels in such a way that there is a cliff hanger of some kind at the end of every chapter. Well there is one here and in addition every couple of chapters a twist in the plot line comes along, that hits the poor reader for six, desperate to know how the story is going to progress. The cover says it is “electrifying”, and I cannot agree more.
So what is the book about – It follows the twists and turns of the main character Edward Hammond, who is a surgeon, about to go on holiday meeting up with some friends. Not giving too much away, but he does not meet up with them but meets up with his past, and actions he did thirteen years ago. The plot is brilliant, and the book is well worth reading. I will have to read something rather different next otherwise will be let down.
So this is book 35 week 28 – novels 24, poetry 1 study 2, audio 8
Dyslexic doodles on photography, food (growing, cooking & of course eating), faith and other fascinating things. This is a personal blog expressing my views.