The latest novel from the most compelling storyteller of them all.
Robert Goddard was born in Hampshire and read History at Cambridge. His first novel, Past Caring, was an instant bestseller. Since then his books have captivated readers worldwide with their edge-of-the-seat pace and their labyrinthine plotting. His first Harry Barnett novel, Into the Blue, was winner of the first WHSmith Thumping Good Read Award and was dramatized for TV, starring John Thaw.
Goddard's bestseller status in Britain rests on his ability to tell a suspenseful story‘usually one in which dark secrets come to light‘in a literate style. His ninth novel revisits Harry Barnett, the ill-starred protagonist of the well-received Into the Blue. Using booze to shut out the pain of personal failure, the ineptly idealistic and ever-chivalrous antihero is stunned back into reality when an anonymous caller informs him that he is the father of David Venning, a 33-year-old mathematical superbrain. Ironically emblematic of the rest of Harry's hapless life, his secret son is hooked up to life support, having slipped into what appears to be an intractable coma after an insulin overdose. But subsequent discoveries leave Harry suspicious: David's closely guarded notebooks are missing, and two of his former colleagues at Globescope, a powerful corporation engaged in worldwide socioeconomic forecasts, have recently died under questionable circumstances. Desperate to save his son, Harry embarks on a quest to find David's ex-lover, a brilliant young authority‘as it happens‘on treating coma. The trail leads into a maze of sinister corporate machinations and long-forgotten academic politics suggesting a conspiracy to repress David's startling mathematical calculations‘which may reveal an expanded physical order of the universe. Bittersweet romance is overshadowed by suspicion and murder as Harry is menaced from forces in the world as he knows it and from someplace that has something to do with hyper-dimensionalism. This harrowing odyssey leads from Europe across the U.S. and back to England before Harry uncovers the truth in a heartstopping climactic confrontation. Goddard's considerable skills as a storyteller offset Harry's chronic lapses into tedious exercises of boozy self-recrimination. (June) FYI: Into the Blue is currently being made into a film in the U.K.
"Undoubtedly Goddard's most entertaining book to date" -"The Times" "The plot races from one crisis to the next, keeping you guessing all the time. And there's a neat twist at the end, too" -"Ideal Home" " Undoubtedly Goddard's most entertaining book to date" -"The Times" " The plot races from one crisis to the next, keeping you guessing all the time. And there's a neat twist at the end, too" -"Ideal Home"
In this above-average thriller by Goddard (A Debt of Dishonour, LJ 12/91), the presumably childless Harry Barnett, living a quiet, aimless life in Britain, receives an anonymous call informing him that his son, a brilliant mathematician, is comatose. Worse, the son's condition is probably not accidental. His notebooks are missing; people around him are dying under mysterious circumstances. Harry, introduced in Goddard's Into the Blue (LJ 1/91), finds a new sense of purpose with the discovery that he is a father, and he begins to investigate what happened and why. The answer lies under layers of deceit, greed, fear, madness, and genius and leads Harry into unexpected byways. By turns scary and intelligent, this novel, lightly grounded in contemporary mathematical theory, will be received well in public libraries.‘Edwin B. Burgess, U.S. Army Combined Arms Research Lib., Fort Leavenworth, Kan.