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ROBERT GODDARD

Born 1954
Robert Goddard was born in Hampshire. He was educated at Price's Grammar School, Fareham and at Peterhouse College, Cambridge where he read History. He worked as an educational administrator in Devon before becoming a full-time novelist. Robert Goddard is married and lives with his wife Vaunda in Truro, Cornwall.
YEAR
TITLE
1986

PAST CARING: Why should distinguished Edwardian Cabinet minister Edwin Strafford resign at the height of his parliamentary career? Why does the woman he loves so suddenly and coldly reject him? Why, seventy years later, should people go to such lengths - even as far as murder - to prevent the truth from being revealed? Martin Radford, history graduate, disaffected and unemployed, leaps at the chance to go to the island of Madeira and begin the hunt for a solution to the intriguing secret of Edwin Strafford's fall from grace. However, his seeming good fortune turns to nightmare as his investigation triggers a bizarre and violent train of events which remorselessly entangles him and those who believed they had escaped the spectre of crimes long past but never paid for. O-R05/12
Query: Within the last few pages of the book the narrator (Radford) refers to another character as 'my closest friend' yet the two characters are of different generations and never met. "Cateline" writes via Goodreads: "Radford is referring to Strafford, the author of the memoir. Radford was a man without any true friends. The two "friends" he does have are both undependable and light weight. But due to their common circumstances, he, Radford, had a feeling of true friendship and camaraderie." Thanks for this.
1988

IN PALE BATTALIONS: Six months after the sudden death of her husband, Leonora Galloway sets out on a trip to France with her daughter Penelope. At last the time has come when secrets can be shared and explanations begin...Leonora takes her daughter to the battlefields of WW1, where her father is commemorated on the Thiepval Monument. But the date of his death is surprising, and reveals that Captain John Hallows cannot possibly have been Leonora's real father. This is only the start of a series of revelations that span three generations of a distinguished aristocratic family who are not what they seem. Leonora must piece together a tale of war, of loss, of greed, deception and vice - and the perpetrator of a murder left unsolved for more than half a century. R05/12
1989

PAINTING THE DARKNESS: On a mild autumn afternoon in 1882, William Trenchard sits smoking his pipe in the garden of his comfortable family home. When the creak of the garden gate heralds the arrival of an unexpected stranger, he is puzzled but not alarmed. He cannot know the destruction this man will wreak on all he holds most dear.The stranger announces himself as James Norton, but claims he is in reality Sir James Davenall, the man to whom Trenchard's wife Constance had been engaged, and who had committed suicide eleven years ago. Sir Hugo, James's younger brother, and his mother, Lady Catherine, refuse to recognise Norton and force Trenchard - who fears the loss of his wife's affections - into an uneasy alliance against him. But Trenchard must plumb the depths of his own despair before the dark secrets of the Davenall family can finally, shockingly, be revealed. O-R05/12
1990

INTO THE BLUE: Harry Barnett is a middle-aged failure. Leading a shabby existence in the shadow of a past disgrace, reduced to caretaking a friend's villa on the island of Rhodes and working in a bar to earn his keep. Then a guest at the villa - a young woman he had instantly and innocently warmed to - disappears on a mountain peak. Under suspicion of her murder, Harry stumbles on a set of photographs taken in the weeks before her disappearance. Obsessed by the mystery that has changed his life and determined to clear his name,  he begins to trace back the movements and encounters that led to the moment when she vanished into the blue. The trail leads him back to England, to a world he thought he had left for ever, and a past he has tried desperately to forget. R06/12
1991

TAKE NO FAREWELL: Geoffrey Staddon had never forgotten the house called Clouds Frome, his first important commission and the best thing he had ever done as an architect. Twelve years before that day in September 1923 when a paragraph in the newspaper made his blood run cold, he had turned his back on it for the last time, turned his back on the woman he loved, and who loved him. But when he read that Consuela Caswell had been charged with murder by poisoning he knew, with a certainty that defied the great divide of all those years, that she could not be guilty. As the remorse and shame of his own betrayal of her came flooding back, he knew too that he could not let matters rest. And when she sent her own daughter to him, pleading for help, he knew that he must return at last to Clouds Frome and to the dark secret that it held. R11/11
1992

HAND IN GLOVE: Tristram Abberley was an acclaimed English poet of the 1930s whose legendary reputation was sealed when he died fighting for the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War. Nearly fifty years later, his sister Beatrix is brutally murdered in her seaside cottage. Her family are stunned by the crime - especially Beatrix's niece, Charlotte Ladram. But Charlotte has little time to mourn her aunt as fifty years of secrets begin to unravel. Beatrix is the victim of a dark conspiracy, one that her loved ones are powerless to defeat. A harrowing quest for answers begins, one that uncovers a shocking tale of wartime greed and treachery, and a vendetta seemingly without end. R07/12
1993

CLOSED CIRCLE: In 1931 the new, luxurious transatlantic liner Empress of Britain is on her eastward passage. Among the first-class passengers on board are two English confidence tricksters, making a discreet exit from a scam they have left behind them in the United States. A chance meting on deck brings them a tempting new target in the shape of the beautiful and wealthy heiress, Diana Charnwood. It's a trick they've pulled before, with some success. Charm the daughter into an engagement to marry, then get the father to buy you off. So confident are they of success, in fact, that they make a pact: whichever of them wins Diana Charnwood's love will share his fortune with the other. But a violent death is to interrupt their neat little scheme. And they find themselves stumbling into something much darker than either had suspected. R07/12
1995

BORROWED TIME: One fateful summer evening, businessman Robin Timariot meets a strikingly beautiful woman while out walking. They exchange only a few words, but those words prove to be unforgettable. A few days later, the newspapers are full of the rape and murder of Lady Louise Paxton Ė and to his horror, Timariot realises that this was the woman he met just hours before her death. A man is swiftly charged and convicted of the crime, but a series of bizarre events begin to convince Timariot that all is not what it seems. Against his better judgement, he is soon sucked into the tortuous complexity of the dead woman's life. But the closer Timariot gets to the truth, the more hideous and uncertain it seems to be. And far too late, he realizes that anybody who uncovers it is unlikely to live. R08/12
1996

OUT OF THE SUN: Harry Barnett is shocked to learn that he has a son - David Venning, a brilliant mathematician, now languishing in hospital in a diabetic coma. And this is only the first and smallest of the mysteries he is about to encounter.David's condition is attributed to an accident or suicide attempt. But Harry discovers that his mathematical notebooks are missing from the hotel room where he was found and two other scientists employed by the same American forecasting institute have died in suspicious circumstances. Driven on by the slim hope of saving the son he never knew he had, Harry goes in search of the truth and finds himself entangled in several different kinds of conspiracy - none of which he ought to stand the slightest chance of defeating. R07/12
1997

BEYOND RECALL: At a wedding party in Cornwall in the summer of 1981, Chris Napier is shocked to recognise a dishevelled intruder as his childhood friend Nicky Lanyon, whom he has not seen since his father, Michael Lanyon, was hanged for the murder of Chris's great-uncle, Joshua Carnoweth, in 1947. It was the inheritance of old Joshua's fortune that led the then humble Napier family to their present state of affluence. When Nicky subsequently hangs himself, Chris sets out on a journey into his own and others' memories of the tragic events of 34 years before. Driven on by Nicky's firm belief in his father's innocence, he begins to doubt the official version of those events and to question the conduct of several members of his own family. Then other present-day mysteries begin to dog his footsteps into the past and soon his search for the truth becomes a desperate struggle for his own survival. R08/12
1998

CAUGHT IN THE LIGHT: On assignment in Vienna, photographer Ian Jarrett falls passionately in love with the mysterious and beautiful Marian. Back in the UK, Ian resolves to leave his wife for her - only to find Marian has disappeared, and the photographs of their brief time together have been savagely destroyed. Searching desperately for her, Ian comes across a quiet Dorset churchyard. Here he meets a psychotherapist, who is looking for a missing client of hers: a woman who claims she is the reincarnation of Marian Esguard, who may have invented photography ten years before Fox Talbot. But why is Marian Esguard unknown to history? And who and where is the woman Ian Jarrett has sacrificed everything for? R10/12
1999

SET IN STONE: Recovering from the tragic death of his wife, TonySheridan goes to stay with his sister-in-law, Lucy, and her husband.Their home is a bizarre moated house deep in the Rutland countryside, known as Otherways. Disturbed by memories of his wife, and a growing attraction to Lucy, Sheridan is also troubled by weird and vivid dreams. Soon he learns that Otherways is a house steeped in a history of murder and wartime treason. And it seems that these crimes hold an eerie influence over the present inhabitants.  R08/12
2000

SEA CHANGE: It is January 1721. London is reeling from the effects of the greatest financial scandal of the age, the collapse of the South Sea Bubble. William Spandrel, a penniless mapmaker, is offered a discharge of his debts by his principal creditor, Sir Theodore Janssen, a director of the South Sea Company, on one condition: he must secretly convey an important package to a friend of Janssenís, Ysbrand de Vries, in Amsterdam.The package safely delivered, Spandrel barely survives an attempt on his life, only to be blamed for the murder of de Vries himself. When de Vriesís secretary, his English wife and the package itself go missing shortly afterwards, Spandrel realizes that he has become a pawn in several peopleís games. British Government agents, and others, are on his trail, believing that the mysterious package contains secrets that could spark a revolution in England. Spandrel's only chance of survival is to recover the package and place its contents in the right hands. But what are the contents whose exactly are the right hands? Note: Listed for completeness only. I gave up  on it. 
2001

DYING TO TELL: Lance Bradley, idling his life away in Somerset, suddenly receives a call for help from the eccentric sister of his old friend Rupert Alder. Rupe appears to have vanished without trace. Reluctantly, Lance goes to London where he discovers that Rupe's employers want him tried for fraud. A Japanese businessman claims he has stolen a document of huge importance. And Rupe has hired a private detective to try and trace an American called Townley, who was involved in a mysterious death at Wilderness Farm, near Glastonbury, back in 1963. No sooner has Lance decided that whatever Rupe was up to is far too risky to get involved in, than he finds that he already is involved. And the only way out is to get in deeper still. Where is Rupe? What is the document he has stolen? Who is Townley? And what happened at Wilderness Farm nearly thirty years before that holds the key to a secret more amazing than Lance Bradley could ever have imagined? R09/12
2003

DAYS WITHOUT NUMBER: Nick Paleologus is summoned to the unyielding bosom of his family to help resolve a dispute which threatens to set his brothers and sisters against their aged and irascible father. Michael Paleologus, retired archeologist and supposed descendent of the last Emperors of Byzantium, lives alone at Trennor, a remote and rambling house on the Cornish bank of the Tamar. A ridiculously generous offer has been made for the house, but he refuses to sell despite the urgings of his children, for whom the proceeds would solve a variety of problems. Nick accomplished little in the role of mediator, but the stalemate is soon tragically broken. Only then do Nick and his siblings discover why their father was bound at all costs to reject the offer and what may really be the motives of the prospective buyer. Their increasingly desperate efforts to conceal the truth drag them into a deadly conflict with an unseen and unknown enemy, who seems as determined to force them into a confrontation with their family's past as he is to conceal his own identity. Late in the day, perhaps too late, Nick realizes that the only way to escape from the trap their persecutor has set for them is to hunt him down, wherever - and whoever - he may be. But the hunt involves excavating a terrible secret from their father's archeological career. And once that secret is known, nothing will ever be the same again. R09/12
2004

PLAY TO THE END: Actor Toby Flood, formerly of big and small screen but now seldom seen on either, arrives in Brighton on the first Sunday in December with the other cast members of the Joe Orton play Lodger In The Throat. They have been on tour since September, but hopes of a West End transfer have been abandoned and they are all looking forward to the end of the run the following Saturday. Flood is visited that night by his estranged wife. Jenny, now living with wealthy entrepreneur Roger Colborn, whose country residence, Wickhurst Manor, lies just north of Brighton. Jenny runs a shop in the Lanes and is worried about a strange man who has taken to hanging around outside. Roger has dismissed her concerns, but she wants something done and hopes Toby will agree for old times' sake to follow the man to wherever he lives and get to the bottom of his behaviour. Reluctantly, Flood agrees. Next day he trails the man to his house and confronts him. Derek Osawin is an unemployed loner, who blames Colborn for his father's death from cancer, on account of dangerous practices at the long since closed plastics factory run by Roger and his father, the late Sir Walter Colborn. R10/11
2005

SIGHT UNSEEN: July 1981. The peace of a summer's day at the ancient stone circle of Avebury is shattered by the abduction of two-year-old Tamsin Hall and the violent death of her sister Miranda. The future lives of all who witness the event are altered in those few, fateful moments. One of the witnesses, Ph.D. student David Umber, was waiting at the nearby pub to meet a man called Griffin who claimed he could help him with his researches into the identity of Junius, pen-name of the famous and mysterious eighteenth-century letter-writer and political polemicist. But Griffin never showed up. And Umber never heard from him again. He lost interest in Junius and never completed his Ph.D. Nine years after the event, notorious paedophile Brian Radd confessed, during his trial for other offences, to Tamsin's abduction and subsequent murder. The case was closed at last. Not for everyone, however. In the early spring of 2004, retired Chief Inspector George Sharp seeks out Umber and demands his help in reopening his long-abandoned inquiry into the Avebury case. He has never believed Radd to be guilty and he has recently received a letter reproaching him for botching the original investigation, a letter signed Junius. A search for the truth - the whole truth - about what happened twenty-three years previously is about to begin. R10/12
2006

NEVER GO BACK: For Harry Barnett and a group of ex-RAF comrades, it is to be the reunion to end all reunions: a weekend in the Scottish castle where they were guinea pigs in a psychological experiment many years before. Most of them havenít seen each other since. But the convivial atmosphere on the journey north is quickly shattered by the apparent suicide of one of their party. When a second death occurs, a sense of foreboding descends on the group. It appears that the past is coming back to haunt them, a past that none of them has ever spoken about. Their recollections of it are all frighteningly different. So what really happened? In pursuit of the truth, one of them uncovers an extraordinary secret and suddenly realises that they are all in mortal danger. R07/12
2007

NAME TO A FACE: When Tim Harding agrees to do a favour for a tax-exile friend by representing him at an auction in Penzance, he is unaware of the secrets that tie the ring he is sent to buy to three widely separated events: the loss of HMS Association with all hands off Scilly in 1707; an unsolved murder in Penzance thirty years later; and the seemingly accidental drowning of a journalist diving at the Association wreck site in 1999. Very soon he discovers that by taking on this apparently simple task he has allowed himself to be drawn into a web of conspiracies. The ring is stolen before it can be auctioned. The murder that follows may not be the first - or last - in a series designed to conceal crucial facts about the ringís origins. Close to the heart of the mystery stands a young woman whom Harding is certain he recognizes, even though they have never met before. His life begins to unravel around him as he goes in search of her identity - and of his own place in the hidden scheme of things. Somewhere, a perilous truth awaits him, coupled with a terrible realization: those who uncover that truth are not allowed to live. R11/12
2008

FOUND WANTING: One unremarkable winter morning, civil servant Richard Eusden is on his way to work in London when he is intercepted by his ex-wife, Gemma. She has sad news of his old friend, her other ex-husband, Marty Hewitson. Marty is dying, but needs one last favour done for him - now, today, at once. Eusden reluctantly agrees. But what should be a simple errand soon it turns into a race for life - his and Marty's.It takes him across Belgium, Germany and Denmark and on into the Nordic heart of a mystery that somehow connects Marty's long dead grandfather, Clem Hewitson, an Isle of Wight police officer, with the tragic fate of the Russian Royal Family, murdered ninety years earlier. To his dismay, Eusden discovers that he can trust no one, not even his old, dying friend, in his battle with those who are determined to steal the secret they believe he and Marty hold, and who will kill for it if they have to. Every move Eusden makes threatens to be a step closer to disaster. But move he must if he is to escape the clutches of history. It is his only hope. Eusden's pursuit of the truth takes him, and the reader, on a lightning tour of Europe while harking back to the savage and terrifying events which have cast a blight on the continent's future for so long. R07/12  Note: The title of this book is most apt. I found it utterly tedious after the first 100 or so pages.
2010

LONG TIME COMING: Eldritch Swan is a dead man. Or at least that's what his nephew Stephen has always been told. Until one day Swan walks back into his life after thirty-six years in an Irish prison. He won't say why he was locked up - only that he is innocent of any crime. His return should interest no one. But the visit of a lawyer with a strange request will take Swan and his sceptical nephew to London, where an exhibition of Picasso paintings is the starting point on a journey that will take them back to when the pictures were last seen - on the eve of the Second World War. Untanglinq the web of murky secrets, family ties and old betrayals that surrounds their mysterious reappearance will prove to be a dangerous pursuit for the two men. Because watching their every step is a sinister enemy who will do whatever it takes to stop the truth emerging. R12/12
2011

BLOOD COUNT:
Thirteen years ago, surgeon Edward Hammond performed a life-saving operation on Serbian gangster Dragan Gazi. Now Gazi is standing trial for war crimes at the international court in The Hague. After Hammond saved his life, Gazi's men went on to slaughter thousands in the Balkan civil wars.Now, in exchange for keeping Hammond's dirty little secret, Gazi's family want a small favour: to find the man who knows what happened to Gazi's money. But Italian financier Marco Piravani doesn't want to be found. And no sooner has Hammond tracked him down than he disappears again. Hammond has no choice but to set off across Europe in pursuit. In Blood Count, every action has a consequence and every question must have an answer. Only then might Hammond be able to lay the past to rest. R01/13. Note: To page 173 of 459 only. Gave up through sheer boredom.

2012

FAULT LINE:
2013

THE WAYS OF THE WORLD:
2014

CORNERS OF THE GLOBE:
TBA

Toupee for a Bald Tyre (Short story featuring Harry Barnett set in 1970) R07/12