Possibly my most favorite contemporary author is Robert Goddard, a British mystery writer. He is a master storyteller and provides not only a twist at the end of the tale but keeps you twisting the whole way Goddard’s novels are spellbinding. He is fabulous at developing, sympathetic characters and his heroes are often unlikely, slightly downtrodden but very real people you can relate to. Goddard studied History at Cambridge and worked as a journalist before becoming a novelist and many of his books have a historical connection and are very well researched. Goddard’s stories are often intricately woven tales of the past and the present, threaded with secrets and conspiracy and he is adept at painting a grand picture with beautiful language sometimes sweeping across several generations.
I have been reading Goddard’s books since he first published Past Caring in 1986 and have been reading them more or less as they arrive ever since. I am waiting with great anticipation for the next one to be released, called Found Wanting. Much to my surprise and great pleasure, while rearranging by book boxes (not enough shelves just now) I found Play to The End from back in 2004 and didn’t remember reading it. Whatever was happening at the time (probably one of many moves), I hadn’t read it and packed it away and now I have it to tide me over until the new release. The book is separated by days, which is even better because I can read that chapter on the relevant day of the week! How exciting (yawn) I bet you’re thinking. I’m not a nerd really (well not a hard case nerd, anyway) but what this does for me is, far from ensuring that I get through it or read every day, or anything like that, it makes certain that I don’t do very little else but read for the next 24 -48 hours, which I have been known to do, on occasion, to the neglect of everything and everyone else around me.
Anyway, if you have never read a Robert Goddard I would recommend him highly. Two of my favorites are Hand in Glove and In Pale Battalions but you can start almost anywhere because his books are usually completely unconnected. However, you should read Into the Blue, Out of the Sun and Never Go back in that order because they DO have a central character, Harry Barnett. They won’t make as much sense if you mix ‘em up! Happy Reading.