Robert Goddard books in order
Robert Goddard is a renowned and prolific British author of mystery, thriller, crime fiction and historical mystery novels.
Born in Fareham, Hampshire, England, he studied History at the University of Cambridge, Peterhouse.
Robert served as an educational administrator in Devon before turning to full-time writing.
He currently lives in Truro, Cornwall, with his beloved wife Vaunda, who is also a joint holder of the copyright to his work.
Some of his awards include: The W H Smith Thumping Good Read Award for Into the Blue (1990), earning him the best new fiction author of the year title; the 2011 Edgar Award for Best Original Paperback by his novel Long Time Coming (2010); and the Cartier Diamond Dagger by the Crime Writers' Association for his immense lifetime's contribution to the genre of crime fiction.
Genres: Historical Mystery, Mystery, Thriller
- Past Caring (1986)
- In Pale Battalions (1988)
- Painting the Darkness (1989)
- Take No Farewell (1991)
- Hand in Glove (1992)
- Closed Circle (1993)
- Borrowed Time (1995)
- Beyond Recall (1997)
- Caught in the Light (1998)
- Set in Stone (1999)
- Sea Change (2000)
- Dying to Tell (2001)
- Days Without Number (2003)
- Play to the End (2004)
- Sight Unseen (2005)
- Name To A Face (2007)
- Found Wanting (2008)
- Long Time Coming (2010)
- Blood Count (2011)
- Fault Line (2012)
- Panic Room (2018)
- One False Move (2019)
- The Fine Art of Invisible Detection (2021)
- This is the Night They Come For You (2022)
- Into the Blue (1990)
- Out of the Sun (1996)
- Never Go Back (2006)
- Intersection: Paris, 1919 (2013)
- The Ways of the World (2013)
- The Corners of the Globe (2014)
- The Ends of the Earth (2015)
Detailed book overview
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 get 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 specter of crimes long past but never paid for...
Six months after her husband's sudden death, Leonora Galloway sets off for a holiday in Paris with her daughter Penelope. At last the time has come when secrets can be shared and explanations begin...
Their journey starts with an unscheduled stop at the imposing Thiepval Memorial to the dead of the Battle of the Somme near Amiens. Amongst those commemorated is Leonora's father. The date of his death is recorded as 30th April, 1916. But Leonora wasn't born until 14th March 1917.
Penelope at once supposes a simple wartime illegitimacy as the clue to her mother's unhappy childhood and the family's sundered connections with her aristocratic heritage, about which she has always known so little.
But nothing could have prepared her, or the reader, for the extraordinary story that is about to unfold.
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 recognize 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...
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 the 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.
In her seaside cottage, Beatrix Abberley bravely confronts an intruder moments before her life is brutally taken. The crime stuns the elderly spinster’s family—especially Beatrix’s niece, Charlotte Ladram. But Charlotte has little time to mourn the loss of her beloved aunt and little patience when police quickly arrest a man Charlotte believes is innocent.
For Charlotte, a harrowing quest for answers begins—one that will take her into the shadows of the past…and into the life and secrets of the dead woman’s brother, famed poet and casualty of the Spanish Civil War, Tristram Abberley.
Now, amid shattering revelations about her family, and in the aftermath of a second savage crime, Charlotte finds herself at the center of a widening storm. And for Charlotte, something extraordinary is beginning to happen.
As fifty years of secrets begin to unravel, shy, cautious Charlotte is coming alive in the shadow of a mystery—uncovering a shocking tale of wartime greed and treachery, and a vendetta of violence seemingly without end….
The year is 1931. The new and 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 little awkwardness they have left behind them in the United States.
A chance meting on deck brings them a tempting new target in the shape of Miss Charnwood and her niece, the beautiful Diana, only child of the immensely wealthy Fabian 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.
Who would imagine that these smooth operators would let their hearts rule their heads? Or that violent death would find its way into their neat little scheme? Or that they would stumble into something much darker and deeper than either had suspected?
It is a golden evening of high summer in July 1990. Robin Timariot has set out that morning on what he has planned as a six-day tramp along part of Offa's Dyke. At the close of his first day's walk he encounters an elegant middle-aged woman who seems strangely out of place among the sheep and gorse of Hergest Ridge. They exchange only a few words of conversation, but their talk is enigmatic -- and unforgettable.
A few days later, at the end of his walk, Timariot returns home to learn from the newspapers that, just a few hours after their meeting, the woman, whose name was Louise Paxton, was raped and then murdered, along with an artist, Oscar Bantock, who lived near by.
A man is swiftly charged and convicted of the crime, but a string of inexplicable events begins to convince Timariot -- and others -- that all is not what it seems. Timariot, fascinated by Louise Paxton's memory, is drawn irresistibly into the complex motives and relationships of her family and friends, searching against his better judgement for the secret of what really happened on the day she died.
The closer he gets to the truth, the more hideous and uncertain it seems to be. And far too late he realizes that it may threaten many powerful people. So much so that anybody who uncovers it is unlikely to be allowed to live.
On a bright autumn afternoon in Truro, the Napier family celebrates one couple’s golden wedding anniversary and another’s marriage. But for one member of the clan, the day turns dark. Chris Napier, prodigal son, suddenly spots the ragged specter of a former friend, Nicky Lanyon—a man whose own family was ruined by the same twist of fate with which the Napiers were blessed. And the next morning, Chris is horrified to find Nicky dead, hanging from a tree where the boys once played….
For Chris, the suicide opens a floodgate of doubt and suspicion. How did his family’s wealth slip out of the hands of a great-uncle, brutally murdered before he could change his will? Were the men convicted of the crime truly guilty? And who is the mysterious, seductive woman who claims to know the Napiers’ darkest secrets?
As the crimes of two families are exposed, a series of violent acts shadows him and suddenly Chris knows he’s in uncharted waters…until a killer drops one last disguise—for the ultimate act of revenge.
On assignment in Vienna, photographer Ian Jarrett falls desperately in love with a woman he meets by chance, Marian Esguard. Back in England, he breaks up with his wife and goes to meet Marian at an agreed rendezvous. Marian fails to show.
Searching desperately for her, he stumbles on a Dorset churchyard full of the gravestones of dead Esguards. He also meets a psychotherapist, Daphne Sanger. She too is looking for someone: a former patient who has come to believe she is the reincarnation of Marion Esguard, who lived in Regency times and, it emerges, may have invented photography ten years before Fox Talbot. But if so, why is she unknown to history? And where is the woman he met in Vienna?
Ian sets out to solve a mystery that may be 170 years old. At the end of his search a trap awaits him.
Recovering from the recent death of his wife in a cliff fall, Tony Sheridan goes to stay with her sister and her husband at their house in Rutland. The house, called Otherways, is in some sense a character in the story: a strange, circular, moted construction dating from Edwardian times.
Disturbed by memories of his wife and a growing attraction to her sister, and troubled by vivid dreams, Sheridan learns that a murder committed at the house in 1939 still has resonances for those living in the neighborhood, including the sister of the murdered woman.
There is a scandal surrounding the murderer's brother, and enough hints of other mysteries to forewarn Sheridan of impending disaster as he embarks on a secret affair. But that disaster is far worse than a friendship betrayed. Its nature is revealed by the ghosts that have haunted Otherways over the years -- of whom he comes to fear that he may be one himself.
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 Janssen's, 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 Vries's secretary, his English wife and the package itself go missing shortly afterwards, Spandrel realizes that he has become a pawn in several people's 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 whose are the right hands? And what exactly are the contents?
Lance Bradley, idling his life away in the little Somerset town of Glastonbury, 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, to discover that Rupe's employers want him tried for fraud. A Japanese businessman claims he has stolen a document of huge importance. And a private detective is demanding money for trying to trace, on Rupe's behalf, 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 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?
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 archaeologist and supposed descendant 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 accomplishes 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 archaeological career. And once that secret is known, nothing will ever be the same again.
Once Toby Flood played a Bond-like hero in a Hollywood film. Now he’s serving a sentence in a crippled traveling production of a newly unearthed Joe Orton play—a play that might have saved Toby’s career if only someone enjoyed watching it. Painfully, the show’s swan song is coming in Brighton, where Toby’s wife happens to be living happily with another man in anticipation of a divorce decree. Then, almost as if he were scripted, a stranger enters the scene....
A stalker is frightening Toby’s wife, Jenny, who believes the man is probably one of her estranged husband’s fans. When Jenny asks Toby to confront the man, Toby leaps at the chance. Soon, he’s moonlighting from the stage lights and heroically pursuing... something.
The truth is, the more Toby finds out about Jenny’s stalker, the more questions he has about a twisting tale of unexplained deaths, interlocking lives, and the violent, greedy adventures of none other than Jenny’s wealthy fiancé—a man who might make the perfect villain, if only the hero lives long enough to prove it....
On a summer’s day in 1981, a two-year-old girl, Tamsin Hall, was abducted during a picnic at the famous prehistoric site of Avebury in Wiltshire. Her seven-year-old sister Miranda was knocked down and killed by the abductor’s van. The girls were in the care of their nanny, Sally Wilkinson.
One of the witnesses to this tragic event was David Umber, a Ph.D student who was waiting at the village pub to keep an appointment with a man called Griffith who claimed he could help Umber with his researches into the letters of “Junius,” the pseudonymous eighteenth century polemicist who was his Ph.D subject. But Griffin failed to show up, and Umber never heard from him again. The two-year-old, Tamsin Hall, was never seen again either. The Hall family fell apart under the strain. Sally Wilkinson, the nanny, wound up living with Umber, whom she had met at the inquiry. But she never recovered from the incident, suffered increasingly from depression, and eventually committed suicide.
In the spring of 2004, retired Chief Inspector George Sharp receives a letter signed “Junius” reproaching him for botching the 1981 investigation. Sharp confronts Umber, whose explanation for being at the scene of the tragedy has always seemed dubious.
Obliged to accept Umber’s denial of authorship of the letter, he nonetheless forces him to join in a search for the real culprit — and hence the long-concealed truth about what happened 23 years previously. It is a quest that both will later regret having embarked upon. Too late they come to understand that some mysteries are better left unsolved.
He’d seen her somewhere once—he was sure of that. But the young woman gave no hint of recognition and before this could be explained, everything fell apart. . . . Tim Harding has come to Cornwall at the behest of a friend to represent him in an auction and facilitate the purchase of a much-coveted antique ring. Hayley Winter has come there for reasons of her own . . . and a centuries-old mystery is about to come crashing down around them both.
A decade before, a woman matching Hayley’s exact description died in a suspicious diving accident—at the side of the man giving Harding his orders. Now the ring, said to have been cut off the finger of a drowned British naval commander in 1707, is at the center of a many-tendrilled puzzle. Uncanny resemblances . . . stunning contradictions . . . Then Hayley’s sudden disappearance . . . For Harding, one misstep and a handful of coincidences ignite a search through dozens of lives, back into English history and the age of the Black Death, and forward to a fatal meeting in Germany . . . to find Hayley, her true identity, and the most shocking secret of all.
It begins with an innocent request .
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 favor 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. From its opening page to its dramatic conclusion, Found Wanting is Robert Goddard at his spellbinding best.
Stephen Swan is amazed when he hears that the uncle he thought had been killed in the Blitz is actually alive. For nearly four decades, Eldritch Swan has been locked away in an Irish prison and now, at last, has been released.
Shocked and suspicious, Stephen listens to the old man’s story and is caught up in a tale that begins at the dawn of World War II, when Eldritch worked for an Antwerp diamond dealer with a trove of Picassos—highly valuable paintings that later disappeared. Stephen, who finds his uncle by turns devious, charming, and brazen, then meets Rachel Banner, a beautiful American who may have inherited the Picassos—and is determined to see justice done for her family.
But in this tale of revenge and redemption, justice is the ultimate illusion. Eldritch, Stephen, and the woman Stephen has fallen in love with soon find themselves fighting for their lives—against sinister forces still guarding a secret that must never be revealed.
There's no such thing as easy money. As surgeon Edward Hammond is about to find out. Thirteen years ago he performed a life saving operation on a Serbian gangster, Dragan Gazi. Gazi is now standing trial for war crimes in the international court in The Hague. After his life was saved, his men went on to slaughter thousands in the Balkan civil wars.
Now Gazi's family want more from him: in exchange for keeping Hammond's dirty little secret, they want him to find for them the man who holds the key to all the money Gazi squirreled away before he was locked up. But Italian financier, Marco Piravani, doesn't want to be found, not by Hammond, not by anyone. No sooner has Hammond tracked him down, than Piravani has disappeared again.
His pursuit will take him first to the Hague, and then to Milan to find the Italian, and then finally back to the scene of his crime, Belgrade, where he must confront the decisions he once so easily took. Only then will he be able to lay the past to rest.
Not all scars are visible. Jonathan Kellaway needs no reminding of that on the verge of his retirement from china clay conglomerate Intercontinental Kaolins. The company has left its mark in pits and spoil heaps around the world. But it has also left a no less enduring mark on some of those who have worked for it, Kellaway included. Its past, as well as its future, is a treacherous place.
So Kellaway is surprised when IK's founder and former chairman, Greville Lashley, sets him a final task before he quits. The academic hired by the board to write the company's history has discovered a gap covering several years in the records of the small Cornish china clay outfit Lashley started with and where Kellaway also began his career. He is dispatched to Cornwall to learn what has become of the missing documents.
But the search is a voyage into dangerous waters. A dead friend, a lost lover and a clutch of mysteries from Kellaway's youth in Cornwall and Italy in the late 1960s come back to haunt him -- and to tempt him with the hope that he may at last learn the truth about the tragedies and misfortunes that blighted those years. It is a truth that has claimed several victims before. If he pursues it hard and long enough, he may only add himself to the list.
But pursue it he must. Because the truth, he belatedly realizes, is the secret that has consumed his life. This time -- this last time -- he will not stop. Until he has found it.
"Sometimes the danger is on the inside..."
High on a Cornish cliff sits a vast uninhabited mansion. Uninhabited except for Blake, a young woman of dubious background, secretive and alone, currently acting as housesitter.
The house has a panic room. Cunningly concealed, steel lined, impregnable – and apparently closed from within. Even Blake doesn’t know it’s there. She’s too busy being on the run from life, from a story she thinks she’s escaped.
But her remote existence is going to be invaded when people come looking for the house’s owner, missing rogue pharma entrepreneur, Jack Harkness. Suddenly the whole world wants to know where his money has gone. Soon people are going to come knocking on the door, people with motives and secrets of their own, who will be asking Blake the sort of questions she can’t – or won’t – want to answer.
And will the panic room ever give up its secrets?
"What value can be put on a human mind?"
How Joe Roberts does what he does is a mystery. He has a brain that seems able to outperform a computer. To a games company like Venstrom that promises big profits if his abilities can be properly exploited. So they send Nicole Nevinson to track him down and make him an offer too good to refuse.
But Venstrom aren't the only people interested in Joe. His current boss, a shady businessman, is already making serious money out of Joe's talents and isn't going to let him go without a fight. And then there are other forces, with still darker intentions, who have their own plans for him.
Almost before she knows it, Nicole's crossed an invisible line into a world where the game being played has rules she doesn't understand and where no-one can help her win.
But win she must. Because the battle now isn't just for Joe's mind - it's for Nicole's life.
Umiko Wada has recently had quite enough excitement in her life. With her husband recently murdered and a mother who seems to want her married again before his body is cold, she just wants to keep her head down.
As a secretary to a private detective, her life is pleasingly uncomplicated, filled with coffee runs, diary management and paperwork.
That is, until her boss takes on a new case. A case which turns out to be dangerous enough to get him killed. A case which means Wada will have to leave Japan for the first time and travel to London.
Following the only lead she has, Wada quickly realizes that being a detective isn't as easy as the television makes out. And that there's a reason why secrets stay buried for a long time. Because people want them to stay secret. And they're prepared to do very bad things to keep them that way...
On a stifling afternoon at Police HQ in Algiers, Superintendent Taleb, coasting towards retirement, with not even an air-conditioned office to show for his long years of service, is handed a ticking time bomb of a case which will take him deep into Algeria's troubled past and its fraught relationship with France.
To his dismay, he is assigned to work with Agent Hidouchi, an intimidating representative of the country's feared secret service, who makes it clear she intends to call the shots. They are instructed to pursue a former agent, now on the run after twenty years in prison for his part in a high-level corruption scandal. But their search will lead them inexorably towards a greater mystery, surrounding a murder that took place in Paris more than fifty years ago.
Uncovering the truth may be his responsibility, but Taleb is well aware that no-one in Algeria wants to be reminded of the dark deeds carried out in the struggle for independence - or in the violence that has racked the nation since. Before long, he will face a choice he has long sought to avoid, between self-preservation and doing the right thing.
And, ultimately, the choice may not even be his to make.
Harry Barnett lives the life of an Englishman on permanent vacation in Greece, house-sitting for a powerful friend and hiding from a past disgrace. That is, until a guest at the villa disappears on a walking tour, and Harry is the number one suspect. While a Greek detective tries to trap him, and the British tabloids pillory him at home, Harry’s conscience is his worst enemy of all. What happened to young, beautiful Heather Mallender? Who took her—and why didn’t Harry realize that something was amiss?
Suddenly, a man steeped in failure has found a purpose, retracing the strange, twisting route that led to Heather’s vanishing. But the more he learns, the less he knows. Until Harry finds himself at the heart of a dangerous puzzle whose pieces are scattered everywhere: in the realm of British politics, in the beds of adulterous lovers, in the past, the present, and most of all, amid the secrets of a killer...
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.
It is not known whether David's condition is due to an accident or a 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.
Harry Barnett is leading a contented life in Vancouver with his wife and daughter when he is brought back to England by the death of his mother. He intends to spend just a few days sorting out her affairs when a chance meeting he will regret for the rest of his life makes him change his plans. Two old acquaintances from his National Service days track Harry down to his mother’s house — the last address they had for him. A lavish reunion has been organized to mark the fiftieth anniversary of their RAF days. Harry decides to go.
During the war, Harry and his fellow RAF conscripts spent three months in a Scottish castle where they acted as guinea pigs in a psychological experiment. The reunion is to take place in the same castle. It will be a chance to see friends, settle old scores and lay a few ghosts to rest.
The party begins on the train up to Aberdeen, until the apparent suicide of one of their number shatters the holiday atmosphere. Their arrival in Scotland seems under a cloud, and when another comrade dies soon after their arrival, Harry is gripped by a sense of foreboding.
As well, the recollections of the old comrades of their time in the castle are frighteningly different, and unexplained events from 1955 still haunt them. As Harry tries to solve the mystery of what really happened fifty years ago, he uncovers an extraordinary secret that convinces him he will never leave the castle alive.
1919. The eyes of the world are on Paris, where statesmen, diplomats and politicians have gathered to discuss the fate of half the world’s nations in the aftermath of the cataclysm that was the Great War.
A horde of journalists, spies and opportunists have also gathered in the city and the last thing the British diplomatic community needs at such a time is the mysterious death of a senior member of their delegation.
1919. The eyes of the world are on Paris, where statesmen, diplomats and politicians have gathered to discuss the fate of half the world's nations in the aftermath of the cataclysm that was the Great War.
A horde of journalists, spies and opportunists have also gathered in the city and the last thing the British diplomatic community needs at such a time is the mysterious death of a senior member of their delegation. So, when Sir Henry Maxted falls from the roof of his mistress's apartment building in unexplained circumstances, their first instinct is to suppress all suspicious aspects of the event.
But Sir Henry's son, ex Royal Flying Corps ace James 'Max' Maxted, has other ideas. He resolves to find out how and why his father died - even if this means disturbing the impression of harmonious calm which the negotiating teams have worked so hard to maintain. In a city where countries are jostling for position at the crossroads of history and the stakes could hardly be higher, it is difficult to tell who is a friend and who a foe.
And Max will soon discover just how much he needs friends, as his search for the truth sucks him into the dark heart of a seemingly impenetrable mystery.
Spring, 1919. James ‘Max’ Maxted, former Great War flying ace, returns to the trail of murder, treachery and half-buried secrets he set out on in The Ways of the World.
He left Paris after avenging the murder of his father, Sir Henry Maxted, a senior member of the British delegation to the post-war peace conference. But he was convinced there was more – much more – to be discovered about what Sir Henry had been trying to accomplish. And he suspected elusive German spymaster Fritz Lemmer knew the truth of it.
Now, enlisted under false colors in Lemmer’s service but with his loyalty pledged to the British Secret Service, Max sets out on his first – and possibly last – mission for Lemmer. It takes him to the far north of Scotland – to the Orkney Isles, where the German High Seas Fleet has been impounded in Scapa Flow, its fate to be decided at the conference-table in Paris.
Max has been sent to recover a document held aboard one of the German ships. What that document contains forces him to break cover sooner than he would have wished and to embark on a desperate race south, towards London, with information that could destroy Lemmer – if Max, as seems unlikely, lives to deliver it...
LIES. SECRETS. REVELATIONS.
1919 – The truth has never been in such short supply
Ex-flying ace James ‘Max’ Maxted’s attempt to uncover the secret behind the death of his father, Sir Henry Maxted, has seemingly ended in failure – and his own death.
Unaware of Max’s fate, the team continue to pursue their only lead, travelling to Japan in search of a mysterious prisoner held by Sir Henry’s old enemy, Count Tomura. Once there, they encounter former German spymaster, Fritz Lemmer, now rebuilding his spy network in the service of a new, more sinister cause.
The quest Max embarked on in Paris will reach its dizzying end at Tomura's castle in the mountains of Honshu - and the full truth of what occurred thirty years before will finally be laid bare…