Mystery Authors You May Have Missed
Robert Goddard

Photo of Robert Goddard

Robert Goddard was born in Fareham, Hampshire, England in 1954. He studied history at University of Cambridge and, for a time, attempted careers in both teaching and journalism. Finally, he found work as a school administrator but eventually he grew tired of that and decided to focus on what he had discovered was his true passion: writing novels. He used his history background to write his first novel in 1986, Past Caring, which features a present-day historian who stumbles upon an Edwardian political conspiracy that leads to murder. That novel, nominated for the Booker Prize, began what would become a prolific and accomplished career in Britain and around the world. Goddard currently lives in Cornwall, England, with his wife, Vaunda.

What he writes: Mostly, Goddard writes thrillers that usually incorporate some type of historical element in the story or the characters. In addition to standalone thrillers, Goddard, in 1990, wrote the novel Into the Blue, featuring main character Harry Barnett. He went on to write two other books with Barnett in the lead, Out of the Sun and Never Go Back.


List of works
Harry Barnett series
  Into the Blue (1990)
  Out of the Sun (1996)
  Never Go Back (2006)
Standalone thrillers
  Past Caring (1986) Dying to Tell (2001)
  In Pale Battalions (1988) Days Without Number(2003)
  Painting the Darkness (1989) Play to the End (2004)
  A Debt of Dishonour (1991) Sight Unseen (2005)
  Hand in Glove (1992) Name to a Face (2007)
  Closed Circle (1993) Found Wanting (2008)
  Borrowed Time (1995) Long Time Coming (2010) - CD
  Beyond Recall (1997) Blood Count (2011)
  Caught in the Light (1998) Fault Line (2012)
  Set in Stone (1999) The Ways of the World (2013)
  Sea Change (2000)  

Awards and nominations

Into the Blue was the inaugural winner of the W H Smith Thumping Good Read Award, presented to the best new fiction author of the year.

Beyond Recall was nominated for the Edgar Award Best Novel prize.

Long Time Coming won the 2011 Edgar Award for Best Original Paperback and was nominated for the 2011 Anthony award for Best Original Paperback.

What the critics say
"One of Britain's finest thriller writers." - Time Out
"Robert Goddard’s elegant prose and intelligence…place him in the company of such masters of historical suspense as John Fowles and Daphne du Maurier." - San Francisco Chronicle
"When it comes to duplicity and intrigue, Goddard is second to none. He is the master of manipulation." - Daily Mail
"Goddard is a master of the sly double and triple cross." - Seattle Times

... about Past Caring

"Combines the expert suspense manipulation skills of a Daphne du Maurier romance with those of a John Le Carre thriller." - New York Times

"A wonderful read… the satisfying climax weaves together the strands of past and present… A poised telling of a complex tale." - Publishers Weekly

"One of the best novels I've read in a long time... I loved every one of its 500 pages." - Washington Post

... about In Pale Battalions

"Goddard…has crafted a marvelously intricate plot, deftly and subtly unveiling, through different narrative voices, the mystery at the core of this intense, shocking tale." - Publishers Weekly

"Enthralling to the final page." - Library Journal

"A superbly plotted romantic thriller." - New York Times

... about Into the Blue

"A book that will push the edges of late night fatigue...had me utterly spellbound...cracking good entertainment." - Washington Post

... about Borrowed Time

"A thriller in the classic storytelling sense... hugely enjoyable." - The (London) Times

"An atmosphere of taut menace... suspense is heightened by shadows of betrayal and revenge." - Daily Telegraph

... about Beyond Recall

"The suspense mounts to a fine crescendo. A superior example of Goddard’s velvet-cloaked menace." - Kirkus Reviews

... about Sight Unseen

"Compelling…. Satisfying, intelligent." - Publishers Weekly

... about Never Go Back

"Goddard rarely disappoints... Meticulous planning, well-drawn characters and an immaculate sense of place... A satisfying number of twists and shocks along the way." - The (London) Times

... about Found Wanting

"An absorbing read from a truly creative storyteller... A dizzying sequence of twists, handled with Goddard’s customary aplomb." - Guardian


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