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Days Without Number [Paperback]

Robert Goddard
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Dec 2003

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.

Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi; New edition edition (1 Dec 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552148784
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552148788
  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 10.6 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 217,738 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert Goddard was born in Hampshire. He read History at Cambridge and worked as an educational administrator in Devon before becoming a full-time novelist. He is the author of many bestselling novels, including Into the Blue which won the first WH Smith Thumping Good Read Award and was dramatized for TV in 1997, starring John Thaw.

Product Description


"Goddard is a master of the clever twist." -- "Sunday Telegraph""An absorbing, contemporary thriller with a hint of mysticism. Highly recommended.""--Good Book Guide""Fuses history with crime, guilty consciences and human fallibility in a way that makes his books an intelligent escapist delight." "--The Times"

Book Description

Days without Number is another classic Robert Goddard mystery, intricate, fascinating and deeply satisfying to the very last page

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Days Without Number 22 July 2003
By Fraser the Frank Fish VINE VOICE
As with all of Robert Goddard's books the story revolves about betrayal and secrets from the past shattering the present day life of the main character. In Days Without Number, Nick Paleologus find his family torn apart following a mysterious offer to buy their family farmhouse and in true Goddard style plots and conspiracy run deep.
However, this latest offering from Goddard has more in common with his later books, in which the plots are shallower and loose ends proliferate.
For those familiar with Goddard work, a good read for the beach or train. For newcomers, start with In Pale Battalions or Borrowed Time.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rich and wonderful novel 24 Mar 2004
By A Customer
This rates as one of the best thrillers I have ever read, but the writing is so good that it deserves the more distinguished title of 'novel'.
Goddard builds up a carefully layered mystery. The individual characters of the Paleologus family are well delineated; the Cornish setting is beautifully realised (after reading this book I want to visit Cornwall); and the story just builds and builds. It is mesmeric.
I have read a lot of thrillers which promise twists and turns galore but just seem vacuous and artificial by the end. An indication of how much this novel is worth is that I got so involved with the characters and setting that when the narrative began to gather pace, and the whole puzzle started to emerge, I was genuinely surprised.
This really is wonderful entertainment. Intelligent, rich, and satisfying. I intend to start reading all of Robert Goddard's works now.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget the Da Vinci Code 8 Nov 2005
This book predates the Da Vinci Code by a couple of years. It uses the identical historical background, but it is more beleivably described (but still a little unlikely. It is an infinitely supior novel. With genuinely drawn characters (not Dan Brown's cardboard cutouts) If you have read the Da Vinci Code, try this, but beware you need a bit of a brain to follow the plot.
Craft compared to Formula.
Art compared to Market analysis.
Goddard's story telling varies from good to unsurpassable.
His characters always have very human flaws and there is always obsession. His plots are complex and strategically revealed. There are often things happening in earlier time periods having consequences a generation or more later. His original well researched plotting avoids formula or you being able to guess what is going to happen.
This is just below his very best two or three novels. Which still makes it better than almost anything else about. Goddard is the best author writing in the Psychology/adventure/thriller genre.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A tale of two genres 20 Feb 2008
For the first 350 pages of what should probably have been a 370 page novel (rather than 450), I really thought that this was the best novel that Robert Goddard have ever written. As usual the characters were well drawn, the locations fascinating and the plot, while utterly compelling, was real enough to make the main character believable as an ordinary bloke. Then just as it approached the climax, the action moved from Cornwall to Venice and the whole genre of the book changed from a believable mystery into a James Bond story. We were greeted by a suave baddie with a gold Rolex and a speed boat. The main characters were captured, and tied up but were they killed?. Oh no. They were taken to the baddie's high-tech lair and tied up while he kindly told them all about his fiendish intentions. This totally implausible section of the story was tied in with a lot of unnecessary plot twists which just served to spin out the story for about 100 pages more than was necessary.
It is still a good story and will still keep Goddard fans turning the pages but is rather spoiled by the final section.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars days without number 2 Dec 2003
quite simply this is the best robert goddard book to date, it keeps you guessing to the very end,and gives a great deal of satisfaction when you eventually consider all aspects of the plot. he is my favourite author, however his last few books previous to this one had i felt lost there momentum. in pale battalions and painting the darkness he was superb and he has now managed to recapture that genius in days without number. its a pity that all books come to an end, but the story will stay with me for a long time.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
One would think that with his fifteenth literate mystery adventure, Robert Goddard would be tempted to change the formula
and perhaps try his hand at some other sort of fiction. I, for one, am exceedingly glad he didn't, for "Days Without Number" is quite simply one of his most inventive and exciting novels in a long time.
All the stock elements of a Goddard page-turner are here....the unwitting protagonist seemingly in well over his head; the usual themes of murder, dark secrets, troublesome family members; and the constant recurring series of shocks as the reader and the hero are reminded time and again that things are not only not always as bad as they seem; they are usually far, far worse. Five stars for another brilliant creation from a true master of the genre.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Days Without Number 28 Jun 2003
By C Jones
A stunningly intriguing read which will keep you gripped from the first page to the last. Based on a well thought through storyline with the "hero" being a everyday flawed person with an extraordinary need to seek the truth and do the right thing. The relationships and interactions between the characters leads you into attempting to imagine what they are thinking and implying behind the words and conversations they are actually having, a talent from the writer greatly apprciated by this reader. The ending is not quite as expected and still leaves you thinking and pondering on what could be, so please do not be tempted to guess the conclusion just enjoy the experience of arriving at the last few pages. If you have never read a Robert Goddard book before this is an excellent and highly recommended one to start with and I'll guarantee that you will soon be wanting to expand your Goddard collection. If you are already a Robert Goddard reader then this will be as good a read as you have come to expect.
Don't pick up this book unless you have the time to read it from cover to cover, as I can assure you that you won't be wanting to put it down.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of the best books ever
Published 3 days ago by Karen McMurdie
1.0 out of 5 stars Days and Confused
Some novelists, the best - Charles Dickens, for example - present stories for our entertainment and edification as if they actually happened and they, the authors, are merely the... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mike Collins
3.0 out of 5 stars a good read but not this authors best
I enjoyed this book as I enjoy Robert Goddard's style of writing and delivery. Ive read most of his books. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Sarah
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous
Simply love this one ! have read it several times and its always great ! He is a master storyteller.
Published 11 months ago by S. E. Huxford
4.0 out of 5 stars robert goddard
excellent read as usual by this author well recommended will certainly purchase again.
got to read more from this author.
Published 11 months ago by amandalily
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Goddard Triumph
A good read - up to Goddard's usual standard with the inevitable twist in the tail. Recommended. Lets have more of the same !
Published 15 months ago by Anthony Clifford
5.0 out of 5 stars Goddard
Always a good exciting read 15 words required so again Good for a joint-first try on a kindlea good choice
Published 17 months ago by Shackleton WR963
3.0 out of 5 stars Digging up an intriguing family history
A good read. The plot is more plausible than Dan Brown's ludicrous fantasies but has some parallels. Read more
Published on 18 May 2012 by David Harte
3.0 out of 5 stars not his best
this has to be the 5th or 6th Goddard novel that I have read. It is not his best. I dont want to spoil the plot for you, but near the beginning when Nick agrees with the agent that... Read more
Published on 24 Feb 2012 by Amanda
2.0 out of 5 stars Ho hum
My first read of a Robert Goddard. My last as well.

I won't spoil the ending for people considering buying this book and, since other reviewers adored it, I won't slag... Read more
Published on 19 May 2010 by Mr. B. R. Hargreaves
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