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Dying To Tell Paperback – 2 Dec 2002


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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi; New Ed edition (2 Dec. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552148776
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552148771
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.5 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 198,588 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

Amazon Review

Set in Glastonbury, Goddard's deliciously convoluted mystery Dying to Tell introduces us to Lance Bradley, leading an uneventful, indolent life in Somerset until he receives a plea for help from the sister of an old friend. The friend, Rupert Alder, has terminated the allowances to his feckless siblings, and Bradley agrees to track Rupert down to find the reason for his actions. But in London, Bradley finds that Alder has disappeared, and his employers (a prestigious shipping company) believe him to be the perpetrator of a major fraud. An American by the name of Townley has, it seems, hired a private eye to find Rupert, only to be neutralised by powerful interests. And there's the Japanese businessman who claims Rupert has stolen an important document... As Bradley gets closer to the centre of an arcane mystery, he finds that the year 1963 (in which Bradley was born) holds the key to a series of bizarre puzzles.

This is the kind of finely-tuned mystery that Goddard dispatches with total assurance: elegantly crafted, with a quirkily characterised anti-hero in the mystified Lance Bradley. Other novelists noted for their storytelling abilities may have fallen from public favour, but Robert Goddard remains one of the soundest and most compelling novelists the UK has produced--perhaps because all his abilities have gone into producing narratives of total authority and persuasiveness, rather than the creation of any public persona. We don't know who Goddard is, and we don't care: his name on a book is an ironclad guarantee of something the reader will find very hard to put down. --Barry Forshaw --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"'Goddard is a master of the clever twist'" (Sunday Telegraph)

"'Gripping...woven together with more twists than a country lane'" (Daily Mail)

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Gary J. Murray on 10 Dec. 2001
Format: Hardcover
When picking up a new Robert Goddard novel, one usually know what to expect: an underachieving, down-on-his-luck, unlikely hero who is quite suddenly, through no fault of his own, caught up in a tempest of events seemingly well beyond his capability to comprehend, much less control. Then, usually about a third of the way into the story, our protagonist, sensing this may be his one and only chance at redemption for some real or imagined past misdeed, hurls himself straight into the maelstrom, determined to set things right. Goddard always includes any number of red herrings and twists along the way to keep you guessing; and his prose is almost always literate
and entertaining, often inspiring one to reread passages to fully appreciate the brilliance of his descriptive powers. That being said, many admirers would agree that most of his greatest novels ("Painting The Darkness"; "Take No Farewell"; "Past Caring" all come to mind) were from the earlier part of his writing career, while a few of the more recent efforts, such as
"Out Of The Sun" or "Sea Change", have disappointed. "Dying To Tell" is a return to form:
a page-turning thriller that leaves you by turns shocked and breathless, but always anxious for more. The formula still works beautifully....Bravo, Mr. Goddard!
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By "pennymwood2" on 5 May 2002
Format: Hardcover
I don't know how Goddard manages to create such non-descript heroes, but he does it every time. Lance Bradley is not quite as dumb as some of his predecessors but he does paint himself as a total loser and he drinks a lot. When his best friend's sister tells him Rupert is missing and would he go to London to see if he can find him Lance does not know what he is letting himself in for. No sign of Rupe in London except for a trail of crime that does not look good. Lance follows the trail and finds out things about his friend he cannot believe. Then the killings begin and Lance starts to run for his life.
Robert Goddard is my favourite author and he never disappoints me.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 31 Jan. 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After the somewhat disappointing Set in Stone and Sea Change, Goddards back to form with Dying to Tell. Fantastic conclusive revelations at the end and high paced action and twists and turns through Berlin, Tokyo, Kyoto and San Francisco. Knowing those cities quite well added to the experience for me.
By the way, if you are a Goddard fan, try 'The Alienist' by Caleb Carr - it's absolutely mind blowing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By richard Brown on 14 Jan. 2014
Format: Paperback
Reading the reviews from when this novel was first published in 2001, I seem to be in the minority when I say that this is one of his few duds. I read it when it was released and have just read it again and my opinion has not changed. I am a huge admirer of Robert Goddard and have read all his books to date and reviewed most of them, but for me 'Dying To Tell' just does not work. I usually like his first person books but in the protagonist Lance Bradley, Goddard has written a character that he does not seem comfortable with. So much of what Lance says is incidental,hence the use of brackets on nearly every page and the dialogue is sloppy and expletive ridden, unlike most of Goddard's books.
The plot is far fetched and as with other weaker Goddard novels (Name to a Face & Found Wanting) he takes the reader to several foreign locations but leaves you with little impression of any of them.
The historical 'hook' that hangs the story together really does not stand up to scrutiny and the villians are poorly drawn.

This was, for me one of his worst books. I have given other Robert Goddard novels 5 & 4 star reviews and I am looking forward to part 2 of the Max Maxted trilogy.
Historical mystery is his forte and in 2013 Robert Goddard was on fine form.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 12 Nov. 2001
Format: Hardcover
I've been a big Robert Goddard fan ever since he won the Thumping Good Read award some years back, and there's no doubt that he is one of the best prose stylists in the crime/thriller genre, but ... (and I hate saying this) I think his books are becoming a little too similar. So many now have the familiar device of a slightly out-of-sorts man who becomes haunted/ preoccupied/ coincidentally caught up in the affairs of someone else who has either vanished or died. DYING TO TELL follows this very template.
The plot is gripping enough, our hero, Lance Bradley gets into very hot water when his former pal disappears. It's hard to say too much without giving the plot away, but suffice to say that corruption and death are just around the corner. So what's the problem? Lance is just ... a bit wet. He says he needs "someone to take him in hand". It's hard to care or sympathise for him. Which is in stark contrast to Ian Rankin's John Rebus or Dexter Dias's ex-detective turned lawyer, David Kilkenny. Both these 'heroes' have real lives, real problems, which enrich the investigative plot.
I have a feeling that Goddard is beginning to seem a little dated compared to the newer generation of crime/thriller writers, such as Rankin, Dias, Lehane, Boston Teran. So while I recommend DYING TO TELL, I'd more strongly recommend:THE FALLS by Ian Rankin. POWER OF ATTORNEY by Dexter Dias. Prayers for Rain by Dennis Lehane. Anything by Boston Teran.
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