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The Corners of the Globe: (The Wide World - James Maxted 2) Hardcover – 3 Jul 2014

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press; First Edition edition (3 July 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0593069757
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593069752
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 3.6 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (166 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 168,067 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


"The master of the triple double-cross" (The Times)

"A compelling storyteller of our time" (Sunday Telegraph)

"A conjurer...nothing can stop him" (Guardian) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

A thrilling mix of espionage, treachery and murder set in the aftermath of the First World War from the master of the triple-cross

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Kate TOP 500 REVIEWER on 21 July 2014
Format: Hardcover
With the Great War over, the powers of the world assemble in Paris to decide on terms for victors and vanquished. While diplomats and ministers meet to discuss terms, agents and spies work to their masters' agendas, dealing in secrets, hiding sins, removing obstacles. Circumstances, though, have made a spy of James Maxted, known to most as Max. With his father Sir Henry murdered, found in Paris at the end of a steep drop, Max is after answers and vengeance. The more Max learns, the deeper he descends into a most perilous world. The cost of peace is immense and no-one knows this better than Max, the man who survived years as a pilot and then a prisoner of war.

The Corners of the Globe is the second in Robert Goddard's historical spy thriller series, begun so well with last year's The Ways of the World. There is no pause from the previous novel. Max is now determined on his course of action. His father's death might be less of a mystery now, proven to be murder and not suicide, but Max knows that Sir Henry's killer was just one small cog in a wheel that surrounds Paris. Vengeance on the murderer is not enough. Max is after the leaders and to take them on he plays a very dangerous game indeed.

As the novel begins, Max is on a `mission' for Germany's chief spymaster, to travel to Orkney to rescue a document from the interred German fleet. It contains secrets so powerful they can draw out spies from the shadows. As British and German agents search for Max, the British secret service is in danger of collapsing from the inside out, its double agents making themselves known in the desperate scramble for the document.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Mike on 6 July 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've been a fan of Robert Goddard for quite a while, and even though his books are mystery/thrillers with a reveal/twist at the end I can read them again and again. I love his story telling and the journey of his novels as much as the final destination.

I was a bit disappointed with the ending of the first part of this trilogy - largely because I didn't realise it was a trilogy at the time, so when it came to the cliff hangar ending I felt a bit disappointed, even cheated. However with this book, it was always clear that it was part two of the trilogy so the cliff hangar ending was not a surprise, but expected.

The story cracks along at a savage pace, and that is where the problem with this book lies. Frankly the pace of the storyline has become manic - like a movie director trying to get 3 hours of plot into a two hour film. The plot is intense and convoluted (which is fine) - but it needs a lot more room to breathe - accidentally skim read a paragraph and you could end up lost.

I like these characters, I like the plot, and I can't wait for the story to resolve with the final part of the trilogy. There are some howling coincidences - but they are forgivable, even necessary, in this genre of novel.

Still, it is way better than much of the other stuff you will find out there, but please let the final part of the trilogy be more like a solid and engrossing build up to huge crescendo, rather than the high speed antics of the closing credits of the Benny Hill Show.

However, the proof of the pudding is that I can't wait to get hold of the final part of the trilogy - please don't keep us waiting too long for it !
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By kirenzi on 24 July 2014
Format: Hardcover
I'm a huge Goddard fan. Since reading Into The Blue during the summer when it won the Thumping Good Read award, I have read all his books, some several times. I'd rank him as my favourite author, bar none.

But ...

... I struggled to get through this one. I'd pick it up, but even after a couple of paragraphs, I'd find my mind wandering. It's a spy story, and when compared with other novels in this genre, there is nothing much wrong with it, hence the 3 stars. A load of blokes go round annihilating each other. Characters are introduced and killed in short order. No matter, plenty more where they came from. There is no emotional depth at all, not much in the way of back stories, no reason for you to care what happens. Maxted (the central protagonist) asks someone to do something. Moments later, they are dead. Does this give him pause for thought, a moment of regret? Nope!

Anyone who knows (and loves) the Goddard of Past Caring, In Pale Battalions, Beyond Recall, Hand In Glove, or Painting The Darkness (to name but a few examples), will know that he is capable of writing books with cracking story lines, full of mystery and intrigue and twists and turns, but where you care about the characters. Where their stories stay with you for years. Where you reread and feel as though you are meeting old friends. Where you are grabbed from the first paragraph and held till the last page. Oh how I long for another Goddard novel with these attributes. Oh how I miss the enjoyment of a first read of such quality. Oh how I mourn the change of style and the loss of depth and my subsequent lack of engagement.

Will I read the next installment? I will, borrowed from the library. I doubt I'll be able to remember anything about it within a day or so of finishing it. But, for old time's sake, I'll give it a go.
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