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The Ways of the World: (The Wide World - James Maxted 1) [Kindle Edition]

Robert Goddard
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (256 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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.

Books In This Series (2 Books)
Complete Series

  • Product Description


    "A sly, highbrow take on the espionage thriller with a rich background that lends sophistication to an already opulent story" (Kirkus Reviews)

    Book Description

    A thrilling espionage story set in Paris after the First World War, full of classic Goddard double crosses and triple twists

    Product details

    • Format: Kindle Edition
    • File Size: 2184 KB
    • Print Length: 417 pages
    • Publisher: Transworld Digital (4 July 2013)
    • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B00CJES50C
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Enabled
    • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (256 customer reviews)
    • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #7,016 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    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.

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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
    I may have grown more critical over the years but I did not think this a very good book by Goddard standards. None of the subtle tension of his older books, very flat characters, and characters that turn from bad guy into good guy and vice versa in a very implausible way. The plot deserves a better story. The obligation to buy two more books to find out 'who did it' is a shameless all-time low in commercialism, of course. I for one won't buy them! Goddard has done his readers and himself a very bad turn.
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    28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars Why no warning? 26 July 2013
    I am a great fan of Robert Goddard & to date have read all his books. Ways of the World was a great read BUT why was there no indication at all that this book is only Part 1. Had I known I would have waited until all part(s) were available to read. This book would normally warrant a 5* star rating, but the aforementioned disappointment/frustration takes it to 3*. Presumably it is the fault of the publishers?
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    20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars The Ways of the World 12 Aug. 2013
    By Keen Reader TOP 50 REVIEWER
    "The world turns on a sixpence. Nothing can be foretold. Certainty lies only in the actual."

    I've read a few of Goddard's books over the years, and always thoroughly enjoyed them. I was very intrigued by the setting of this book, in Paris in 1919 where statesmen, diplomats and politicans are gathered at the Peace Conference to discuss the future of Europe and the wider world in the aftermath of the Great War. James Maxted is looking to the future after the War, preparing to set up a flying school, convinced that the air was the future. But abruptly, his plans change, when his father Sir Henry Maxted is killed in an accident.

    This is a fantastic spy thriller from early twentieth-century Paris and London; full of action, mayhem, intrigue, double-crossing and more. Cryptic notes, untrustworthy allies, pasts which are now haunting their owners. Absolutely fantastic with non-stop action but characters that are drawn brilliantly and which leap off the page for the reader.

    I am surprised that some reviewers have complained that this book offers a sequel. Books do not suffer in and of themselves if they are sufficiently fully populated as to allow a sequel to continue the longer narrative. For this book, in itself, it offers a neat ending to the initial part of the story, so there is no need to read any sequel if you cannot bring yourself to do so. For my part, I cannot wait for the next instalment of Max's journey to find out the secrets that his father appears to have lived by, and to find his own path in the post-War world. Brilliant stuff.
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    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars The first book of a trilogy. 22 Feb. 2015
    By J. Lesley TOP 1000 REVIEWER
    I was enjoying reading this novel when I began to realize I was coming to a point when the number of pages left was really going to push the author to come up with plausible endings for all the plot lines he had developed. Finally I turned a page and came upon the dreaded "to be continued". Well, at least I got an answer of sorts.

    Would I have selected this novel if I had known it was the first part of a trilogy? I have to say I probably would have because nothing says an author can't tie up any number of plot threads and still have material to carry over into a second or even third book. Unhappily for me, this was my first Robert Goddard book to read and finding so many issues remaining unresolved did not leave enough of a good impression to make me anxious to read the second book, much less the third. I enjoyed the atmosphere Goddard created with Paris in 1919 with all the political maneuvering around the peace conference to settle World War I territorial disagreements. The combination of having James "Max" Maxted become involved in solving the questions he had concerning the death of his father and finding himself embroiled in a spy plot added great dimension to the novel. Those elements are what allowed me to assign this first novel in the set a 4 star rating. Now that I know how many novels are required to tell this story I can look back and see much foreshadowing of where Max will probably go to finish his adventure. Some of the characters are a little too good and others are too bad, but once again, knowing now that there are three books required to finish this story, maybe those 'goods' and 'bads' will be expanded and changed over the course of the other two books. I don't know and, quite frankly, I'm not hooked enough to want to find out.
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    12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars 100% back to his best 11 July 2013
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    Robert Goddard wrote some superb mystery thrillers in the 80s and 90s. He then wrote a book called Sea Change which was poor and a whole string of mediocre books after that. Last year's effort was an improvement but The Ways of the World is as good as anything he has written for many a year. The plot is based on historical events. There are twists and turns throughout. I didn't realise this was part of a series until I got to the end but if the next two books are of the same standard there are further treats in store.
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    58 of 65 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars Deeply Unsatisfying 6 Aug. 2013
    I never thought I would feel cheated by a Robert Goddard novel, but "The Ways of the World" has left a nasty aftertaste, or sensation akin to being duped by a second-hand car dealer. I am not surprised that the cover price has been slashed by almost a third only a couple of weeks after launch. How on earth can any writer consider writing what was developing into an outstanding mystery - and then not bothering to finish it?
    I have seen many unusual constructions in my literary experiences, but to effectively tail off mid-chapter and be faced with "To be continued" did come as something of a suprise, to say the least. If this was intended from the start to require a sequel, or be a part of a trilogy, why on earth was that not made clear from the start? And even writers who adopt that practise usually ensure that each separately sold segment had self-contained plots but developed continuous themes.
    There is no doubt "Ways of the World" was developing into one of Goddard's best-yet mysteries, with sufficient uncertainty, duplicity and historical ambiguity to keep readers gripped. But to pull the rug out at the very end will ensure I have absolutely no desire to pay another hefty price to find out what Goddard should have delivered for my original investment. It's a great pity that having read all his previous novels our relationship should have to end like this.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars maybe wait for two and three before you read it. Its a cliffhanger.
    Be aware that this is only the first volume of a trilogy, and that we have to wait for second and third... but it is a cliffhanger and I cannot wait for two and three. Read more
    Published 2 days ago by jic
    4.0 out of 5 stars Great story. Very well written.
    I had a feeling the end was going to be just another beginning. I have enough familiarity with Paris and French to enjoy all the descriptive narrative and places mentioned. Read more
    Published 4 days ago by CivilengPete
    4.0 out of 5 stars Richard Hannay blended with a Bond like Poirot!
    Set in the post war manoeuvring of the Paris Peace Conference the author has produced a smashing and exciting novel with plenty of twists and turns. Read more
    Published 10 days ago by Mark I. Grant
    3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
    Okay but first in a trilogy and so left feeling a bit dissatisfied with ending
    Published 11 days ago by Ziggy52
    3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
    Published 12 days ago by d j o gregory
    5.0 out of 5 stars Something to look forward to.....
    I haven't read this yet, as I'm waiting until I get all 3 books of the trilogy and then I'll read them all together, but I'm sure that I will love it, as I love all Robert Goddards... Read more
    Published 13 days ago by jean hilton
    1.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expect from Mr Goddard
    A great disappointment. I have read all of Mr Goddard's books and I either liked or loved them all and I know exactly what I am expecting when I sit down to start a new RG novel. Read more
    Published 14 days ago by Káldos Zsolt
    2.0 out of 5 stars Way off the mark
    Compared with RG's earlier stories, this is a mosaic of contrived, implausible and unbelievable events and a cast of dozens of unlikely characters. Read more
    Published 19 days ago by Bookish
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    An entertaining read. Guess I will have to read the sequel
    Published 20 days ago by Janet M. Clarke
    1.0 out of 5 stars WARNING: CHEAT! UNFINISHED STORY!
    out of respect for RG's early ouevre, a series of rattling great reads, i was not prepared to give this fewer than 3 stars, altho it revealed itself immediately to be turgid &... Read more
    Published 20 days ago by Zangiku
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