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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful as ever
I am a Robert Goddard fan through and through. Even his supposedly below-par books I found excellent.

'Blood Count' is typical Goddard. He takes a normal, to a point bland protaganist and thrusts him into a world of lies, betrayal, criminality and murder, a world in which our 'hero' manifestly doesn't belong. And this time that 'hero' is Edward Hammond, who,...
Published on 10 July 2011 by Amazon Customer

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slightly disappointing
I have to agree with the apparently common (but not universal) view of RG fans that this is another of his recent offerings that falls more into the "routine thriller" category than many of his earlier works. It's not that this isn't an enjoyable read by many standards - it's just that the storyline is less complex (one earlier reviewer aptly used the term "linear"), the...
Published on 14 Nov. 2011 by Perfectionist?


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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful as ever, 10 July 2011
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This review is from: Blood Count (Kindle Edition)
I am a Robert Goddard fan through and through. Even his supposedly below-par books I found excellent.

'Blood Count' is typical Goddard. He takes a normal, to a point bland protaganist and thrusts him into a world of lies, betrayal, criminality and murder, a world in which our 'hero' manifestly doesn't belong. And this time that 'hero' is Edward Hammond, who, after performing life-saving surgery on a Serbian warlord during the Nineties, sees his actions come back to haunt him in the present.

The plot moves along at Goddard's usual pace, steadily but surely, as the tension is subtly cranked. Around every corner Hammond finds a new obstacle, bigger and more problematic. The writing is, in a word, beautiful - perhaps the author's greatest asset is his ability to write tense thrillers with a literary bent.

As with many Goddards, the story fizzles out slighty towards the conclusion, but that doesn't matter. With his stories it's not the destination but the journey.

You're bound to enjoy this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Past Haunts Surgeon, 13 Jun. 2013
By 
Brett H "pentangle" (Brighton) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Blood Count (Paperback)
Edward Hammond is a surgeon, living in London. However, his comfortable and well ordered life is fatally disrupted when he is contacted about a transplant operation which he conducted many years earlier. The patient was a Serbian warlord, Dragan Gazi, and Hammond was well paid for the operation. However, it all returns to haunt him and he is soon deeply and unwillingly involved. It is all like a fly caught in a spider's web and, as he ducks and dives, he becomes ever more securely trapped.

This is a well plotted book which keeps up the momentum throughout. Strangely, though, it seems to come to a logical conclusion about 70-80 pages before the end and what follows is almost a separate, but connected story. Not uninteresting, but a little strange. It is almost as though the author finished his book, decided it was a little too short for a novel and then set about writing a novella to add on at the end and to bring it all up to an appropriate length.

However, Robert Goddard certainly knows how to put together a good tale and has quickly become one of my favourite authors. His descriptions of people forced out of their normal comfort zone into situations over which they have little control are particularly well described and in this book the reader quickly comes to share Hammond's feelings of helplessness. Probably not the author's best, but a very good read nonetheless.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Goddard, 17 April 2011
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Bluebell (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Blood Count (Hardcover)
I've read all Robert Goddard's novels and enjoyed them all. Not surprisingly with so many under his belt, they vary in quality. His 2009 offering ASIN:B0031RS4AM Found Wanting]] was a bit of a dip in quality; with an improvement last year with [ASIN:0593060261 Long Time Coming]]. Blood Count is more like vintage Goddard: a pacy plot with lots of twists and turns and surprises along the way. As is often the case in his books the main character, in this case a surgeon, Edward Hammond, gets himself embroiled in dastardly plots and deceptions conceived by others. He makes foolhardy decisions that lead him into endless scrapes. All exciting stuff that bowls the reader along wanting to find out what happens next as Hammond races back and forth across Europe trying to track down evidence that will exonerate him from blame for his estranged wife's death. The plot is topical with Serbian war criminals, untraceable movements of money and buried in the narrative issues of morality.
Enjoyable stuff: recommended if you've enjoyed Goddard's earlier books.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New Twists From An Old Master, 5 April 2011
By 
Gary J. Murray "moss murray" (Sutton, MA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Blood Count (Hardcover)
Although some have criticized the prolific Robert Goddard for being too formulaic in his approach, I for one find a level of comfort in knowing in advance what to expect from his novels: brilliantly constructed plots; unexpected twists and turns as the story develops; an apparantly overmatched protaganist fighting seemingly insurmountable odds; interesting and well-drawn characters; and a hightened sense of excitement as the story moves swiftly and inexorably to its conclusion. "Blood Count" satisfies on all these levels and more. This is Mr. Goddard's 22nd novel and it amazes me how he is still able to turn out such an entertaining page-turner of the first order. Bravo!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slightly disappointing, 14 Nov. 2011
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This review is from: Blood Count (Hardcover)
I have to agree with the apparently common (but not universal) view of RG fans that this is another of his recent offerings that falls more into the "routine thriller" category than many of his earlier works. It's not that this isn't an enjoyable read by many standards - it's just that the storyline is less complex (one earlier reviewer aptly used the term "linear"), the characters less engaging, and, for me, the whole less satisfying than I had come to expect of RG. I say "had" rather than "have" because I'm sorry to say I'm now beginning to wonder whether RG will be able to reach his earlier standards with future novels, particularly if he is now inclined to shift from his more complex plotting towards action thrillers. One final point - I wrote the foregoing as an RG fan: this is still worth reading. (For those unfamiliar with RG and who want to read him at his best, in my view you can't do better than his first "Past Caring".)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blood Count, 27 Feb. 2012
By 
Carroty Nell "Nell" (Alaska, USA (summer) Manchester, England (winter)) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Blood Count (Paperback)
Dr Edward Hammond has performed a life-saving transplant operation on Dragan Gazi, Serbian paramilitary leader, now on trial at the Hague for war-crimes. Hammond finds his past dealings with Gazi catching up with him in a murderous and chilling way.

Goddard succeeds in capturing all the horror of the Bosnian war without over-statement. The prose is flowing and reader-friendly. The pacing is fine with the right balance between tense action and sedate scenes.

'Blood Count', though, is rather like a master-class in thriller writing. Goddard gets just about everything right... but at the expense of that indefinable spark of spontaneity which transforms a good, competent novel into a truly outstanding and special one. There are moral dilemmas in the plot, but no really unusual or surprising twists. Nor is Hammond a particularly memorable hero.

To sum up, Blood Count is a decent but, ultimately, ordinary thriller.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping pace, 3 May 2014
By 
David H J Ashdown (Wales) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Blood Count (Paperback)
I've not read Robert Goddard before but was impressed by this novel about a surgeon ,Edward Hammond ,who saved a Serbian gangster's life by giving him a liver transplant. Now 13 years later that act has come back to haunt him and leads him on a bloody trail ostensibly to enable Dragan Gazi's ill gotten gains to be released to his family. He only complies because he's thinks they have evidence that'll damage his reputation at best or cause him to be imprisoned at worst. A fast paced novel that's slightly let down by the abrupt ending that left a lot of unanswered questions that could have been dealt with and would have rounded things off.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Model Thriller, 15 April 2011
By 
Antenna (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Blood Count (Hardcover)
The latest of Goddard's annual novels starts with a topical and intriguing dilemma. Edward Hammond, a successful surgeon, is waylaid by the daughter of a Serbian warlord, Dragan Gazi, now standing trail at The Hague for his crimes. Years ago, Hammond performed a life-saving liver transplant on Gazi for a very generous fee. Unless he now performs a further service, Gazi will claim that he was responsible for the murder of Hammond's estranged wife, acting at Hammond's request. Can Hammond risk refusing to be blackmailed, even for something he claims not to have done?

Goddard leads us through one of his famous twisting plots, but this is one of his best, after a few lean years of formulaic pot-boilers. Not only does he demonstrate once again the page-turning ability to create tense situations from which you cannot see how Hammond can possibly escape, but he also raises some interesting issues. Should Hammond have refused to operate in the first place? Was ignorance of the full extent of Gazi's criminality a sufficient excuse? How culpable is Hammond for the death of the thousands whom Gazi went on to kill, after receiving his life-saving liver? In exploring this, there are some lively dialogues, say with Hammond's puzzled and accusing former brother-in-law.

There is real suspense, since we know Goddard is prepared to bump off even sympathetic characters for the sake of a plot twist.

Some of the male characters are quite well-developed, always with the proviso that you never know whom Hammond can trust. As is often the case, the women seem a bit more two dimensional or shadowy to me, although the adoptive mother of Gazi's son is a convincing character in a moving sub-story.

One criticism is that Hammond seems very trusting and naive at times. Of course, this is necessary for the plot twists to work! The quality of the writing jars at times - a Cambridge graduate, Goddard must be able to do better than this - I'm sure his earlier novels were more literary, but he clearly doesn't need to worry about style to hook his readers.

Overall, this is a thoroughly entertaining read that will not leave you feeling cheated or that you have wasted your time.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly straightforward by Goddard standards, 19 Aug. 2012
By 
John Fitzpatrick (São Paulo, Brazil) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Blood Count (Paperback)
This is a remarkably straightforward book by Goddard's standards which is perhaps a good sign as he lost the touch that made some of his earlier books so gripping a long time ago.

Instead of the usual story centering on events that happened two or three generations earlier, we have a more standard thriller in which only a dozen years separate us from the mystery.

The plot centers on an English doctor who was paid handsomely for carrying out a liver transplant on a murderous Serbian warlord accused of war crimes at the International Court of Justice. The doctor learns that mixing with war criminals is not really a good idea and he ends up paying dearly for doing so.

All the ingredients of a Goddard story are here - a sudden event that sends the hero across a dozen international frontiers by car, train and plane, usually in bad weather, with some references to local tourist spots or traditions in a failed bid to add some authenticity, wooden characters, a tricky plot and a surprise ending that is very good in this case.

My main complaint is that the book is built on a feeble premise, i.e. that a successful doctor would set off around Europe in the middle of winter on an impossible task simply because he fears he might get some bad press publicity. A laughable error that shows Goddard knows nothing about the distances involved in South America or the state of the roads is his character who claims to have driven a car from Panama to Buenos Aires, a distance of over 3,000 miles.

Other than that, it is a pretty enjoyable read.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still not quite back to wonderful, 13 May 2011
By 
A. W. Wilson - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Blood Count (Hardcover)
I suppose some of us can say we have read all Goddard's novels. I can and have. Without exception they have all been superior reads, full of twists, turns, suspense, and plain good writing, and therein lies the problem. I said without exception, but his last book Long Time Coming disapointed me. I kept waiting for that final gut wrenching twist and it never came. Sadly, and I hope this isn't a "Spoiler Alert" situation, I felt let down by the anti climactic ending of this one. Now probably that's just because I have come to expect so much and I would certainly not wish to put anyone not sure about buying this off a purchase. It's a good novel, no messing around, no cutting from character to character and setting to setting leaving you wanting to skip a chapter to find out what happens to what you have just been reading about (make sense??). So, just not 5 stars, and I await his next, cos I will read it.
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Blood Count
Blood Count by Robert Goddard (Paperback - 15 Sept. 2011)
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