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Fault Line Audio Download – Unabridged

4.4 out of 5 stars 221 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 12 hours and 7 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: AudioGO Ltd
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 21 May 2012
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0085Y6PM0

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Robert Goddard has had his ups and downs in recent years, and it might have seemed that his touch had lost its magic. His most recent three novels before Fault Line were, in my opinion, poor, okay and indifferent, in that order. Fortunately, this shallow and fallow period seems to be over.

The main thing in favour of Fault Line is that the leading character doesn't do anything stupid: normally these days in a Goddard book one is used to the hero saying "yes" when he should say "no" in chapter one, leading to three hundred pages of implausibility. Not this time.

Told in flashback, we learn how our hero, from his youth in St. Austell, Cornwall (this reader's least favourite town in England) finds himself drawn into the ins and outs of a wealthy family because a) he fancies the daughter and b) he tries to do the right thing. The results are unpredictable, varying from disastrous to very disastrous. This is perhaps the most corpse-strewn of Goddard's novels, with barely any character left standing at the final curtain (to be fair, a few die of old age, but not that many). It's not a gore-fest, however, and it was only after reading that one realised quite how many of the cast list had copped it!

Spanning forty-years or more, no matter where the story goes (Capri, USA, with fascists, opera singers, the China Clay industry and student riots all in the mix) it all comes back to one incident years before in St. Austell. "Old sins have long shadows", as Agatha Christie was fond of quoting. Well, they certainly do with Robert Goddard. Back on form. With a vengance. Literally.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've now read all 23 of Robert Goddard's books and enjoyed them all. It's true he's lost his sharp edge since the days of Caught in the Light and Set in Stone, with fewer convoluted plot twists and emotional roller coaster rides. In fact, in Fault Line there don't seem to be any twists at all, and it's all rather predictable - which, as someone who enjoys a good plot twist, leaves me feeling rather short changed (hence only 4 stars). That said, with Goddard's unmistakeable philosophical style and the rather glamorous setting on Capri, it still makes for a highly entertaining page-turner. A word of warning though: if you're searching for Robert Goddard's books under name of author, check carefully you've got the right Robert Goddard; there are two authors with the same name.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Goddard's previous book, Blood Count, marked a low point in his writing, with a idiotically gullible hero and a dreadful ending. So it was with some trepidation that I bought his latest work, Fault Line. This was going to be make or break for me - another dud and I'd give up on Goddard, despite having read all his novels so far.

Well I finished the novel this evening after a marathon few days' reading. In many ways, it felt like a return to form. As ever, we have a likeable hero who must delve into the past to find answers to solve a seemingly uncrackable conundrum. As usual, there are a number of fatalities along the way!

I'm not going to give a plot synopsis - Amazon can provide that. But for Goddard fans, I hope my comments will help you decide whether to buy this book.

Is it me, or does Goddard return to Cornwall often? I don't particularly mind this and I recall more than one that I've really enjoyed. But a part of me thought "oh no here we go again". Our hero, Jonathan Kellaway is a character we immediately take to. But some other characters in the book are more like caricatures: Goddard's style seems to have become more simplistic in recent works - the careful plotting and unforeseen twists are not quite as tight, as satisfying, as in his earlier works. Some of the characters are just too thin. Early in this novel, I cringed just once or twice as some of the writing seemed a little gauche, almost naive, when describing Jonathan's teenage years and dealings with the families involved in the Cornwall china clay business. But I don't feel that Goddard has ever been good when it comes to writing romance, let alone sex!

But despite these early misgivings, I was soon drawn into the plot and the characters. Very much so.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fault Line goes back to a tragic episode that destroyed the Wrens, a wealthy Cornish mining family, in the 1960s. The main character, Jonathan Kellaway gets caught up in the subsequent history of the the Wren family and the long reaching consequences of the tragedy. Robert Goddard's writing is of a very high standard and I enjoyed reading large parts of this book, despite the initial slowness of the pace.

Fault Line flips between the 1960s, the 1980s and the present and also lurches from Cornwall, to Capri and the U.S. At times it seemed that two separate plots were in operation, neither of them very strongly connected. One involving possible corporate fraud, the other an Italian betrayal dating from World War Two. I kept hoping and expecting that the two plots would gel, perhaps in a surprise reveal at the end, but was ultimately disappointed as the conclusion was something of a damp squib and didn't really seem related to previous events.

The other reason I have given Fault Line only three stars is that I couldn't really believe in the main character. Jonathan Kellaway was a likeable enough man, but I found it hard to believe that he would hitch his fortunes to the family mining firm in the way he did. Also, he didn't seem to have any personal life of his own, other than that directly related to the plot. Nothing appeared to happen to him, other than the events that needed to take place for the plot to proceed.

All in all, a bit disappointing, but still a good read compared to some of the lesser quality offerings out there at the moment.
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