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The Ways of the World
on 12 August 2013
"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.