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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 23 April 2012
I have enjoyed most of the Robert Goddard's novels and like any prolific author some are better than others. Fault Line is one of the better ones, but not in the top rank. As usual the writing is very good but I didn't find it such a page-turner as some of his earlier books. He has done quite a bit of research into the china clay industry, not an obvious choice for a thriller writer. This isn't a thriller but more a carefully crafted book with several story-lines told in retrospect back to the 60s, 80s and the present day. The main character, Jonathon, tells the stories in the first person, which works well and switching among the multiple time periods isn't too confusing. In his quest to find missing company documents he gets embroiled in suspicious deaths and travels extensively trying to unravel the truth and find out whether these events are linked. Despite his eventful life he remains a two-dimensional character. I didn't find any of the characters engaging enough to make me care about the final revelations which made the denouement a damp squibb.
Worth reading but not wonderful likePainting The Darkness which is so unforgetable i can't read it again because I vividly remember the ending, which is the climax of the many twists and turns.
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on 19 October 2012
Goddard's magic works again! I was capivated within the 1st few pages. Mysteries that haunt the life of Jonathan Kellaway compell him to try and solve them over many years. The mysteries were accompanied by many tragedies which envelope him and almost overwhelm him but he is determined to carry on. This story shuttles its way back and forth between Cornwall and Capri, also from the 1960's to the 2000's (which is one of Goddard's trademarks!) This fascinating story held me spellbound right up to the end. Recommended.
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on 11 September 2012
I have read all of Goddard's books and enjoyed all but two. This is one of the two. A messy plot lacking purpose and reason with no character that you can identify with. The strong points of all the others is that you can really care about the difficulties that the characters get into and how they extricate themselves and solve the puzzle. That was missing in this book and I struggled to finish it. Let us hope in the next book, Goddard will be back on form
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on 2 March 2013
Purchased for my husband's birthday as he has read all of Robert Goddard's books and thoroughly enjoys them as always.
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on 1 February 2013
My friend loved the TV series and so I took a chance that she would like the book.
She is enjoying it and so I am going to read it after her.
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on 15 October 2012
I would actually rate this book 3 1/2 stars...

After his previous 3 books, which I found disappointing, Fault Line marks a return to form. Mostly.
I won't offer a synopsis, since that's been given elsewhere. Suffice to say, Fault Line holds all the hallmarks of a classic Robert Goddard novel; deeds of the past casting a dark shadow over the present, an antagonist caught up in an intriguing mystery, seeking to find the truth in events of the past, searching for personal reconciliation; twists and turns in the main plot; intertwining sub-plots.
As with most of Goddard,s previous novels, the main character makes a choice/agreement to something early on in the book which pretty much sets the course for the events that follow, which continue to project their reach into the future.

As other reviewers have mentioned, some of the cast come across as typecast and one-dimensional.
Also, I would have liked to have felt more depth to the main character. The historical backdrop which invariably colours Goddard's novels didn't hook me personally as much as previous novels. The clay mining of Cornwall in the 60's, for me, holds little interest, as opposed to previous novels.
The love scenes come across as a bit contrived.

That said, the book is very readable. I enjoyed it, and found the shifts between past/present perspectives to flow well, keep the story alive, and add the additional dimension.
I've read all of Goddard's novels, and Fault Line far surpasses his previous 3-4 efforts.

My main contention is the ending. I found it to be rushed, and to be honest, slightly unconvincing.
Actually, slightly incomprehensible. I was left feeling many of the tribulations the main character suffered throughout could have been avoided.
But that shouldn't deter anyone from reading this book. The remaining 99% of the book far outweighs any reservations I might otherwise have had to recommend this to anyone.

All in all I found it a very good read. Goddard captures the atmosphere of past and present environments convincingly. I wanted to know the outcome, wanted to know the "secret" behind it all and wanted to know what was to became of the main characters.
I will definitely buy the next Goddard novel, and hope this book really does mark a return to form.
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on 2 April 2012
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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on 22 July 2012
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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on 11 June 2017
Excellent read
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on 8 November 2012
Fault LineGoddard, as always, keeps you reading to the breathless end. A story that takes you backwards and forwards in time but never confusing, the flow of the story is riveting the final denouement a complete surprise. I look forward to the next Goddard.
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