'Hand in Glove'.I've waited and waited to read this,having read every other Robert Goddard novel.I left this one until he took another 'gap' year,which with the delay to 'Long Time Coming'this year has turned out to be. Was it worth it? Yes and no. If I could have given this book 3.5 stars then I would have as it is certainly better than 'Found Wanting'but not in my opinion as some of his modern day mysteries such as 'Days without number' or 'Sight Unseen'.
'Hand in Glove' was published in 1992 and comparing his writing style then to that of today is almost like reading a different author.I love his early novels and the incredible detail that he brought to those stories and this is the type of novel he usually excells at...dark family secrets that come to haunt those living generations later. The trouble with 'Hand in Glove' is that the characters are really quite dull,especially Charlotte who takes the lead role in this story.There are twists and turns a plenty but not the sudden heart stopping shocks that are contained in his best work. Credibility is also stretched at points, especially near the end( a problem with his recent books);Frank, a character who has lived as a recluse in Wales for 50 years drives to london and the next thing is he is on the ferry to France, as if he would have a passport in the first place! There are good points, in particular the historical detail regarding the Spanish civil war and the letters from the front.
This is a long novel by Robert Goddard's 2008 standards and the pace is sedate. With no new novel this year, I hope that he can re find the balance between pace and the incredible plot twists and shock endings that his best books are renowned for.