Authors & Events
Aug 28, 2007
| ISBN 9780385340632
Aug 28, 2007
| ISBN 9780440337171
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Aug 28, 2007 | ISBN 9780385340632
Aug 28, 2007 | ISBN 9780440337171
In the spellbinding new mystery by the master of “the clever twist,” a group of ex-RAF comrades journey to a Scottish castle for a reunion. But by the time they reach their destination, two of them are dead.Harry Barnett is leading a contented life in Vancouver with his wife and daughter when he is brought back to England by the death of his mother. He intends to spend just a few days sorting out her affairs when a chance meeting he will regret for the rest of his life makes him change his plans. Two old acquaintances from his National Service days track Harry down to his mother’s house — the last address they had for him. A lavish reunion has been organized to mark the fiftieth anniversary of their RAF days. Harry decides to go.During the war, Harry and his fellow RAF conscripts spent three months in a Scottish castle where they acted as guinea pigs in a psychological experiment. The reunion is to take place in the same castle. It will be a chance to see friends, settle old scores and lay a few ghosts to rest.The party begins on the train up to Aberdeen, until the apparent suicide of one of their number shatters the holiday atmosphere. Their arrival in Scotland seems under a cloud, and when another comrade dies soon after their arrival, Harry is gripped by a sense of foreboding. As well, the recollections of the old comrades of their time in the castle are frighteningly different, and unexplained events from 1955 still haunt them. As Harry tries to solve the mystery of what really happened fifty years ago, he uncovers an extraordinary secret that convinces him he will never leave the castle alive.
Robert Goddard’s first novel, Past Caring, was an instant bestseller. His first Harry Barnett novel, Into the Blue, was winner of the first WHSmith Thumping Good Read Award. He lives in Truro, Cornwall. Delta will publish the next Goddard novel,… More about Robert Goddard
Your plot structure has often been compared to Victorian novels; a maze of plot twists and turns seething with dark secrets. How do you strategize your character’s development? I choose as a central character someone with a big stake in the story who generally has to discover just as much as the reader about the truth of what’s happening. I then throw the problems raised by the plot at them and see how they react, giving them as much independence from me as I can impart. In this way the story evolves naturally, I hope, and fulfillingly for the reader. Your books are based on historical events or times, but often take place in the present. Do you have a favorite historical era? I don’t really have a favourite historical era. Any period could supply the kind of mystery I’m always looking out for. History is, as I hope my books demonstrate, replete with material for the sort of stories I’m drawn to. If you were to find yourself in a situation similar to Barnett which of the 14 RAF servicemen would you choose as company and why? Dangerfield, I expect, which wouldn’t turn out to be too smart a choice. Of course, the fact is that Barnett (like me) naturally gravitates to Chipchase. He is the flip side of Harry’s persona. You were a history major and Cambridge graduate who was working as an educational administrator when your first book, Past Caring, became an instant bestseller in the UK. How has this success changed your projected career path? Goodness knows I never had a career path as such before I became a writer. I was just working to pay the rent and waiting, though I didn’t realize it, for the moment to come when I acknowledged that writing was the only career I was cut out for. I’m just glad it’s turned out well enough for me to go on with it, because it’s clearly what I’m designed to do. There are currently three books in the Harry Barnett series; Into the Blue, Out of the Sun, and now Never Go Back. Can we expect to see more of Harry in the near future? Harry’s getting a little long in the tooth for further adventures, but I wouldn’t rule anything out. Ideas come from a place where I’m very much not in charge, so who knows? It’s hard to believe my readers and I have seen the last of Harry (not to mention Barry).
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