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Beyond Recall [Kindle Edition]

Robert Goddard
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $12.00
Kindle Price: $7.99
You Save: $4.01 (33%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

On a bright autumn afternoon in Truro, the Napier family celebrates one couple’s golden wedding anniversary and another’s marriage. But for one member of the clan, the day turns dark. Chris Napier, prodigal son, suddenly spots the ragged specter of a former friend, Nicky Lanyon—a man whose own family was ruined by the same twist of fate with which the Napiers were blessed. And the next morning, Chris is horrified to find Nicky dead, hanging from a tree where the boys once played….

For Chris, the suicide opens a floodgate of doubt and suspicion. How did his family’s wealth slip out of the hands of a great-uncle, brutally murdered before he could change his will? Were the men convicted of the crime truly guilty? And who is the mysterious, seductive woman who claims to know the Napiers’ darkest secrets? As the crimes of two families are exposed, a series of violent acts shadows him and suddenly Chris knows he’s in uncharted waters…until a killer drops one last disguise—for the ultimate act of revenge.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

A carefully crafted tale of suspense, Beyond Recall interweaves present and past as Christian Napier sets out to discover the truth behind his great-uncle's murder, committed during the days of rationing and privation following the Second World War. That death provided the foundation of the Napier family's subsequent prosperity, but Christian is led to question the verdict reached in the case by the more recent suicide of an old and abandoned friend. The whole of the action is relayed through Napier's eyes and voice as he struggles to sort out his understanding of what happened before he was born, his own memories as a child, the alcohol-hazed intervening years, and the current arm's-length relationship he maintains with the surviving members of his family.

Goddard's sense of place is strong. The Cornish market town of Truro, with its 19th-century cathedral looming over events spanning a century, provides the backdrop for the mystery and also for the shifting fortunes of the British experience. Descriptions of a grand family home transformed into a hotel and conference center, the tiny chain-pulled ferry crossing an estuary as it has done for generations, and Cornwall's unchanging and temperate beauty offer convincing detail beyond the usual place-name dropping.

Although the denouement is muddled by a confusion of identities and too many people thought dead resurfacing (both to Napier's dismay and delight), the general scheme is entertaining enough and just within the bounds of what's believable, given Goddard's manipulation of the reader's expectations. The central themes of revenge and greed lose some of their power when mixed with a subplot colored by a '90s obsession with sexual misdeeds, but these flaws do not detract from the pleasure of the whole. An enjoyable read, fraught with the tension Goddard's readers have come to expect.

From Publishers Weekly

As he does so smoothly and so well (Out of the Sun, etc.), Goddard again creates a narrator who uncovers secrets buried in the past that cast grim shadows on later generations. Here he takes classic English mystery staples?a grand old house in Cornwall, a family fortune in dispute, murder and blackmail?and concocts an absorbing suspense novel with a modern sensibility. Alienated from his family for some years, Chris Napier returns home to the Cornish town of Truro for his niece's wedding at Tredower House, the family estate (now a hotel and conference center) bequeathed by his adventurous great uncle, Joshua Carnoweth. Guests are reminded of an unpleasant event when Chris's boyhood friend, Nicky Lanyon, shows up at the reception to announce that his father, who was hanged for the murder of Uncle Joshua, was innocent of the deed. Nicky culminates his plea by committing suicide. In Nicky's memory, Chris investigates the 34-year-old murder case, while one mysterious woman goes after his money and another wins his heart. Goddard intricately interweaves the life stories of three generations, adding texture to the parallel plots: the love between his great-uncle and Nicky's grandmother, the moral crises of the WWII generation and Chris's own tale of 1960s rebellion. As usual, Goddard is meticulous with background details and local color, and his characters, with their good manners and dark secrets, seem to have stepped out of a Daphne Du Maurier novel. There are enough surprises in this tale of switched identities and lingering resentments to keep readers steadily engrossed.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 375 KB
  • Print Length: 402 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0552164186
  • Publisher: Delta; Reprint edition (February 24, 2009)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001SE75FU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #268,584 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another gem from Goddard! May 15, 1999
By ZP
Format:Paperback
This is my third Goddard book and he never really ceases to amaze me. I read Closed Circle first, which was great, but then Out of the Sun was incredible. This one, like all of his work, has a wonderfully crafted plot and excitement galore. Goddard is a hidden gem outside England, and that's a shame. If you don't know which of his books to buy, start with Past Caring and you'll get all of them after that. Goddard has quickly become my favorite author and I will gladly devour anything he writes!!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Twists Will Keep You Hooked July 18, 2000
Format:Paperback
This was my first Robert Goddard novel, and after reading this book in less than 24 hours I can certainly be considered a new fan.
I simply could not put this book down. It did what every good thriller should be able to do -- transfix you and make you want to turn the page to see what happens next. It was the twists that kept me reading this book. However, they are not so frequent that you expect a twist at the end of every chapter. There are just enough thrown in to make you reconsider every time you think you've sorted out what is really going on.
Reading the other reviews posted here, I was a little concerned about all the flashbacks that this novel uses. But upon reading the book I found it no problem at all. It is not overdone and they are all contexualised with modern day events. One will have no problem at all keeping track of things.
I was glued to this novel for the better part of a day, reading it in very quick time. I simply had to find out what was going to happen next! If you like that in a thriller, then you will greatly enjoy this novel.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A real ride.... May 9, 2000
Format:Hardcover
This was my first Robert Goddard book and I was pleasantly surprised. Goddard's writing evokes a sense of place almost as strong as those created by P.D. James. I don't think all of Goddard's characters are as well drawn as they might have been, but he does a good job with the Great Uncle, Christian, and Nicky. "Simone" is over the top at times, and her character stretched my suspension of disbelief pretty taut.
The plot reminded me of LeCarre's "Perfect Spy" or Deborah Crombie's "Kissed a Sad Goodbye" with it's the twists and turns and links between the present action and the events of the past. I found it a challenge to keep things straight at times, but I anticipated almost every plot twist before it happened with a few exceptions, so either I'm pretty good at deciphering mysteries, or the plot isn't as confusing as some critics have suggested. I also think it helped to read the book in a 24 hour period.
I recommend this book. It's head and shoulders above many other mysteries I've read lately by "famous" authors.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
This is a terrific, complex book. It begins with a suicide, not a murder, but that act of self-destruction opens a door into the past -- a past that is filled with murder, blackmail, inheritance, duplicity, and the hanging of a possibly-innocent man.
As the book begins, Chris Napier, a childhood friend of the suicide, begins to explore the reasons for his friend's death. Chris is driven at first by guilt. He had let go of his friendship with Nicky years ago, when both were boys and Nicky's father was hung for murder. Chris hadn't meant to abandon his friend, but the murder drove a wedge between their families, and, finally, it drove Nicky's family to leave the area and take up a new life.
Before long, however, Chris is driven by more than guilt. The original murder may be long in the past, but once he has opened the door, that past comes alive in the present. Chris digs -- he finds the retired policeman who investigated the case; an aged witness from the trial; a woman in a nursing home whose mind is sharper than anyone realized -- but at the same time, things begin happening in the present. Someone is stalking him.
The story is incredibly complex, but absolutely believeable. In part, that's because each character is believeable. Not just the major characters, but each person we encounter. Each of those witnesses Chris finds, for example, has a real personality -- each has motives, foibles, and a life history that we glimpse in passing.
Each witness that Chris uncovers adds a new piece of information to the story, and, with each new bit of data, the story takes a new turn. In some cases, the new bit of information gives us a rude awakening -- things are not what we thought. In other cases, that new bit of data casts new light and expands our understanding.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'VE GOT A SECRET RESULTS IN FAMILY FEUD August 24, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Another unique mystery from the pen of Robert Goddard, a writer who knows how to create thought provoking, absorbing stories peopled with conflicted characters, some-what flawed protagonists and descriptive images of the British countryside that are so vivid you feel an overwhelming urge to jump on the next plane and have a look for yourself.

The story spans a period of time from the late 1940's to the early 1980's and examines the impact of a 35 year old murder on the two families directly involved. The characters expose us to the full gamut of emotions as they experience friendship, honor, lost love, avarice, hate, vengeance, and the strong antipathy between family members..........and...... as with many novels set "across the pond" money and social status are the name of the game and losing is not a viable option.

The plot of BEYOND RECALL has as many twists and turns as a Grand Prix course with the same potentially hazardous consequences should a wrong turn be taken by our protagonist.

The main thing I appreciate about Goddard's writing is that his stories are always logical in their resolution. No inconsistencies, abrupt endings or surprises out of left field. The solution was always there for us to see, it just took a while for it to come into focus.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars What an author!
Goddard can do no wrong, cross between a thriller and a drama. Talk about twists and turns! Have read many of this author and can't get enough
Published 1 month ago by Chris Wardell
2.0 out of 5 stars A boring plot that was beautifully written.
Because it was so well written the uninteresting story sucked you in even though there was nothing there. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Joan L. Wettenstein
3.0 out of 5 stars Another Good Goddard
I have read many Goddard books, and most I really love. This one was a little more complex and hard to follow. Although an interesting plot, this was not my favorite.
Published 11 months ago by Tommy Bulmer
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond Recall
Fantastic reading. Very captivating, it made me neglect all a must do things. I couldn't put the book down until finished.
Published 18 months ago by tanya
4.0 out of 5 stars Haunting tale of lies and intrigue
Today, Chris Napier must make a final decision. A decision that was set in motion the day his childhood friend Nicky Lanyon asked him, "Who killed my father? Read more
Published 20 months ago by R. E. Conary
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great!
This book took some reading. I struggled on to 50% of the book before it became interesting. This book came highly recommended. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars Mystery for Beginners With Nothing To Do
Harsh, yes. Honest, very. I read the prior reviews and then bought the book anxious to find another great author. Read more
Published on June 13, 2009 by J. Simonson
5.0 out of 5 stars Goddard's second best
A friend from Canada gave me 2 Goddard's for Xmas along with a clipping of an article by Stephen King listing Goddard's novels as his top "discovery" of 2008. Read more
Published on April 13, 2009 by Barry Milliken
4.0 out of 5 stars fine suspense thriller
Estranged from his family, Chris Napier returns home for the first time in years to attend his niece's wedding at the family estate Tredower House converted into a hotel in Truro,... Read more
Published on March 8, 2009 by Harriet Klausner
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good
Robert Goddard was recommended by Stephen King in a December, 2008 article ( Entertainment Weekly) of his favorite books for that year. Read more
Published on January 25, 2009 by M. Griffin
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