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Into the Blue Paperback – January 31, 2006

4.4 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Harry Barnett Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Goddard's newest novel shows that even a middle-aged, frumpy man can become a hero. When Heather Mallender, English schoolteacher, disappears while sightseeing in Greece with Harry Barnett, Barnett must discover whether she disappeared voluntarily or was a victim of malice. In Hitchcockian tradition, the hero finds himself trapped in a web of intrigue that threatens not only his reputation, but also his life. Barnett's quest leads him from Greece to England and back, followed everywhere he goes, encountering suspicion and resistance at every turn. Everyone, it seems, has things to hide. Goddard's ( Painting the Darkness , LJ 9/1/89) elegant and gothic portrait of blackmail, deception, and death is hampered by its meandering pace and intricacy. Still, the novel is ultimately successful.
- Bettie Alston Spivey, Charlotte-Mecklenburg P.L.,
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Ultimate page-turner and late-night obsessive read."
--Rocky Mountain News

''A book that will push the edges of late night fatigue... had me utterly spellbound...cracking good entertainment."
--Washington Post

''Impossible to put down... Totally compels you from the first page to the last... a wonderful storyteller."
--Yorkshire Post

''A cracker, twisting, turning and exploding with real skill."
--Daily Mirror
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 498 pages
  • Publisher: Delta; Reprint edition (January 31, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385339194
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385339193
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #751,372 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
It is a credit to Robert Goddard's writerly abilities that he manages to lead and keep our interest alive in this complex story. We travel from Greece to the British Isles (a map of the UK would be a nice adjunct). The cast of characters in another author's hands would be cumbersome. A tribute to Goddard that even the minor characters are crisply delineated, and not once was I confused as to who was who.
Harry Bennett, a professional failure, has to be one of the more depressing heroes of all time. He has no confidence, few social skills, and not one yearning desire to better himself. He glumly concludes he is not worthy of success. His stylistic sense is so poor; his rumpled appearance causes comment in even an average restaurant. The late Carroll O'Connor could play the part to perfection. On Harry's watch, the young and fragile Heather Mallender disappears while they are hiking up sinister Profitis Ilias Mountain in the Greek Isles. Predictably, Harry has petered out slightly below the summit and elects to wait for Heather to complete the climb. And that is the last he sees of Heather.
The rest of the novel recounts Harry's painstaking search for Heather. Harry is nothing if not persistent, and even his wrong turns forward his search. Nothing is quite as it seems, even Harry. Mr. Goddard has given us a story laced with irony. As in a previous Goddard novel "Caught in the Light," I had a good idea "who" was the main villain; I just had no idea "why." This is a finely crafted novel, and the characterizations are delightful. A very satisfying read.
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By MJS on February 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
For intelligent, intricately plotted thrillers, no one beats Robert Goddard. I first discovered his work on trip to Australia. "Caught in the Light" made the 14 hour flight home go by in a blink. "Into the Blue" is the best work from one of the best popular fiction writers working today. Well-conceived believable characters, a plot so intricate you sometimes feel you need a map yet it all falls perfectly into place at the end, and a prose style that pulls you in.

Read "Into the Blue" and you'll find yourself ordering all Goddard's books - he's that good and that addictive.
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Format: Paperback
Goddard does it again! In this novel we meet Harry Barnett, a fiftish failure with a past. Harry's life is immersed in failure; its only positive aspect being Harrys unlikely friendship with Alan Dysart, an Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Defense. While house sitting at Alan's villa in Greece, Harry is drawn into a perplexing and bizarre puzzle involving the disappearance of a beautiful, young houseguest.

These are only two of the several plot threads that textures this story and weaves it into compelling whole cloth. Goddard's writing invites you to walk in Harrys shoes as he attempts to utilize the one clue in his possession to solve a mystery whose pieces are scattered from Greece to England to Switzerland.

You may think you have the solution.....but don't be too sure!!
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Format: Paperback
It's gratifying to see Goddard, a best-selling author in Europe and Australia, get printed stateside - if you're not familiar with him, Into the Blue is a damn good place to start.

Known for his layered, circular plotting that always twists and turns down corners you never expected, Goddard is one of the masters of the genre. The atmosphere in Into the Blue is tense and creeping, as the past weaves into the present with fascinating consequences (something he does in many of his novels). The story has so many elements it's difficult to remember them all - jealousy, corruption, blackmail, deception, and betrayal all collide as Harry Barnett struggles to learn the truth, finding out there is much more behind Heather Mallender's disappearance than he could have ever suspected. I'll leave it at that, for fear of ruining any surprises.

I've always preferred mystery novels where the protagonist is not a policeman solving a case, but rather someone with a personal matter at stake, something he needs is desperately driving him forward. This tends to be the case with Goddard's novels, be it obsessed photographer Ian Jarrett from Caught in the Light, family man William Trenchard from Painting the Darkness (also a must-read, along with "In Pale Battalions"), or tough barfly Harry Barnett from this one. In some respects, Goddard shares some similarities to Hitchcock.

Into the Blue's pace may be a bit slower than your standard airport mass-market thriller, and yet it never bores you, sucking you into a fascinating mystery....and by the time you're halfway through, it just flies ahead full throttle as the puzzle's pattern begins to show. And yet, just when you think you've figured it all out, a few more revelations hit you out of nowhere...it ends with tremendously satisfying surprises!
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Format: Hardcover
This was the first novel by Robert Goddard I read. After that, I was completely hooked. I rate Goddard as the best suspense novelist I've ever read. His plot twists are incredible; as a long-time reader, I'm used to being able to predict endings. It's depressing, really, how few can surprise me. Well, Goddard can! And his are true plot twists, all the information is planted early in the novel, but you can never quite see which little nugget of information will end up being the crucial one! Delightful! As for _Into the Blue_, I felt like I had visited Greece along with Harry. And Harry rates as one of the most likable characters in suspense fiction, too. Not all Goddard novels will hold the same interest, but they are all very well-plotted.
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