From Publishers Weekly
At the start of Goddard's highly entertaining suspense novel, London civil servant Richard Eusden is contemplating "the predictable day and unsurprising week that lie ahead" one Monday morning outside his office in Whitehall. Then Richard's ex-wife, Gemma, pulls over in her car and insists he get in. Marty Hewitson, Richard's "childhood friend" and Gemma's "other ex-husband," is dying from a brain tumor, and she needs Richard to deliver to Marty an old leather attaché case that belonged to Marty's grandfather, Clem Hewitson. An Isle of Wight police officer who's been dead more than 20 years, Clem was known to exaggerate and sometimes invent adventures that included spies, murderers, and arsonists. But this ordinary errand takes a wild turn, and soon Richard is crisscrossing Europe, dodging assassins trying to protect the satchel that may contain secret documents related to the Romanovs. Richard can't trust anyone, least of all Marty. Goddard (Long Time Coming) imbues his clever plot with hairpin turns and sophisticated humor. (Mar.)
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British thriller writer Goddard (Long Time Coming, 2010) is known for his compelling characters and pretzel-like plots. This latest entry is no exception. When British civil servant Richard Eusden agrees to transport an attaché case for his dying friend, Marty, he sets in motion a series of events that may cost him his life. The case, which is inscribed with the initials of Marty’s war-hero grandfather, Clem, reportedly contains letters indicating a family connection to the notorious Romanov clan. What begins as a simple delivery turns into an elaborate double-cross, and soon Richard, who has never owned a gun, much less fired one, is dodging bullets and begging for this life. Along the way, he encounters a slew of dubious souls, including a sleazy researcher and corporate executives with secrets to keep. All the while, Richard receives anxious calls from his ex-wife, Gemma, who, as it happens, was once married to Marty. Avid mystery readers will appreciate Goddard’s narrative gifts, even if his plot gets a bit too twisty this time. --Allison Block