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I live in Bedford, England. Having retired from teaching; I am now a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Threshold Concepts in the context of A-level Physics. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. I have also recently become a keen playgoer to London Fringe Theatre. I enjoy mostly classics and I read the playscripts and add those to the blog. I am a member of Bedford Writers' Circle. See their website here: http://bedford-writers.co.uk/ Follow me on twitter: @daja57

Friday, 6 May 2011

"Long Time Coming" by Robert Goddard

A classic Goddard: a man is released from an Irish gaol after spending 36 years inside. He and his nephew embark on a quest to prove that the Picassos presently being exhibited at the Royal Academy are were stolen. Nephew (ex oil executive with no obvious talent for a murky world of cross and double cross not to mention espionage and high living low lifes) falls in love with pretty girl and uncovers secrets that the British government have been at pains to hide.

And I read it quickly in a few 'can't put it down' days.

But.

I couldn't quite see how the Picassos and the uncle's imprisonment were related. People from the past kept cropping up in a tightly incestuous circle. And the British agent gave half the plot away without really needing to so he could enlist help that he really didn't seem to need.

So this is the second disappointing Goddard in a row (also 'Found Wanting' from March last year). It wasn't as compelling as the others. The motivations weren't as necessary. And the plot wasn't tight enough and the twists and turns seemed contrived. Perhaps the master is growing tired.

May 2011; 541 pages

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