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De Catalaanse brief by Robert Goddard
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De Catalaanse brief (original 1992; edition 1994)

by Robert Goddard

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2661142,770 (3.72)11
Member:judikasp
Title:De Catalaanse brief
Authors:Robert Goddard
Info:'s-Gravenhage BZZTôH 1994
Collections:Thrillers-detectives
Rating:*1/2
Tags:None

Work details

Hand in Glove by Robert Goddard (1992)

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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
More of a 3.5. Not quite as good as the other Goddard I've read, In Pale Battalions, but I feel it's still a notch or two above contemporary mysteries. The story begins with the cold-blooded murder of the sister, Beatrix, of a famous poet, Tristram Abberley. At first it is thought Beatrix has been killed for robbery but there's a darker motive. The antique dealer Colin Fairfax, is framed for the crime. The locales stretch from Wales to southern England to France to Spain. Letters from Tristram to Beatrix during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s and memories of some of the former combatants connect with the action decades later. A mystery surrounds the authorship of the poems, especially the posthumous poems in a collection: Spanish Lines. What big secret is hidden in the letters besides Tristram's possible motive for writing them? The brother of the accused, Derek, tries desperately to prove Colin's innocence. Derek joins forces with Charlotte, goddaughter of the murder victim. Bequeathed Beatrix's cottage, Charlotte begins to discover secrets and lies of her extended family. Derek and Charlotte are drawn into a maelstrom of lies upon lies, duplicity, terror, and a kidnapping.

This novel was very well plotted and written. Just when you think you know what's coming, something completely unexpected happens. This occurs over and over. The novel was exciting all through; I felt nothing was boring. The showdown with the kidnappers of Charlotte's niece in Spain was chilling. The novel was as much a thriller as a mystery. It was absolutely gripping reading. ( )
  janerawoof | May 5, 2014 |
A complex plot with a family mystery dating back to the Spanish Civil War. ( )
  oldstick | Mar 26, 2014 |
It pains me to have to warn you off Hand in Glove if you’ve never read one of Goddard's books. If you make this your first one you might not come back for more and that would be a shame since he’s written much stronger, more cohesive books. From a set-up perspective, this one falls much like his others, the protagonists are drawn into a situation with far-reaching repercussions and they basically have to go it alone with very little help from police. There’s a long-buried mystery and flashes to the past, but unfortunately this time that mystery was too obscure and even long-lost letters and literary fraud couldn’t save it. There’s too much back and forth, too many characters and I didn’t find any of those characters to be particularly interesting. Oh well, every book can’t be perfect and I’m glad this one was a library sale fifty-center. ( )
  Bookmarque | Nov 3, 2013 |
Found this one to be a bit generic--below Goddard's usual standards. None of the characters is particularly compelling, and compelling and well-drawn (though not always likeable) protagonists are Goddard's real strength IMO. ( )
  ehines | Jul 15, 2012 |
It's a couple of years since I last read a Goddard and this book is one of his classics. All his books seem to flit across several locations, mainly rural UK ones, and have a wide variety of characters (albeit that many are predictable and cliche-ridden). His research is immaculate and in this book the Spanish Civil War is a big part of the story. The book inspired me to fill in the few Goddard gaps in my library. ( )
  jimrbrown | Jun 7, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
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Book description
In her seaside cottage, Beatrix Abberley bravely confronts an intruder moments before her life is brutally taken. The crime stuns the elderly spinster's family - especially Beatrix's niece, Charlotte Ladram. But Charlotte has little time to mourn the loss of her beloved aunt and little patience when police quickly arrest a man Charlotte believes is innocent. For Charlotte, a harrowing quest for answers begins - one that will take her into the shadows of the past...and into the life and secrets of the dead woman's brother, famed poet and casualty of the Spanish Civil War, Tristram Abberley.

Now, amid shattering revelations about her family, and in the aftermath of a second savage crime, Charlotte finds herself at the center of a widening storm. And for Charlotte, something extraordinary is beginning to happen. As fifty years of secrets begin to unravel, shy cautious Charlotte is coming alive in the shadow of a mystery - uncovering a shocking tale of wartime greed and treachery, and a vendetta of violence seemingly without end.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385339216, Paperback)

In her seaside cottage, Beatrix Abberley bravely confronts an intruder moments before her life is brutally taken. The crime stuns the elderly spinster’s family—especially Beatrix’s niece, Charlotte Ladram. But Charlotte has little time to mourn the loss of her beloved aunt and little patience when police quickly arrest a man Charlotte believes is innocent. For Charlotte, a harrowing quest for answers begins—one that will take her into the shadows of the past…and into the life and secrets of the dead woman’s brother, famed poet and casualty of the Spanish Civil War, Tristram Abberley.

Now, amid shattering revelations about her family, and in the aftermath of a second savage crime, Charlotte finds herself at the center of a widening storm. And for Charlotte, something extraordinary is beginning to happen. As fifty years of secrets begin to unravel, shy, cautious Charlotte is coming alive in the shadow of a mystery—uncovering a shocking tale of wartime greed and treachery, and a vendetta of violence seemingly without end….

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:19:48 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Fifty years after Tristram Abberley's death in the Spanish Civil War his sister, Beatrix, is murdered and their niece, Charlotte, inherits the legendary Abberley estate and its long-hidden secrets of deception and passion.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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