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Past Caring by Robert Goddard
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Past Caring (1986)

by Robert Goddard

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Past Caring by Robert Goddard
Book Description:
Why should distinguished Edwardian Cabinet minister Edwin Strafford resign at the height of his parliamentary career? Why does the woman he loves so suddenly and coldly reject him? Why, seventy years later, should people go to such lengths--even as far as murder--to prevent the truth from being revealed? 14 Martin Radford, history graduate, disaffected and unemployed, leaps at the chance to get to the island of Madeira and begin the hunt for a solution to the intriguing secret of Edwin Stafford's fall from grace. However, his seeming good fortune turns to nightmare as his investigation triggers a bizarre and violent train of events which remorselessly entangles him and those who believed they had escaped the spectre of crimes long past but never paid for.

Robert Goddard is a master story-teller and this one proves to be a very remarkable story that emotionally tugs at your heart. The past and the present come together in this complex story and it becomes a challenge to put this book down. This is one brilliant historical adventure story that should not be missed. Read this one and you will ache for more Goddard!
( )
  EadieB | Jan 19, 2016 |
This novel tells two stories, firstly that of an early 20th century British cabinet minister, Edwin Strafford, who suddenly and mysteriously loses his job and his fiance without a clue as to why this is happening to him. His career is ruined and he ends up a minor consular official in Madeira. It is also about a young historian Martin Radford, divorced and unemployed and visiting a friend in Madeira in the 1970s. He is hired to investigate the story of Edwin Strafford, starting with a recenty discovered Strafford journal. The story is well plotted, well-written in a style reminiscent of the early 20th century. (I think I might have liked it if the style had varied more between the journal and the more modern story.) ( )
  gbelik | Jan 28, 2015 |
This is the second book I’ve read for the Great Transworld Crime Caper. As soon as I read the synopsis of the book I thought it sounded like my sort of book, within a few pages I knew I’d made a good choice.

The plot is split between the present (though that’s in the 1980s, back when the book was written) and the past, as historian Martin Radford tries to investigate what happened to Edwin Strafford back in the 1910s. Edwin’s story is told through his memoir, both plots are gripping and once they started to overlap I found it increasingly hard to put the book down.

I didn’t find the characters in the book particularly easy to like, the majority of them are working to their own personal agenda and seem to have little trouble with doing whatever it takes to get to their goal. Many of the characters are however interesting, I enjoyed reading about Elizabeth, Edwin’s fiancée.

Edwin’s memoir covers his time as a politician and his experiences of the women’s suffrage movement. I found this to be very interesting reading, though as it’s a time of history I don’t know much about I couldn’t comment on it’s historical accuracy.

The book is very readable, and the jumps between the present set narration and the past account provided by the memoir were very smooth. I have previously read books that use diaries and memoirs for flashbacks that have failed in what they were trying to do – Goddard pulls it off very well. I’ll certainly be recommending this book in the future. ( )
  juniperjungle | Apr 16, 2013 |
This is the second book I’ve read for the Great Transworld Crime Caper. As soon as I read the synopsis of the book I thought it sounded like my sort of book, within a few pages I knew I’d made a good choice.

The plot is split between the present (though that’s in the 1980s, back when the book was written) and the past, as historian Martin Radford tries to investigate what happened to Edwin Strafford back in the 1910s. Edwin’s story is told through his memoir, both plots are gripping and once they started to overlap I found it increasingly hard to put the book down.

I didn’t find the characters in the book particularly easy to like, the majority of them are working to their own personal agenda and seem to have little trouble with doing whatever it takes to get to their goal. Many of the characters are however interesting, I enjoyed reading about Elizabeth, Edwin’s fiancée.

Edwin’s memoir covers his time as a politician and his experiences of the women’s suffrage movement. I found this to be very interesting reading, though as it’s a time of history I don’t know much about I couldn’t comment on it’s historical accuracy.

The book is very readable, and the jumps between the present set narration and the past account provided by the memoir were very smooth. I have previously read books that use diaries and memoirs for flashbacks that have failed in what they were trying to do – Goddard pulls it off very well. I’ll certainly be recommending this book in the future. ( )
  juniperjungle | Apr 16, 2013 |
i am in fact PAST CARING. the diary by edwin stratford was quite good. the rest--525 pages of drivel! as someone said it's hard to like the protagonist-- for me impossible. if he hooks up with miss tasty-freeze, i hope they wreak havoc only on themselves. and the old dolly--what is wrong with her?--"he always treated me well"! it is impossible for me to believe that she wouldn't even have talked to stafford if she was the kind of person who would love her "husband" and forgive him fucking everything. a really irritating book! ( )
  mahallett | Jan 18, 2013 |
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"En debutroman och i sitt slag är den sensationell"
added by benevento | editNorrbottenskuriren
 
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"Yes, I have re-entered your olden haunts at last
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The spring of 1977 found me, newly past thirty, a bad case of wasted talent in a largely waste city -- an unemployed, divorced ex-schollteacher of foundered promise and dismal prospect.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385341172, Paperback)

At a lush villa on the sun-soaked island of Madeira, Martin Radford is given a second chance. His life ruined by scandal, Martin holds in his hands the leather-bound journal of another ruined man, former British cabinet minister Edwin Strafford. What’s more, Martin is being offered a job—to return to England and investigate the rise and fall of Strafford, an ambitious young politician whose downfall, in 1910, is as mysterious as the strange deaths that still haunt his family.

Martin is intrigued by Strafford’ s story, by the man’s overwhelming love for a beautiful suffragette, by her inexplicable rejection of him and their love affair’s political repercussions. But as he retraces Strafford’s ruination, Martin realizes that Strafford did not fall by chance; he was pushed. Suddenly Martin, who has not cared for many people in his life, cares desperately—about a man’s mysterious death and a family’s terrible secret, about a love beyond reckoning and betrayal beyond imagining. Most of all Martin cares because the story he is uncovering is not yet over—and among the men and women still caught in its web, Martin himself may be the most vulnerable of all….

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:49 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

ADVENTURE / THRILLER. 1910: Distinguished MP Edwin Strafford resigns at the pinnacle of his career, removing himself from the public eye. The woman he loves, and for whom he was willing to sacrifice everything, suddenly and coldly rejects him. All the reasons for his fall from grace are shrouded in darkness. Seventy years later, historian Martin Radford is down on his luck when a mysterious benefactor offers him the opportunity of a lifetime: to uncover what exactly happened to Edwin Strafford. But this apparent good fortune swiftly turns into a nightmare. Radford's investigations trigger a violent series of events, which throw him straight into the path of those who believed they had escaped punishment for crimes long past but never paid for.… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

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