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Days without Number by Robert Goddard
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Days without Number (original 2003; edition 2003)

by Robert Goddard (Author)

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348956,754 (3.65)10
Nick Paleologus is summoned to the unyielding bosom of his family to help resolve a dispute which threatens to set his brothers and sisters against their aged and irascible father. Michael Paleologus, retired archeologist and supposed descendent of the last Emperors of Byzantium, lives alone at Trennor, a remote and rambling house on the Cornish bank of the Tamar. A ridiculously generous offer has been made for the house, but he refuses to sell despite the urgings of his children, for whom the proceeds would solve a variety of problems. Nick accomplishes little in the role of mediator, but the stalemate is soon tragically broken. Only then do Nick and his siblings discover why their father was bound at all costs to reject the offer and what may really be the motives of the prospective buyer. Their increasingly desperate efforts to conceal the truth drag them into a deadly conflict with an unseen and unknown enemy, who seems as determined to force them into a confrontation with their family's past as he is to conceal his own identity. Late in the day, perhaps too late, Nick realizes that the only way to escape from the trap their persecutor has set for them is to hunt him down, wherever - and whoever - he may be. But the hunt involves excavating a terrible secret from their father's archeological career. And once that secret is known, nothing will ever be the same again.… (more)
Member:CCJones72
Title:Days without Number
Authors:Robert Goddard (Author)
Info:Corgi Books (2003), 464 pages
Collections:Your library
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Days without number by Robert Goddard (2003)

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English (8)  Dutch (1)  All languages (9)
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
Kept me guessing 'til the end. ( )
  Lillian_Francis | Feb 24, 2021 |
Great family secrets plot and over use of paternalistic power to destroy the next few generations. I have read about a dozen of Goddard's novels and really enjoyed them all, including this one. I will definitely be reading more of his work. He is a master of creating characters that seem trustworthy but end up betraying people, showing that people aren't always what they seem. Some of his plots, like this one, are a bit far-fetched but the twists and turns make for great suspense. The Byzantium family connection is the far-fetched aspect of this one. I felt it was a contrived add-on and that it weighed the story down a bit. Otherwise 5 stars. ( )
  MitchMcCrimmon | Apr 27, 2018 |
Robert Goddard just reels you in to his stories as the few first chapters unwind, and you suddenly find yourself totally engrossed and wanting and needing to find out more and what the truth is behind the story. He is one of my favourite authors and have never known him to tell a bad story. This is another excellent book of his, although I wouldn't necessarily say it is one of my favourites. As always there is a historical element within this story that does link to Knights Templars, Holy Grail et al.well worth a read and I would strongly recommend Robert Goddard to anyone that has not read him. You won't be sorry. ( )
  Andrew-theQM | Jun 20, 2016 |
St Neots, Landulph, Minnions, Saltash and probably the best known of them all Tintagel. Places that I knew and had visited while growing up in Cornwall, plus Plymouth on the English side of the border where I worked for several years on leaving school. So faced with a 7 train journey back home to visit family (thats 7 hour in one direction so the same coming back) I decided to pick up a book which was although by an author I had not previously read but was at least set in Cornwall in an attempt to rekindle some long lost memories. Something which definately happens more and more as you grow greyer.

Nick Paleologus returns to Cornwall supposedly to attend a family birthday but once there finds that his siblings have ulterior motives for his presence and latterly unearths, literally, a family secret which could threaten them all. OK the premise is very good and the Cornish scenery and atmosphere is spot on but once the story and Nick leaves Cornwall, about 300 pages in, so the story begins to unravel becoming involved with old professors,Crusades and Knights Templar and all that hokum. Eventually Nick and his brother Basil end up in Venice where both are captured by the baddie in the piece who conveniently, ala Blofeld in James Bond, tells them his motives for what he have done and what he intends to do later. With a rather tame ending, Nick is not really a hero but is rather led through the book like a bull with a ring through his nose.

The book runs along at a cracking pace and there are plenty of plot twists and turns (a few rather laboured) but it was longer than it needed to be and just seemed yet another of those books jumping on the Da Vinci Code (absolute dross IMHO) bandwagon. If like me you are looking to something to kill some hours away while travelling and enjoy conspiracy theories then it is fine but don't expect some lightning bolt of inspiration. That said I would be willing to give Goddard another go to see whether this is typical or atypical of his works just not yet. ( )
  PilgrimJess | Feb 17, 2013 |
Robert Goddard is a new author, to me. I picked this book up from a second hand bookshop for coppers, and it has sat upon my shelf for quite some time before I bothered to read it. This was my loss. Robert Goddard will certainly go upon my list of authors for whose books I should look out.

Days without number is that ideal escapism: it is a highly improbable story told in such a way as to appear realistic. Were I to précis the story, you would think it poor but, Mr Goddard keeps it zinging along. The storyline is different to anything else that I have read and I genuinely did not know where it was going until it arrived. Characters were friends then enemies and then friends again with startling regularity and one became as confused as our hero as to who could be trusted. This is all accomplished without the need for foul language or second rate sex scenes.

This is a thoroughly enjoyable piece of escapism and I would unquestioningly recommend it as light reading. ( )
1 vote the.ken.petersen | Nov 15, 2011 |
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Epigraph
So teach us to number our days,
that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

Psalm 90:12
Dedication
In memory of my father, William James Goddard, 1903-1984
First words
He did not regret agreeing to go.
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Nick Paleologus is summoned to the unyielding bosom of his family to help resolve a dispute which threatens to set his brothers and sisters against their aged and irascible father. Michael Paleologus, retired archeologist and supposed descendent of the last Emperors of Byzantium, lives alone at Trennor, a remote and rambling house on the Cornish bank of the Tamar. A ridiculously generous offer has been made for the house, but he refuses to sell despite the urgings of his children, for whom the proceeds would solve a variety of problems. Nick accomplishes little in the role of mediator, but the stalemate is soon tragically broken. Only then do Nick and his siblings discover why their father was bound at all costs to reject the offer and what may really be the motives of the prospective buyer. Their increasingly desperate efforts to conceal the truth drag them into a deadly conflict with an unseen and unknown enemy, who seems as determined to force them into a confrontation with their family's past as he is to conceal his own identity. Late in the day, perhaps too late, Nick realizes that the only way to escape from the trap their persecutor has set for them is to hunt him down, wherever - and whoever - he may be. But the hunt involves excavating a terrible secret from their father's archeological career. And once that secret is known, nothing will ever be the same again.

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