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Closed Circle (1994)

por Robert Goddard

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311863,543 (3.73)24
A luxurious trans-atlantic liner, Empress of Britain is making her eastward passage back to England in 1931.  Among he first-class passengers are two English confidence tricksters who have left ill deeds in their wake.  As luck would have it, they find fresh prey in the person of the wealthy Miss Charnwood and her beautiful niece Diana.  The plan of action is nothing they haven't tried before with considerable success, but who could imagine they would let their hearts take over at the most inopportune time--leading then far too deep into an increasingly troubling and dark maze. Readers will find more than one strange echo of more recent times--notable in the Robert Maxwell story--in this riveting new novel.… (mais)
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Si vous voulez un complot bien ficelé... ( )
  Nikoz | Aug 19, 2020 |
I've started to notice a reoccurring theme in Robert Goddard's books. A theme that provides for a fascinating, intriguing story with an array of believable characters with all too human qualities. They aren't always good guys but most have some redeeming qualities. The crimes committed in the past always come back to haunt the protagonists in the present. [The Closed Circle] was no exception...but what a story! Goddard is a master story teller and writes in such beautiful prose. The story sees our hero...Guy... stumble through twists and turns while uncovering truths that may turn out to be lies in the end. This is one of Goddard's very best. It's like watching a Hitchcock movie. ( )
  Carol420 | Dec 19, 2017 |
If you've read a few of Goddard's novels, you'll recognize the set up - the semi-legit hero of the piece gets drawn into a situation that's wider and deeper in magnitude than he initially thinks, he's got a checkered past, but his heart's mostly in the right place, there's a woman involved who probably can't be trusted, the forces arrayed against him will stop at nothing to protect themselves and the body count mounts. Don't let that put you off, though Goddard often uses this rough framework, he injects a lot of individual differences to keep you interested in how he'll work it all out.

Spoilers!

The final solution to this one reminded me a lot of Chinaman's Chance by Ross Thomas in the way that the conmen become the conned. Only in the end does Guy realize that while he and Max were trying to hook Diana, she in turn was luring them in just as hard. Because I read a lot of this kind of thing, I never fully trusted her or auntie Vita, but D turned out to be a lot more vicious than even I thought. When the scales fall from Guy's eyes and he gives her the chronology of her crimes, there was still doubt that she deliberately killed Max. I thought she and Vita did the deed on dear old daddy, so the doppelganger angle was a surprise. Ludicrous, but then again the whole conspiracy of the Concentric Alliance was out there so a little more didn't seem too bad. Max's character was subtle enough that he didn't seem too over-the-top as well, so that was a relief. Neither was Diana a total cartoon femme fatale either. Both of them shared a common denominator that they would each do what was best for themselves, claiming loyalty or constancy only when it was convenient and jettisoning it when it wasn't or wouldn't pay. I like how Guy continues with his shady ways and can imagine him still angling for the win as he applies his Silly Putty morals to new schemes. ( )
  Bookmarque | Jul 31, 2015 |
My fourth Goddard book. This one has a lot of the strengths typical of Goddard--fairly well written, compelling though flawed protagonist, intriguing setup--but the conspiracy at the heart of it is just too big and far-fetched; and much of the action is cliche cinematic. ( )
  ehines | Jun 24, 2012 |
I found this book bogged me down with too much detail which tended to slow the book down. ( )
  Dessss | Apr 14, 2009 |
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A luxurious trans-atlantic liner, Empress of Britain is making her eastward passage back to England in 1931.  Among he first-class passengers are two English confidence tricksters who have left ill deeds in their wake.  As luck would have it, they find fresh prey in the person of the wealthy Miss Charnwood and her beautiful niece Diana.  The plan of action is nothing they haven't tried before with considerable success, but who could imagine they would let their hearts take over at the most inopportune time--leading then far too deep into an increasingly troubling and dark maze. Readers will find more than one strange echo of more recent times--notable in the Robert Maxwell story--in this riveting new novel.

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