Synopses & Reviews
In Robert Goddards third novel, a bestseller in the United Kingdom and now back in print, is a masterful exercise in suspense set in Victorian-era England. On a mild autumn afternoon in 1882, thirty-four-year-old husband and father William Trenchard sits smoking his pipe in the garden of his comfortable family home. When the creak of the garden gate announces the arrival of an unexpected visitor, he is puzzled but not alarmed. He has no inkling of the destruction this man will wreak on all he holds most dear.
The stranger offers his name as James Norton, but claims he is in reality Sir James Davenall, the man to whom Trenchards wife Constance had once been engaged, and who had supposedly committed suicide eleven years ago. Davenalls mother and younger brother, who has since inherited the familys baronetcy, refuse to recognize this stranger as one of their own, and they soon force Trenchardwho fears the loss of his wifes affections and his own sanityinto an uneasy alliance against him. But Trenchard must plumb the depths of his own despair before the dark secrets of the Davenall family can finally, shockingly, be revealed.
[Painting the Darkness
] has all the ingredients of a first-class melodrama . . . engaging and satisfying.”Times
Goddard, a master of intricate period skullduggery, hits his stride with a superb thriller on the old, old theme of the claimant to the identity of a long-vanished heir. . . . [A] superior Victorian sampler.”Kirkus Review (starred review)
It explodes into action so that the reader is hooked by the time he reaches the third page. . . . A superb storyteller.”Sunday Independent (UK)
Goddard goes from strength to strength. . . . This exciting story, with its careful complexity and completenessno loose endsis a joy to read.”Publishers Weekly
About the Author
is the Edgar Award-winning, internationally bestselling author of The Ways of the World
; Long Time Coming
; Into the Blue
, which won the first WHSmith Thumping Good Read Award; and Past Caring
. He teaches history at the University of Cambridge and lives in Cornwall.