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Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Robert Goddard – Sight Unseen

review by showhost 3rd July 2012

Thank goodness, another good book from Robert Goddard. Always more than just a crime book, it was an interesting, intriguing mystery thriller which kept me wanting more.
The story is set around Avebury, near Stonehenge. Its July 1981, David Umber is sat outside the quiet country pub waiting for a man to deliver some antique books he is interested in. He idly watches a young woman across the road on the field with three young children, the two older children have run ahead while the young toddler is slowly catching up. Behind the toddler a man is running towards them. In a split second he has grabbed the toddler, ran towards the road where a white van screeches to a halt while he jumps in with the child. The young woman cries out and runs after him. The older child, Miranda, sees what has happened and runs out in the road to stop the van. With a sickening thump the van carries on.

23 years later David Umber is working in Prague conducting guided tours for the "Jolly Brolly" company, when a blast from the past catches up with him, ex-inspector Sharp. The murder and abduction from 23 years ago were never really solved, even though a convicted paedophile admitted to killing the abducted girl whose body was never found. He is persuaded to go back to England as someone has sent a cryptic message to Sharp the then head of the police investigation,. The cryptic message is to do with the books Umber was working on ‘Janius’ and within the books holds a clue to the mystery surrounding those terrible events.
The woman who was with the children that day, later became Umbers wife. The tragedy eventually drove her to suicide. But as their unofficial investigation opens old wounds and causes more suffering and death, Umber begins to wonder about his wifes death. Was it really suicide?
I did enjoyed the book but I found the plot around Junius although interesting in parts, rather too complicated and speed read a couple of paragraphs towards the end about it. Also, couldn't quite see why it fitted into the ending of the plot?

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