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Fault Line

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  992 Ratings  ·  145 Reviews
The new race-against-the-clock thriller from the master of the triple cross.
Not all scars are visible. Jonathan Kellaway needs no reminding of that on the verge of his retirement from china clay conglomerate Intercontinental Kaolins. The company has left its mark in pits and spoil heaps around the world. But it has also left a no less enduring mark on some of those who ha
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published March 29th 2012 by Bantam Press (first published 2012)
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Stephen Hayes
A good story well told.

I suppose one could say much the same about most of Robert Goddard's books. He has written more than twenty novels in the same genre, and with very few exceptions each one is as good as the last. And the exceptions are generally those where Goddard breaks from the formula, which he seems to have perfected - a mystery in the past which affects characters in the present.

The story is about a family firm, Walter Wren & Co., that mines china clay in St Austell, Cornwall. I
Apr 29, 2012 Loretta rated it really liked it
As always, Robert Goddard gives us a beautifully written and intriguing tale. Fault Line begins in Cornwall, a favourite setting, amongst the china clay pits. |Jonathan Kellaway is on the verge of retiring form a huge international China Clay company when he is obliged to search for missing documents that appear stolen from the old records but that prove a vital link to many family secrets of the firm's founders. RG is one of those story tellers whose work grips one from start to finish - such a ...more
Richard Gardner
Sep 13, 2016 Richard Gardner rated it it was amazing
Another excellent mystery by Robert Goddard with plenty of twists and turns.
Feb 07, 2013 Pat rated it really liked it
This is one of Robert Goddards better books. He is such a good story teller but sometimes you feel that the tale has got too tortuous for it's own good. This one had just the right amount of mystery and action to keep you totally hooked right to the end. I really liked it.
Philip Turner
Jul 27, 2013 Philip Turner rated it it was amazing
Goddard is a true master of plotting, character, suspense, and surprise by whom I’ve enjoyed nearly 20 other books, after first discovering him in a 2008 Paste magazine feature with Stephen King, who made an unqualified endorsement of Goddard’s books. Fault Line is one of Goddard's best books.

Goddard’s books are usually set in rural Britain with plots that also take his characters to such Mediterranean locales as Capri and Rhodes. Like Ross MacDonald’s Lew Archer novels, such as The Zebra Strip
Feb 09, 2016 Ed rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Dramatic novel fans.
I have no idea why I obtained this book in the first place, having never read any of Goddard's books, even though he is a prolific author. Perhaps it's because his books are not widely available in the U.S. Nevertheless, I was glad I got my hands on this one. It is a well written, suspenseful, novel that caught me up to the point that I finished it in 3 days.

The story-line jumps between the late 1960s, 1984, and 2010 as the protagonist, Jonathan Kellaway narrates the history of his relationship
Under Milkwood
Jan 14, 2013 Under Milkwood rated it it was amazing
Goddard is back on target. A straight mystery thriller without the history lessons that have tended to bog down too many of his books.This one reads like a fast-paced movie and not once did I pick it up and think "O.M.G. I've gotta try to get back into this!"
Elizabeth Elwood
Jun 09, 2014 Elizabeth Elwood rated it it was amazing
I found this book a thoroughly engrossing read. I took it with me when I was out of town for five days, thinking, given its 500-page length, that it would last me for the entire trip; however, it engaged me so much that I finished it in two days. The story begins when the president of a company that has a monopoly in the china clay industry calls on an employee who is nearing retirement to investigate a series of missing files. The employee is Jonathan Kellaway, who has a long history with the p ...more
Susan Leonard
Apr 07, 2013 Susan Leonard rated it really liked it
A very satisfying mystery thriller. I enjoy Goddard's writing and would rate this as one of his best.

The central character, Jonathan Kellaway, is on the brink of retirement after a long career with a multi-national company. His final task is to locate some missing documents to assist a historian writing the company history. And so begins the story, which weaves between 1968 and 2010 and is set mainly in St Austell & Capri - knowledge of these areas might enhance your enjoyment.

I find that Go
Dec 19, 2012 Helen rated it liked it
With the completion of this book, I have now read every Robert Goddard novel and apart from the odd disappointing exception, they have all been reliable page turners. Many I've read are solid 4 stars, most of the rest 3.5s and so I would definitely recommend him to those who enjoy thrillers - my favourites have been those with a historical slant. He is definitely the master of the twist and turn. I need him to write another one soon!

'Faultline' features the typical Goddard hero ie. an ordinary m
Maureen Grenier
Jan 15, 2015 Maureen Grenier rated it it was amazing

It seems like a simple assignment with unlikely success, but the request to try and find several years worth of missing documents for his employer takes Johathan Kellaway into a past that he’d prefer not to re-visit. Forced to confront deaths, lost loves, and other tragedies that occurred during those years, he reluctantly finds himself picking up the threads to mysteries he’s not sure he wants to solve. As he comes closer to finding the papers and unraveling the stories, he realizes his own lif
Elizabeth Moffat
Sep 01, 2012 Elizabeth Moffat rated it liked it
My first Robert Goddard book and it gets three and a half stars. The plot was very interesting and complex at times in the way it was weaved. Good characterisation and a decent little twist at the end means I will definitely try another of his books.
Jun 17, 2012 Jennifer rated it liked it
I love Robert Goddard's thrillers and this was enjoyable but the journey was definitely more worthwhile than the destination. Ultimately rather disappointing.
Jan 06, 2014 Kari rated it really liked it
Recommended to Kari by: Kenneth McLennan
Eager to go to bed every night to finish this book. I even found myself carving out time in the day to get more. I liked the characters, settings and writing style.
Kenneth McLennan
Dec 14, 2013 Kenneth McLennan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: good-author
Very elaborate layers expertly woven and well written - I really didn't want to put this down at the end of each chapter. Kept me up later than usual. Good read.
Alexander Hawley
May 23, 2017 Alexander Hawley rated it really liked it
This year at Harrogate, Robert Goddard chairs Master of the pasts dark secrets, so I tried to find out a bit more about him I have read his novel Fault Line published 29th March 2012. As a historical exercise it could have been written at any time as it followed a trouble shooter throughout his early life through to the end of the mystery. It reminded me a lot of John Le Carre and George Smiley his main protagonist, it was an enjoyable story which relied upon a lot of flash backs, a lot went on ...more
Jane Rose
May 14, 2017 Jane Rose rated it really liked it
A good story which traces the fortunes of Jonathon Kellaway at three critical times and his working and sometimes personal relationship with the Wren family. The story examines the impact of past history on the present and kept me intrigued all the way.
Karen Rowlands
Mar 05, 2017 Karen Rowlands rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really good read...will have to search out more by Robert Goddard!
Dec 31, 2014 Soho_Black rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, used-to-own
I always like discovering the work of a new author, regardless of how I come across them. When the name of Robert Goddard entered my consciousness, I was happy to give him a try, as whilst Robert Goddard may be new to me, he certainly isn't new to publishing, as "Fault Line" is his 23rd novel.

The story opens in 2010 when Jonathan Kellaway, about to retire from his job at International Kaolins, is tasked with one final job by the long serving head of the company, Greville Lashley. Lashley has ask
KEL Stephen
Fault Line : Robert Goddard (audio book)*

The first couple of summaries I read led me to believe this was going to be a corporate thriller but it wasn't the case at all, or rather the machinations to do with the Cornish Clay Industry were simply a carriage for the family saga. While family sagas are not normally my cup of tea, I enjoyed the way Goddard moulded his characters and evoked the sensual, physical flavour of Capri and Naples. I was disappointed to feel nothing however from his descripti
Beverley Fiddian-green
excellent plot
Nov 13, 2013 Teresa rated it really liked it
Jonathan Kellaway takes a summer job working for a Cornish clay mining company in St Austell. The job is just supposed to see him through until he starts university at which point he hopes and expects never to have anything to do with the industry again. As the proverb says "if you want to make God laugh tell him your plans". 40 years after starting that temporary job Jonathan is trying to retire from the company. He is asked to help track down some company records that have gone missing and thi ...more
Judith Paterson
Feb 16, 2017 Judith Paterson rated it really liked it
Robert Goddard never disappoints with his twists and turnarounds. He is always a trilling read.
Who would have thought china clay would be the basis of so much skulduggery!
Bryan Higgs
This is the 23rd Robert Goddard book I've read in my quest to read all of his books in chronological order. Only one more to go (unless and until he publishes another)!

In this one, Goddard did his usually pulling me into the plot quickly. It is not fast paced, but it is intriguing. But then, it was a little too slow paced; I didn't lose interest, but I did wonder where it was going.

When I finally arrived at the denouement, I didn't really find it satisfying. I thought too many things were left u
Feb 24, 2014 Jeremy rated it liked it
I'm a huge Robert Goddard fan and look forward to finding a novel I haven't read yet. This one left me a bit nonplussed though. Maybe it was the thought of being a successful author and being able to spend so much time "researching" in Capri and Naples and being given access to Lotus cars that distracted me (green is the colour!). Maybe it was the constant searching for a link to the suicide that the story starts with that irritated me or maybe it was the apparent pointlessness of some of the st ...more
Debbie Robson
Dec 11, 2012 Debbie Robson rated it it was amazing
I've long been a fan of Goddard. I don't by any means read every book he writes - only the ones whose storyline appeals to me - Into the Blue and Caught in the Light being favourites. Of late I have fallen behind and as a consequence of not having read a "Goddard" for a while I have come to his writing with new eyes.
His latest - Fault Line is now my favourite. Robert Goddard really is the Master of the Twist but sometimes his books can get a bit manic and convoluted. As a reader you can often g
Aug 31, 2012 Stefan rated it it was amazing
'Fault Line' was one of the best Robert Goddard novels I've read yet. In fact, I enjoyed it just as much as 'Long Time Coming', which was previously my all-time favorite. I was quite surprised by 'Fault Line' since the story revolved around a multinational china clay company (the synopsis didn't inspire confidence). But I found John Kellaway, the novel's protagonist and narrator, to be one of Goddard's strongest and most interesting major characters. I particularly enjoyed the contrast between a ...more
David Lowther
Nov 12, 2012 David Lowther rated it really liked it
Reading a Robert Goddard novel is like peering into a dirty swimming pool and not being able to see the bottom. His recent novels have been more straightforward, and less satisfying, but with FAULT LINE he's back to his very best.
The main character, Jonathan, is typical Goddard. We empathise with him throughout his considerable trials and tribulations as he battles to uinravel a forty year old mystery. Along the way he encounters many setbacks, some of which are red herrings and we end with a sa
Simon Whaley
Mar 29, 2016 Simon Whaley rated it really liked it
Fault Line sees Robert Goddard back on form. Goddard is one of the few novelists whom I always buy in hardback, and the previous three purchases were good, although not his best, I felt. (He has written a couple of novels set further back in history, whereas Goddard's strengths lie in contemporary settings with flashbacks of between 30 and 50 years - such as in Fault Line.) Fault Line was a gripping read, enough to keep me reading past midnight on several nights, something that hasn't happened f ...more
Mar 05, 2014 Andrew rated it liked it
From a low-voltage & unpromising opening amongst St Austell's china clay workings, & the disappearance of company records, Robert Goddard's 2012 crime novel develops into an entertaining if convoluted whodunnit,whatdunnit & whydunnit! It moves in 3 distinct time-zones (1967-9 to 1984 to 2010!) from Cornwall to Capri (& Naples) where some of the most vivid violence takes place,& the involvement of 'la Camorra' is something of a surprise.The protagonist,Jonathan Kellaway,(an LS ...more
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In a writing career spanning more than twenty years, Robert Goddard's novels have been described in many different ways - mystery, thriller, crime, even historical romance. He is the master of the plot twist, a compelling and engrossing storyteller and one of the best known advocates for the traditional virtues of pace, plot and narrative drive.
More about Robert Goddard...

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