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Borrowed Time

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  921 Ratings  ·  66 Reviews
It is a golden evening of high summer in July 1990. Robin Timariot has set out that morning on what he has planned as a six-day tramp along part of Offa's Dyke. At the close of his first day's walk he encounters an  elegant middle-aged woman who seems strangely out of place among the sheep and gorse of Hergest Ridge. They exchange only a few words of conversation, but thei ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published January 31st 2006 by Delta (first published January 1st 1995)
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Debbie Robson
Dec 02, 2014 Debbie Robson rated it really liked it
Books really are our friends, aren’t they? Sometimes they are a lifeline. Twice now a book has rescued me. Sounds like a bit of an exaggeration but it isn’t. In 2006 the top joint of the index finger of my right hand was chopped off. I was distressed of course and in pain and worrying about my typing speed, (The loss did actually slow me down from 65 to 56 wpm but that’s no longer a problem). I had a long night ahead of me but I had a good book. I had shoved it into my handbag on the off chance. ...more
Jun 28, 2012 LG rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: summer readers
Shall I compare the plot of this drama-mystery to a cricket match? Or maybe a hike through the twists and turns of the English countryside. It does take its time to unravel, but narrator Robin Timariot makes a pleasant enough companion, if not always forthcoming. It’s ironic that he makes so much of Paul Bryant’s affable reticence when that trait could very well be applied to him – he only hints, for instance, at the depth of his relationship with Bella. She turned out to be my favorite characte ...more
Paul J.
Jun 24, 2008 Paul J. rated it really liked it
Great summer read! Loved the character development and multiple plot twists. While so many writers back themselves into a corner, Goddard did the opposite. He could have ended this book in half a dozen ways, and any one of them would have been believable and satisfying.
Robert Beveridge
There are three types of mystery novels. The best of them grab you by the throat and pull you along. You give up eating and sleeping to get through them in one sitting. The worst of them can be encapsulized in a page and a half, you've figured out who the killer is in three sentences, and you can safely consign them to the fire without enduring the rest of the writing therein. The third type sits between the two. It's well-written enough, and fine while you're reading it, but you don't feel that ...more
Oct 16, 2015 Eadie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2015
I love reading Robert Goddard books because I know that as soon as I pick it up, it will be hard to put down. This one was no different and did not disappoint. It had lots of twists and turns and kept me reading until the very end. The characters are well developed and the plot was very realistic. I'm looking forward to reading my next Goddard book. I highly recommend it to lovers of suspense and mystery.
Thomas Strömquist
"Virtually impossible to put down, this must be the best Goddard-book I've read (i.e. making it one of the best mystery/suspense/thrillers I know :-)). A random short encounter and a grisly double killing is followed by the involvement of the main character in a sequence of events where seemingly small descisions have life-altering consequences. And of course, nothing is quite what it seems."
Artnoose Noose
Feb 27, 2009 Artnoose Noose rated it it was ok
Recommended to Artnoose by: my mom
Having finished reading my trip-book on the way to my parents' house, I asked my mom to lend me a book while I was visiting, something somewhat suspenseful that would keep my attention. She had just read this book and recommended it, although she has liked other books by this author better. I had a lot of free time and therefore got through it pretty quickly, and it did the job that it was supposed to do. I think there are books that I qualify as "stuck" books--- good for if you're stuck at an a ...more
Jun 13, 2011 Stefan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once again, Goddard managed to keep me flipping the pages because of his intelligent characters, interesting commentary, solid plot and ingenious twists. What I appreciated about Borrowed Time is that it starts with a single event (in this case, a bit of small talk between two strangers) and expands it into a plot that stretches into the past and future. The central event is always the narrative's reference point, which prevents the story from getting too unbalanced and, furthermore, always make ...more
Catherine Aceto
Sep 26, 2012 Catherine Aceto rated it liked it
Excellent vacation read for the mystery lover. The writing is uniformly pleasant and the plot twists are really well done. I particularly liked the way that I kept forming and reforming an opinion of the victim's character, as the facts were reinterpreted in light of new information. It made me think about how often we do make character judgments on incomplete information based on what is plausible in light of the information known. And the book is available on Kindle from the library; what coul ...more
May 02, 2009 Arwen rated it it was ok
Shelves: crime-suspense
Once again, a clever, twisting plot which I couldn't figure out right to the end.
However this time I was less than convinced. I found the characters, especially Robin, shallow and underdeveloped. I could not find any explanation for Robin's obsession for a woman with whom he only ever exchanged a couple of sentences, nor for Sarah and Paul's behaviour. I suppose the main characters were basically all lacking in depth.
A pity because Goddard knows how to think up a really good mystery.
Sep 26, 2016 Patrick rated it liked it
Entertaining book full of twists and turns
Dec 28, 2014 Lakshmi rated it it was ok
I am halfway through the book, so my rating is not really fair. But so far it's been a drag.I picked up this book after reading the goodreads review but i am totally disappointed. I can't understand where the whole thing is going?? Robin meets a lady,a stranger during his walk,makes little conversation with her and goes on his way. Once back, he discovers the lady he met is murdered...And the murderer is caught and convicted.

It's supposed to be a mystery/thriller.. but there's nothing gripping a
Joe Stamber
Apr 11, 2011 Joe Stamber rated it liked it
Shelves: paper, read-2013
I love Robert Goddard, and since discovering him a few years ago I've been working through his work in chronological order (sort of) by reading one every now and then. His books are always enjoyable, and sometimes excellent. He has quite a rich writing style, pleasant to experience with the odd exotic (to me!) word that requires a bit of thought.

Goddard's novels twist and turn and often the protagonist develops in a similar way. The reader never knows which characters to believe, what is actuall
Bev Taylor
Nov 22, 2015 Bev Taylor rated it really liked it
robin works for the eu in brussels but decides to rejoin the family firm back home which makes cricket bats

prior to staring to goes for a 6 day hike and fleetingly meets a woman, louise paxton, on the moor. she makes an instant impression but they r only together a few minutes

then when he looks in a local paper a week later she sees her picture - she has been found raped and murdered along with an artist in his cottage.

a man is arrested and in court although he admits to having sex with louis
Mar 23, 2011 Elaine rated it liked it
Another reasonably interesting novel from this prolific author. A chance meeting on Offa's Dyke leads the protagonist to 3 years involvement and angst with the family of the victim he met-who was murdered shortly after their meeting. There were many twists and turns in the plot:which was initially interesting, and what we come to expect from Goddard. Yet the continual change of focus as to motivation and culprit, stopped the novel developing. It could have had more psychological depth, had he co ...more
Zoe Jussel
Jun 25, 2013 Zoe Jussel rated it really liked it
I wish there were half stars and I would likely give this 3.5. I have just discovered Goddard and I must say, he weaves a tale more twisted than a bag of licorice whips! Just when you think everything is all tied up in a pretty bow, you note that you have only read a fourth of the book (via Kindle % at the bottom) and wonder what else there could possibly be. ,

After a bit impatience for the author to "get on with it",he's got you again and off you go and a long ride to what will eventually segu
J. Walker
Feb 18, 2015 J. Walker rated it really liked it
I actually kind of enjoyed it. It came up as a recommendation based on the Carmine Delmonico series, so I decided to give it a try. As far back as high school, when I had to read a detective/mystery novel, I went to my mother, who read them avidly, for "help" - I jumped right from OZ to comic books to science fiction, so detectives, if they weren't half-robot or out in space, held little Earthly attraction to me.

This one is set in England late in the last century. There is a murder, and a trial
Jan 24, 2010 Sandie rated it really liked it
A chance encounter with a stranger on a hiking trail near the Welsh border leads Robin Timariot into a maze of murder, intrigue and deceit. The story embraces a wide range of characters and human emotions and presents a sharp exercise in family in-fighting and "looking out for number one". Goddard has mastered the magical secret at the heart of all compelling fiction as he takes you into Robins'nightmare adventure.

Each Goddard book is a real treat, and each is as different from the previous as
Ian Rodwell
May 02, 2013 Ian Rodwell rated it it was amazing
I cannot really understand the lower star scores that other people have given this book. I really enjoyed reading it from beginning to end.

We seem to live in an instant society these days. Test Matches in cricket are sometimes overshadowed by one day internationals or now 20-20, an even shorter version.

This novel is certainly a Test Match book, and I enjoy the way that the game (or novel) ebbs and flows before reaching a fantastic climax.

Don't believe any reviews of this novel less than 5 stars
Dave Fellows
Jan 18, 2016 Dave Fellows rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4/5 stars. I'm reading all of Goddard's books in the order in which he wrote them, and I think this is the best one since 'Past Caring', his first. I couldn't figure out what was going on until all was revealed, which is always nice in a mystery. There was slight disappointment as the ending provided didn't really answer all of the questions I had formed from the clues given, but to elaborate further would give away important plot points. Nevertheless, a compelling read with a suitably climactic ...more
Viji  (Bookish endeavors)
An enjoyable read. The plot is original and the characters are interesting. But this book is unlike the usual books in the same genre. There is a touch of psychology and mysticism. The characters have a haunting nature and often disturb our thoughts. After finishing the book,I felt a bit hollow inside. It was not what I expected. As the story progressed,more and more facts unravelled but instead of making things more clear,it made it more complicated. A must-read for those who love real thriller ...more
Though not as consistently engaging as his Past Caring or as emotionally interesting as Pale Battalions, Goddard manages to squeeze in as many twists and turns as possible in this thriller. In fact, by the end, I have to admit I had lost track of which crime we were trying to solve, and if the original accused murderer who was later shown to be innocent but who it turns out had actually confessed to the crime but had been hired unknowingly to kill the victim, but not before he had been betrayed ...more
Aug 08, 2009 Charlene rated it liked it
What I love about this book is the depth to which the reader gets to know each character, especially the narrator, Robin Timariot. The novel is very well-written and absorbing. However, this is one of Goddard's weaker books in terms of plot. At times, the story here borders on the very edge of credibility. Equally disappionting is the ending. The "mystery" was quite foreseeable and came as no surprise at all.
Mar 27, 2009 Martha rated it it was ok
Recommended to Martha by: Paul Heney (via his GoodReads review)
This book was too long and threw out a few too many red herrings. I might not have minded either if the ending had really wowed me, but it didn't. I guess watching all those episodes of "Lost" have raised my expectations: plot twists must be completely unexpected and mind-blowing.

I was a little surprised by who the criminal was, but the reasons were pretty standard-issue and didn't seem particularly plausible to me.
Bryan Higgs
Jul 03, 2012 Bryan Higgs rated it liked it
Shelves: crime, mystery
This is the latest from the list of Robert Goddard's books I am reading (in chronological order). As usual, it hooked me quickly and held me the entire time. However, it's the first one of his that just didn't seem to satisfy. It just seemed a little too complex and contrived. And perhaps his prose was just a little more than it had been in earlier books.

I'll continue reading him in the hopes that this isn't a trend -- or that it's a sign that I'm tiring of him, perhaps?
Judith Cranswick
Jan 23, 2014 Judith Cranswick rated it it was amazing
Critics who look down crime fiction claiming that it has little literary merit have never read Robert Goddard. Goddard's choice of words and his wonderful descriptive passages serve only to heighten rather than decrease the tension. There is suspense and menace aplenty. Goddard is a master plotter, the twists and turns keep one reading long after the reader had intended to stop. Although not his best novel, Borrowed Time proved compulsive reading right to the very final twist.
Carl Wholey
Jan 19, 2011 Carl Wholey rated it liked it
Good, enjoyable read. Characters were well developed and believable on the whole, complete with a twisting plot. However, I feel the whole plot rests on the return of the hero and his pushy sister in law to the place of the murders. I didn't get that bit, not quite plausible in my eyes. Never the less, a good read that would suit a beach or sunlouger. I would hope to read more Goddard in the future.
Feb 16, 2013 Alan rated it liked it
Whilst I enjoyed this book the whole experience was spoiled by the ending. Whilst it gave the plot a big twist it just did not do it for me. I almost came to the conclusion that I had become to hate the author for this. I will give another book a try just to see because overall I liked the style. But that ending.....
Aug 12, 2013 Simone rated it liked it
All of his books are fantastic, meticulously researched. I only gave this one 3 stars, as I hadn't enjoyed it quite as much as most others. It is a book with a rather claustrophobic atmosphere, deliberately so, as the protagonist gets more and more involved with the family of the victim of a brutal crime.

If you ar a fan of his books you will enjoy it no matter what I think.
Sep 28, 2015 Dennis rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This wasn't the first Goddard book I read so I'd expected a bit more than this. There were the trademark twists and turns but since these were easily anticipated, I'd hoped for something special. However it was pretty much what you'd find in any other book of this genre. Entertaining but nothing 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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