Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Borrowed Time” as Want to Read:
Borrowed Time
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Borrowed Time

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  763 ratings  ·  54 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 their ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published January 31st 2006 by Delta (first published January 1st 1995)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Borrowed Time, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Borrowed Time

In Pale Battalions by Robert GoddardPast Caring by Robert GoddardInto the Blue by Robert GoddardPainting The Darkness by Robert GoddardTake No Farewell by Robert Goddard
Best Robert Goddard Books
17th out of 23 books — 35 voters
Dark Places by Gillian FlynnGone Girl by Gillian FlynnNo Time for Goodbye by Linwood BarclayCaught In The Light by Robert GoddardInto the Blue by Robert Goddard
Non Police/PI Mysteries
66th out of 347 books — 53 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,117)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Paul J.
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.
LG
Jun 29, 2012 LG rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
Debbie Robson
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
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
Stefan
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
Artnoose Noose
Mar 01, 2009 Artnoose Noose rated it 2 of 5 stars
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
Catherine Aceto
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
Arwen
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.
Lakshmi
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
...more
J. Walker
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
...more
Joe Stamber
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
...more
Elaine
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
Judith Cranswick
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.
Ian
This book was fairly entertaining but I didn’t find the characters particularly engaging. The plot has a slow build but in the second half the twists come thick and fast. In fact there are so many that they begin to strain credibility towards the end.
Storm  Grayson
Good suspense as always from Robert Goddard. Didn't warm to the self absorbed lead with a fixation about a woman he had only met for two minutes. Found the story a little creepy as it was set in an area where I used to live so recognised all the landmarks.
Zoe Jussel
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
...more
Christina Fierro
A solid murder mystery that kept me guessing until the end. The ending wasn't what I expected, but it didn't seem like a cheat. The level of tension and unease were sustained throughout the book.
Sandie
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
...more
Viji Sarath (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
Biogeek
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
Vic Van
Not the best Goddard that I have read so far, but once again thrilling from the very beginning, and full of plot twists.
Ian Rodwell
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
...more
Bryan Higgs
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?
Martha
Jun 29, 2009 Martha rated it 2 of 5 stars
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.
Charlene
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.
Carl Wholey
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.
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."
Simone
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.
Alan
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.....
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 37 38 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Turnstone (DI Joe Faraday, #1)
  • Living Proof (Charles Resnick, #7)
  • Perfectly Pure and Good (Sarah Fortune, #2)
  • Undone
  • Betrayal
  • The Long Shot (Mike Cramer, #1)
  • The Color of Night
  • The Reunion
  • True Crime
  • Final Argument
  • Quiet as a Nun (Jemima Shore, #1)
  • French Kiss
  • Time Machines Repaired While-U-Wait
  • Killing Time (Bill Slider #6)
  • Adept
  • The Villa Of Mysteries (Nic Costa, #2)
16246
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...
In Pale Battalions Into the Blue Past Caring Caught In The Light Never Go Back

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »