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Set in Stone

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  659 ratings  ·  43 reviews
In Robert Goddard's haunting mystery a strange house links past and present, a murder, a political scandal and an unexplained tragedy. Recovering from the recent death of his wife in a cliff fall, Tony Sheridan goes to stay with her sister and her husband at their house in Rutland. The house, called Otherways, is in some sense a character in the story: a strange, circular, ...more
Hardcover, 359 pages
Published November 4th 1999 by Bantam Press (first published January 1st 1999)
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I really liked this one. A slight change of pace from the others of his I've read. It was narrated in the first person by Tony, but not as a traditional first person tale. Tony was talking to his dead wife all through the book, which made it feel somewhat that he's telling you about what's been going on, rather than just telling the story. I won't say it was unputdownable, but when I did put it down (to go to work for instance) I was aware that it was waiting for me at home and that I needed to ...more
Darn good story telling from Robert Goddard. Not a strong voice on the writer's personal tragedy, but thankfully avoiding the cloying. A mysterious yarn set around a strange house that sent it's architect mad and some of it's inhabitants after him. The mysteriousness of Otherways (the house), avoided straining credulity for those of us who can't suspend disbelief even for a good yarn, and the underpinning conspiracy fell into the believable spectrum. Maybe not far in, but it was well written and ...more
Selaine Henriksen

I'd read this book before and have been looking for it, but forgot the name. Finally found it and read it again and it's as good as I remember. It's a love story, a ghost story, and a thriller all in one.

A round house is at the centre of the story and our cottage is round, with a square/rectangular room off the back. There's a wonderful relaxing, comfortable vibe there, nothing supernatural at all. Still, I like the "scientific" explanation for the house's oddities.

This is one of Goddard's best.
Mary  (Biblophile)
I really enjoyed this one. A good mystery with spooky overturns. I read this at one setting as I found it hard to put down. The story was told from the first person perspective (which I don't usually like) but this one was well told. The main character is a man driven to solve a mystery, racked with guilt, and unable to let go of the past. Many red herrings. However, some things still were left unsolved.
Thomas Strömquist
Did not think this one was up to his usual standard, it is a bit short and unengaging. Goddard is a very good author and I would think that all his books are worth reading, but this one could safely be skipped in favor of one of his others.
Deirdre Slocum
Meandering plot. I felt like something was missing. I think it was the disjointed telling of two seperate plots that never really were joined in a cohesive manner. The mystery of the house was never well developed or concluded.
Joe Stamber
It's getting quite difficult for me to review Robert Goddard's novels as I've read quite a few now and they have a familiar style. As can be seen from the rating, it's a style that I like so that's no bad thing. Many, if not all, of Goddard's novels begin with a seemingly innocuous event that turns out to be the catalyst for an intriguing mystery of many twists and turns. It's to Goddard's immense credit as a wonderful storyteller that I have never become tired of this formula, although after fi ...more
Chris Hebditch
I began reading this and was prepared for a love story which changed to what I thought was a ghost story and then turned into a spy thriller. A short book which was easy to read. Wouldn't turn down the chance to read more of his books.
Lakshan Wickrema
One of the finest thrillers I have read for a long time - but then this is consistent with Robert Goddard - I finished the book within 3 days - Two Thumbs Up - Recommended
the hotel bookshelf... not many choices... oh well... Okay but basically bland and somewhat annoying... not likely to ever read another of Goddard's books. just not my style.
Bryan Higgs
This is the twelfth Robert Goddard book I've read in my quest to read all his books in chronological order, and this one was a good one.

From the start, you suspect that the opening where the protagonist loses his wife in a cliff fall is going to be tied back into the main plot, and -- well, I'll let you find out for yourself.

In this book, the protagonist is not as weak as are many (most?) of Goddard's male characters, although he is influenced -- again, I'll let you discover by what.

As usual, th
May 11, 2014 Thierry marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
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Barry Bridges
One of Goddard's more existential plots. I'm still not convinced the mystery that was solved was the one I wanted solving!!
Abhijeet Dutta
No conscience of writing. Horrible plot. No sense of where the story leads to.
I m never going for this author again.
Liz Hughes
Well written, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.
Catrien Deys
It got me through a 12 hour flight, but left me as soon as I hit the ground.
Debbie Robson
I've read quite a few of Goddard's book and this is not one of his best although strangely I think it would make a really enjoyable movie. You have the incredible house with moat - Otherways, set in a flooded lake. You have a pattern of unexplained deaths and you have sets of lovers and a mysterious old lady. Although not nearly as captivating as Goddard's recent novel the excellent Fault Line, I still enjoyed reading Set in Stone.
Having recently read the classic horror 'The Haunting of Hill House' I saw a number of parallels in this story, and for similar reasons it was not my favourite read. It's not my best genre, but I persevered to the end because I wanted to know the outcome, and the plot did not disappoint with its twists and turns for which Robert Goddard is well known.
I am a fan of Robert Goddard's books when they are set in the last hundred years and this was an especially clever one. I enjoyed the history of the building, even though the connections were a bit macabre! I liked the idea of how our lives cross with other owners of our homes.
Elaine Darlington
Great read holds your attention would have liked a spookier ending!
Kathy Einarson
I hadn't read a Robert Goddard book for awhile and I missed him. Very glad I picked up this one!
Amazing, twists, turns, suspense and as always surprising revelations. Loved it, one of my favs of his. Now, I want to read another one!
This was a really gripping, suspenseful tale full of twists and turns and spooky weirdnesses. Goddard is a master storyteller who creates fascinating mysteries. Definitely coming to be a favourite author of the genre.
Eddie Dalton
Good story. I've been to Rutland a few times& author described it well! The premise of a house having power to influence the past & the future was a bit far fetched! But on the whole a worthwhile read!
usually this author writes well, engaging the reader in a suspenseful but believable story line. However this book annoyed me - it was not worth reading.
This book speeded up as a thriller as I got into it. Then there were twists and turns towards the end, after a slow beginning. I quite enjoyed it.
Goddard is a great mystery writer with excellent plots and character development. I'll always read everything he puts in print.
Debra Morris
I love Goddard's books. This one had a paranormal element that added a gothic element to the novel.
Typical Robert Goddard page-turner, just not as good as others I've read. But still a good book.
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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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