Never Go Back Never Go Back
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Never Go Back Never Go Back (Harry Barnett #3)

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  821 ratings  ·  65 reviews
In the spellbinding new mystery by the master of "the clever twist," a group of ex-RAF comrades journey to a Scottish castle for a reunion. But by the time they reach their destination, two ofthem are dead.
Harry Barnett is leading a contented life in Vancouver with his wife and daughter when he is brought back to England by the death of his mother. He intends to spend jus...more
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Published August 28th 2007 by Delta (first published January 1st 2006)
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As Goddard novels go, this one was so-so. It did hold my interest but the ending did not deliver. I like the main character, Harry, from my favorite of Goddard's novels, Into the Blue, but although Harry has improved his life since that book, his character is not as interesting as it was. He's still likeable, though, and the type of guy you'd want to have a beer with.
Anyway, the novel builds up all this mystery behind this secret wartime project which in the end is not all that scintillating. Wi...more
I actually picked this up on the recommendation of Stephen King (or, more precisely, his column in EW). It was a fun and quick-paced whodunit. Dick Francis was brought to mind, but that may have just been that this author and his setting is also British. Based on this first foray into Goddard's writings I do plan on picking up some more titles. A refreshing change of pace from many American thriller/mystery writers who seem to spend more time trying to make my skin crawl and my stomach turn with...more
Ian Mapp
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Robert Goddard has a great formula for his books. He takes a seemingly innocuous situation and injects an event that turns someone’s life upside down, puts them in an impossible position and then follows that persons attempts to find the truth and clear their name / restore the status quo. What I like about these books is that the person we follow is really pretty normal and doesn’t have access to any tools / money / contacts outside those we would expect. The resolution of the story is down to...more
A generally compelling read, although parts seemed a bit far fetched. I kept forgetting that these were supposed to be men in their seventies off exploring and crime fighting. I know that there a lot of active older adults, but it seemed a but far fetched. Also, enough with the stupid fucking nicknames. The introductions of, like, 10 characters in a row with their full names and nicknames was also annoying, and led to me not ever getting a grip on who most of the characters were. Also, naming yo...more
I love the relationship between Harry and Barry :) another great book from Robert Goddard.
I read this at the recommendation of a friend. It wasn't as twisty as advertised. Not terribly memorable. A group of RAF guys reunited after 50 years find that they may have forgotten what really happened.
Juliana Graham
A very disappointing book. A real page turner with a damp squib of an ending. Too many 2-dimensional characters though it felt as if it had potential.
Peter Auber
I finished this book over the weekend, having started it only a couple of days earlier. It's an easy read, a holiday novel (but not a holiday romance). Fifty years after completing their national service, a reunion of old squaddies turns into a sequence of murders as they are picked off one by one. Set up as the scape-goats, Harry and Barry have to find out what's going on now, and how it's related to whatever went on 50 years ago. OK, but not the most exciting of propositions. Would have been g...more
This is an enjoyable holiday read. If one can get excited about having 'feminist' novels featuring female detectives, then surely one should be pleased to have less ageism in the world of fiction? This novel is about people over 70, so should be welcomed on that ground alone.
I thought the depiction of the relationship between the 'two old codgers' Harry and Barry worked well and was convincing.Nice setting, enough thrills, twists and turns and basically a good read.
One of the more predictable novels by this author, which came as a disappointment, as I often don't figure out "who did it". Not so this time around, where the outcome was both unsurprising and predictable. But, perhaps the biggest irritation was the construction and language! Much though Goddard was striving to emmulate Forces personnel in the 50s.....did every sentence HAVE to be interspersed with "bloody"!? I kid not-some attention to detail and judicious editing would have avoided this-I fou...more
Thomas Strömquist
"Goddard is a favorite of mine, intelligent thrillers with believable characters. This book is about the reunion of a number of men who participated in a RAF experiment during WW2. The sudden death of one of them proves to be connected to what happened long ago and strange things to have happened to some of the participants since are put into perspective. "
Jan 12, 2008 Tim rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readres of average thrillers
I liked this book. It's just that it's not spectacular, but still certainly not bad.
As a thriller or suspense story it doesn't have the most going for it, it is the secretive nature of the plot that's most interesting and a better writer could, quite frankly, have wound up the tension an awful lot more.
Still, the details are refreshingly non-stereotypical and there are a good dozen or so twists and turns in the last quarter - it's only a real shame that even someone as dim as I could work out th...more
Joe Stamber
The third and (I assume) last of Goddard's novels featuring Harry Barnett. The first one Into the Blue was excellent, and the follow up Out of the Sun entertaining but not quite as strong as its predecessor. I've really enjoyed my time with Harry, his friends and foes (when you eventually sort them out!) and his adventures. Like the second book, this final installment probably deserves 3.5 stars, and as I only gave Out of the Sun 3 stars I'm going to even things up by giving this 4.
Sheila Bridant
Shades of Eric Ambler...the wrong man looking guiltier on every page. I plan to follow Goddard for a while.
Bryan Higgs
The 18th in my set of Robert Goddard novels.

This one was the third in the Harry Barnett novels, but you didn't really have to read the others to appreciate this one. There were references to his wife and daughter, and hints of his past, but you wouldn't miss much if you'd never read the earlier ones.

This novel was reasonable. Certainly, he sucked me in and held me, as usual. I don't think it was one of his better ones. Somehow, I expected more twists and turns than this one created. It was a mys...more
I haven't read anything by this author before. It was an easy read and exactly what I expect for a suspense/mystery/thriller, with a plot that moves quickly. My main complaints are that there were too many characters and there was no way to predict who the villen was. I liked the main character and the setting and language seemed appropriate, though they did seem to spend an awesome lot of time in pubs. Would recommend, but wouldn't go to any effort to find another book by this author.
Goddard's mystery, Never Go Back gets off to a slow start, rambling along, mired in a lot of Brit-speak. His narrative is also complicated by the author's large cast of characters many of whom have been assigned nicknames used interchangeably with given names, almost doubling the number of identities the reader must track.

Once the story gets rolling (about two-thirds of the way through), it is an intriguing tale.
Took a little bit of getting into. The sheer number of characters introduced and only a vague hint of a backstory to tie them together makes it a little challenging to engage with the book. This however is more than made up for with a truly fantastic storyline and two very likeable main characters. The pace is energetic and provides constant intrigue and suspense not to mention a very satisfying conclusion.
Having seen a lot of Robert Goddard being advertised around bookshops, I picked one up that I like the look of: a man reunited with his RAF comrades from 50 years ago, slowly each of the members of the unit are being killed off and Harry Barnett is the key suspect.

It started off fairly slowly, but then did build up quickly towards the end with a very Agatha Christie plot line on the whole.
Harry Barnett and his incorrigble "friend" Barry Chipchase get up to their necks in trouble while attending a National Service reunion. Sometime in our lives we all meet a loveable rogue like Barry - you can't help liking them no matter what scrapes you get into. Robert Goddard captures the duldrums of middle age exasperation perfectly. Where did we go wrong? Best not to go trying to find out...
Good story-- (although it felt a bit like a ball being rolled across a plateau and then finally, two-thirds of the way into the story, it started gaining speed on the downhill as the action picked up and more was revealed ... ) A little too "leisurely" for my taste, but the mystery was compelling enough to keep me reading, and I was glad that I finished!
Justin Jones
The book was really good, it started out slow but later on it was fast paced. The excitement in this book was big. The twists and turns in this book never made you feel safe. I Don't have any regrets on reading it. It is a definite suggestion for fast paced excitement, thriller and mystery fans. Really read this book, it was really really good!
Goddard writes what's maybe best termed masculine gothic - instead of the woman in peril, we get a middle-aged, slightly downtrodden man thrust into an uncertain and suspenseful situation. While this isn't one of his best, it does showcase his perfectly tuned pacing and his ability to make you suspect everyone and everything.
An excellent conclusion to a trilogy of books (Into the Blue, Out of the Sun, Never Go Back) starring Harry Barnett, an ordinary, overweight, middle-aged man who nevertheless finds reserves of courage, strength and perseverence to overcome obstacles and fight not only for his life but the lives of others also.
Robert Goddard has never disappointed me - I really like the main character in this book and he must have done too cause you meet him again in two other books.. I love the ordinary people - bankruptcy, small time swindlers and then nastier folk all muddled up like the real world, excellent plot lines
Robert Goddard books are always suspenseful and full of interesting and complex characters. This book is not his best, and the introduction of many characters in the beginning (along with their nicknames), made some of it slow going. But it was still better than the average thriller.
Although I've read a number of Robert Goddard's books I hadn't encountered Harry Barnett before. This book was a welcome change from the other Goddard books I'd read, being more of a traditional thriller. I shall definitely be looking out for the other Harry Barnett books.
Barry Bridges
Another interesting tale from Mr Goddard. And another Harry Barnett. With a returning character in the lead part it makes this book easier to get into - we know his background and his weaknesses. An interesting twist and a good denouement. A quick read!
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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.
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