Borrowed Time
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Borrowed Time

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  647 ratings  ·  46 reviews
It is a golden evening of high summer. Walking a ridge on the Welsh Borders, Robin Timariot meets by chance an elegant middle-aged woman who seems strangely out of place. Theyexchange only a few words, but those words prove to be unforgettable. A few days later Timariot learns from the newpapers that, just hours after their meeting, the woman was raped andmurdered.
A man i...more
ebook, 448 pages
Published January 31st 2006 by Delta (first published January 1st 1995)
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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.
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
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
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
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
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."
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.
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
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
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
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?
Jun 29, 2009 Martha rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
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.
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.....
Jennifer Jowsey
this was one of the slowest moving, dullest, most excruciating books i've ever read. the last 8 pages or so before the epilogue were decent, but the rest ... it just dragged terribly. there was more about the board meetings of the cricket company than discussion of the mystery. i was disappointed.
OK--I have liked this author in the past and probably will read him again, but enough is enough for the moment. Too many twists and turns to get to the end, which in this case, left me unsatisfied. Maybe I need a break from Goddard's complicated plots.
This was one of those books I literally could not put down - because every time I did, I ended up picking it back up again to read some more. Goddard has a mind more twisty than a corkscrew and this novel was a very strong example of such twistiness. Read it!
Hazel McHaffie
Having loved Past Caring I ordered three more Goddard books. Borrowed Time has a very complicated plot - just when you think the mystery is resolving it all unravels again. Not as good as Past Caring but still impressive.
I normally like Robert Goddard's books as they usually have a fantastic twist. This was not one of his good ones. I found the main character unlikeable and the story pretty pedestrian. I wouldn't recommend this one.
Liked it but thought the ending was a bit thrown together in order to bring everything to an orderly conclusion. Always enjoy Robert Goddard and he doesn't disappoint for suspense to the end.
I tried reading this and the first few pages just didn't catch my interest. So there are so many books that do from the start, I am setting this one aside.
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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...
In Pale Battalions Into the Blue Past Caring Caught In The Light Never Go Back

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