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Found Wanting

3.38  ·  Rating Details  ·  783 Ratings  ·  108 Reviews
Richard Eusden is on his way to work in London one unremarkable winter morning when he is intercepted by his ex-wife, Gemma. She has sad news of his old friend, her other ex-husband, Marty Hewitson. Marty is dying, but needs a favour done for him - now, today, at once.

Eusden reluctantly agrees and sets off on what should be a simple errand. But soon it turns into a race fo
Paperback, 480 pages
Published September 25th 2009 by Corgi (first published January 1st 2008)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,248)
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Oct 30, 2009 Georg rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english, crime
What can make you read a Goddard between two books from the Millenium series? There is only one reason: You are for vacation in Valletta/Malta, and there is only one bad, dirty and crowded bookshop (called “Agenda” on Republik Triq, [keep in mind: Whenever you go to Malta, provide yourself with books on the Valletta Airport!!]) with all kind of useless books but no Swedish crime novels. Bad luck.

I found "Found Wanting" wanting. In the beginning I was somehow relieved that the story is at least
Goddard's book --at least those I've read -- have common theme: a rather ordinary man is thrust into a vast conspiracy through no fault of his own and must figure a way out. In this case, British civil servant Richard Eusden is asked by his ex-wife, Gemma, to meet someone in a train station on the continent and collect a briefcase. He is then to take the briefcase to Marty, his ex-wife's current husband, and a former friend of Richard's. Gemma then sort of disappears from the story, but she is r ...more
Carol Kerry-green
The first Goddard I've read for a while, and he didn't disapoint me. In Found Wanting, Richard Eusden is asked by his ex-wife Gemma to do a favour for an old friend Marty Hewitson (also an ex of Gemma's) who is living in Amsterdam and is dying of a brain tumour. The favour is to take an old attache case belonging to Marty's grandfather Clem to him in Brussels - the attache case is a family heirloom and what is inside it a link to Clem's past.

Arriving in Brussels, Eusden is met, not by Marty, but
Jul 30, 2011 Adva rated it it was ok
Generally speaking, it is a pretty good suspense book: it is good paced, interesting places, seems well researched, intriguing conundrum (based on a real life mystery the western world seemed quite obsessed about in various points in time), well written.

However, I was not pulled in - I did not get that 'can't-put-the-book-down' or the 'I-must-continue-reading-every-chance-I-get' feeling. It's why it took me about four months to read the book - I just forgot about it every time I put it down.

It m
The good things about this book were the mystery - it's all historically accurate according to the author's note and I really enjoy that kind of thing. The bad thing was the protagonist. He's presented as a civil servant doing the same job for decades and suddenly he's making decisions that keep him in danger without a strong reason. He seems the sort of person to see all the cloak and dagger stuff as nonsense and yet we're expected to believe that he stays involved when the mystery has little t ...more
J. Walker
May 08, 2015 J. Walker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My latest read by Robert Goddard, and I enjoyed it immensely. It took all of two days, it's another genuine page-turner.
This one if focused largely in Scandinavia, concerned with the mystery surrounding the woman who identified herself as Anastasia, the last of the Romanovs (that is, if she survived the massacre of her family, which has always been in doubt).
For the first time, though, I had a bit of trouble keeping all the suspects and accessories in mind all the time, I found myself asking, "N
Dec 26, 2012 Paula rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Paula by: Previous Goddard books
I have enjoyed Robert Goddard's novels in the past and this one started off well. Richard Eusden's ex wife, Gemma, asks him to deliver an ancient attache case to her ex husband and Richard's boyhood friend, Marty. It seems Marty is dying of a brain tumor in Brussels, where he's been living after skipping the country to avoid a drugs charge. He's most anxious to retrieve his grandfather's case. Through some series of events that I cannot now remember, though I just finished the book, the case mu ...more
Apr 27, 2011 Maddy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bottoms, 2011-reads
PROTAGONIST: Richard Eusden
WHY: Richard Eusden agrees to take a briefcase to an old friend. The case contains documents relating to the question of whether Anna Anderson and Anastasia are the same person. The case is a hot potato, which is stolen several times throughout the book. The plot was rather pedestrian and implausible. There are a few sections which go into mind-numbing detail of the history of the Romanov family and of Finland. In addition, Goddard uses some irritating styli
Michelle Lewis
Let me start by saying that I am a big fan of Robert Goddard. I have, to my knowledge, read all his novels at some point.
This book is the least gripping of all that I have read of Goddard's. As other reviews have mentioned, the writing is good. I felt a sense of place. I felt I knew the characters and the complicated plot is as twisty as any other Goddard. I just didn't care.
The story revolves around the Romanov conspiracies and whether Princess Anastasia survived the execution of the Russian r
Mitch McCrimmon
Mar 21, 2016 Mitch McCrimmon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my very favourite authors. I love the unexpected twists and turns in Robert Goddard's novels, the mystery and suspense, not to mention great characters and engaging writing style. His plots are a bit contrived so you have to assume that some people can get involved in complicated situations almost by accident. In this case, the protagonist is asked by an old friend to bring him a parcel from England to where he is staying in Europe - this is one of the far-fetched bits - but this seemingl ...more
I've always enjoyed Goddard's books; he's a master of the classy, elegantly written spy thriller and psychological drama. This isn't my favorite (I remember particularly enjoying Caught in the Light. Whether I would still today, I don't know) but it's a good story with a very nice twist on the Anastasia/murder of the Romanovs story. I had forgotten that he likes to use the everyman hero, caught up in a dangerous situation, and he does that to good effect here. Treachery, double crosses, and long ...more
Maryann MJS1228
With 20 books to his name it's no surprise that Robert Goddard's fans each have their favorites and their least favorites. I've read them all, pre-ordered half of them from Amazon UK to get my hands on them as soon as they're published and I've always been able to say that while some are better than others none have truly disappointed. Until this one.

Goddard's territory is the unquiet past. Real historic events and people are often part of the mix, often as a MacGuffin, but prior knowledge of th
 PuMbA's MoMmy*•.♥.•*
I will be reading more books by this author! This book had a lot of action packed stuff! It reminded me of the movie “Taken”. It had a whole different story and twists to it though. I loved that it was based in Europe, and although I couldn’t understand what some of the words meant, and the names were foreign to me, the fact that the author used this in the book made it more authentic to me. It added more zest to the storyline in the book. The characters were very real and as I was reading this ...more
Apr 09, 2009 Jenny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 25, 2010 Jeremy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Russian Royal family were in the Isle of Wight in the 1920’s and PC Clem Hewiston was assigned to protect them. The question is did he keep some evidence that would prove that the woman who popped up in the US and Europe some years later and claimed to be Princess Anastasia was who she claimed or just another opportunist? If the evidence existed was there someone who would pay handsomely for it – or kill ruthlessly to bury it? Imagine walking into this mess when you thought you were doing a ...more
Sep 30, 2013 Faa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought the book because it mentioned 'the fate of Anastasia', the daughter of the last Tsar of Russia. It happened that the quest in this book is merely the same as the quest of Anastasia in our real life. Both are never ending and confusing.

I never read Goddard books before. This book embodied his own narration on the fate of the Tsar's families after that bloody night at Yekaterinburg. I must say that I like Richard, Marty and Gemma stories better than the Aksden stories. In a way, they are
Sep 13, 2012 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Richard Eusdenis a bored middle-aged civil servant working for the F.O in the city. One day his ex-wife drives up to him and says something urgent has come up...His former schoolfriend Marty wants a briefcase taken from the Isle of Wight, where his grandfather is supposed to hve bequeathed it to him, to Brussels. He is double-crossed by a number of characters and the adventure sets off across Cologn, Hamburg,Arhus, Copenhagen,, Helsinki,Stokholm,, Paijaime, and Jyvaskgla...he becomes entangled i ...more
This was a 4 star book for me throughout most of it… Right until the main character supposedly felt worse when a woman he had just met died, more than when his best friend through 40 years died.. Hmm..

Ok, I know you have to set up the future “maybe, sorta, kinda” love story but in this book it just wasn’t needed at all! And it made me take away a star from the rating.

The story it self is good though. It’s a story about a middle-aged guy, who thinks he’s doing something nice for an old friend, a
I have read several of Robert Goddard's books, but this was not my favorite. Like most of his others, it's the story of an ordinary man who is thrust into dangerous and decidedly unordinary situations. And like most of his others, it starts with a bang. On an ordinary work day, civil servant Richard Eusden sits at an outdoor London cafe table with a mug of coffee, ruminating on his unsatisfactory job, and watching the traffic when he sees a Mazda driving erratically, his ex-wife at the wheel. Sh ...more
Dec 01, 2015 Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I had not read any Robert Goddard books for a while. I thought I would treat myself on holiday to a good suspense story. I was not disappointed. Full of twists - well he is the mater of twists and may even have invented them.

Good story line with the Romanov family and Anastasia mystery.

A great read from page one, could not put this down and read in one sitting. I was hooked.
Jan 25, 2010 Gerald rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Goddard isn't one of those Authors who just gets better [or just gets worse:]. Some of his are crackers, and some are quite poor. I suppose that's to be expected from someone who writes about one book every ten months or so.

This one looks like an almost conscious attempt to play on the popularity of Nordic Crime Novels, being as it is, set in Northern Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Finland. And it captures some of the atmosphere of those stories (particularly when writing about the farms in and ar
Susan Van ling
The title was the thing I most liked about this book. There were too many facts with held, too many unlikely twists and old grudges. I picked it up because I felt like a trip around Northern Europe and although this book gave me just that, I found it wanting..... sorry couldn't resist. I did finish it though even though it is not the genre of book I generally read.
The opening is irresistible: an ordinary middle-aged civil servant, whose life has been vaguely unsatisfactory up to this point, is suddenly thrust into the middle of an international conspiracy as he tries to do a favor for a dying friend. The conspiracy revolves around fingerprints of the young Anastasia when she visited the Isle of Wight before WWI and held all this time by a recently dead police officer. A lot of money and reputations are at stake here, and our hero soon finds his life at ri ...more
Jane Walker
Apr 14, 2015 Jane Walker rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
For a novel to work it must have credibility; not of plot - that can be as daft as you like - but of character. In this book Eusden, in the decisions he makes and the actions he takes, is just not credible. The plot is far too complicated; I lost track of who was trying to do what and why long before the end.
Jun 22, 2015 Deborah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A spy thriller with so many red herrings that it became tiresome to keep up. The plot revolved the mystery of Russian Princess Anastasia - did she really survive the family's assassination? And what about the Tsar's riches? Unfortunately, but the time the story unwound, I was no longer enthralled.
Luce Cronin
Certainly not one of his best books in my opinion. I enjoyed the basis of the story - the possibility that Anastasia as well as Alexei might have survived the slaughter of the Tsar and his family. But the characters were not likeable ; I found no connection to them. The ending is very well crafted, however i found it to be a very long chase across several European countries - after a while it became quite predictable.
Sharon Bradshaw
Aug 18, 2015 Sharon Bradshaw rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An exciting book, full of plot twists and turns, for which Robert Goddard has become well known. This is definitely a book I would recommend if you like action and adventure, with a little history to intrigue the reader...
Apr 09, 2015 Sarah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Found Wanting is a very apt title as it's exactly how I, as a reader, did find myself at the end of this book. It's an Ok read but nothing special. I did find there were so many characters that I kept forgetting who was who which didn't help either.
A.S. Bond
Mar 12, 2014 A.S. Bond rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think this is Goddard's best (possibly a tie with Out of the Blue). Mainly because I simply had to know what was the historical secret! I really enjoyed this one.
A relook at the Anastasia mystery, with all the known ingredients of Goddard's fiction. His oeuvre is an endless variation on the same structure...
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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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