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Name to a Face

3.52  ·  Rating Details ·  732 Ratings  ·  99 Reviews
A centuries old mystery is about to unravel…

When Tim Harding is sent by his employer to buy an antique ring at auction, little does he realize that he is about to restart a chain of events which began many years before. The ring was first lost in a sinking off the isles of Scilly in 1707. When centuries later it is rediscovered in 1999, once again its appearance coincides
ebook, 528 pages
Published June 23rd 2009 by Delta (first published 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,149)
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Lance Greenfield
Goddard is getting tired!

I have enjoyed many of Robert Goddard's books, with their many unexpected twists and turns, but his writing has now got to the stage where I know what to expect. I persevered with this story, but had it been a TV film, I would have been out of my seat and off to bed half way through.

However, compared to a lot of the books in this genre, Goddard is still up there with the best. Perhaps it is unfair of me to make the comparison with his previous works, as those were all s
Oct 13, 2009 Lighthearted rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Landscaper Tim Harding travels to West Cornwall at the request of Barney Tozer, one of his wealthy clients. His task is simple: attend an auction and purchase an antique ring of special value to Tozer’s family. Once Tim arrives though, he finds that there’s much more to the story than Barney has shared with him. First there is some suspicion regarding Barney’s involvement in a local diving accident years earlier (the girl slipped into a coma and never recovered). Then there is the complicated re ...more
Apr 23, 2012 Leah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to like Robert Goddard. I read some of the blurbs of his books, and I thought, 'That sounds like a modern-day Agatha Christie premise!'

I very much like the idea of someone going the old route and writing mysteries, not gruesome murder/forensic investigative crime books, in this modern day, so I took this with me on a short holiday, hoping for some enjoyable reading and a bit of intrigue.

At the time, I enjoyed it well enough. The setup is simple - man has chosen quiet life after d
Joe Stamber
Aug 11, 2015 Joe Stamber rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paper, read-2015
I can understand one of the reviewers below saying that Goddard is getting tired. His novels tend to have a certain style and structure that may wear on some readers after a few of his books. I found this happening to me after reading maybe three Goddard novels over the course of a few months with not enough variety from alternative books in between. I've now realised that I need a few months between each Goddard book and as I have nearly caught up with his production line it shouldn't be a prob ...more
Feb 03, 2008 Nick rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have read all of Robert Goddard's novels and since Into the Blue they have steadily deteriorated in to, what I can only refer to this book as, fantastical tripe. Goddard is labeled the master of the clever twist but nowadays he's just flogging a dead horse and should hang up his gloves and retire or find a new story recipe.

The protagonist that ends up getting sucked in to a web of deceit and lies spanning a few centuries just isn't working any more for me. In this particular case the whole thi
The story follows Tim Harding, who is asked by his friend and employer, to go back to Cornwall to bid on a family heirloom on his behalf. Introduce a mysterious housekeeper, a stolen ring, a possible murder, some old Cornish legends, a dodgy business deal, a real murder and a couple of kidnappings.

Hmmm, not sure what I think about this. The story is a convoluted and yet at the same time a bit one-dimensional. Extra strands and plotlines are constantly added without any real need for them and I
Dawn Barton
Nov 07, 2012 Dawn Barton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tim Harding who originated from England, but now lives in Monaco, he runs his own landscaping business. He is asked by his friend Barney Tozer who is a tax-exile from the Penzance, to do him a favour and go to Cornwall, to retrieve a family heirloom, which his brother Gabriel had left as part of his estate, and was to be auctioned off alongwith all his contents of his home.

Tim thinks this is a straight forward thing to do for a friend, but little does he realise what he is to find out. The antiq
Jan 06, 2016 Kirstin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up at a local book-exchange and welcomed the idea of reading an easy, intriguing mystery. I was sorely disappointed. I found the characters one-dimensional and not relatable at all. I didn't care what was happening to them or really believe the author's descriptions of them. The characters moved through the plot as if they had no agency of their own - new events just landed at their feet and they had to deal with them as they occurred. The story much too convoluted and contain ...more
Jane Rose
Sep 14, 2016 Jane Rose rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I quite enjoyed this although I did find some of the twists took a bit of keeping up with.
Sep 22, 2016 Clive rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would probably give this one 5 stars if I were making comparison to most other mystery/fiction authors' stories. However, having read all of Goddard's novels I tend to compare each new one to his own earlier ones. This one is very good, but not his best yet. His last two were not all that great, but this one encourages me to think Goddard's writing career is not yet over.

The story details and character relationships get complicated pretty fast. As usual, the plot is meticulously developed with
Georgia Smith
Not the worst thing I've ever read, but weak. So weak. Much of the first third is just the revelation of secrets that could have been escaped if one of the main characters had just told the protagonist all of the relevant information. There was no reason for them not to, either, except for that whole "I didn't think it would be relevant" line. So, essentially, the entire first section could have been entirely removed and replaced by a couple of sentences from one character to another. It just fe ...more
Judith Schneider
Goddard has quickly become one of my favorite authors. the beauty of his prose, the intricacies of his plots,and the complexity of his characters result in a compelling read that engages you fully while feeding your craving for his next book. I intend to read everything he writes.
Cat Parker
Feb 17, 2016 Cat Parker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm probably a little generous with my ratings, my true rating would be 3.5. This is the first Robert Goddard book I've read and I must say that I'd happily read another.

This started as a lunch break read for me, I wanted something that I wouldn't have to think too much about as I'd only have about 20 minutes a day. So, I was genuinely surprised when it found its way into my bag and back home with me to finish.

The story flowed well and the main character Tim is likeable enough. There was enough
Stephen Hayes
Sep 09, 2015 Stephen Hayes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I registered a book at!

Tim Harding is asked by his tax-exile friend Barney Tozer to go
to an auction in Penzance to buy a ring being auctioned as part of
his uncle's estate and give it to his brother to keep it in the
family. Tim is then caught up in a tangled chain of events
involving murders at widely separated periods, including that of an antiquarian. It had all the right ingredients, but none of them seemed to hang together, and the p
The origins of an old ring and a familiar "face in the crowd" are just two of the many seemingly unrelated plot points that come together in this latest Robert Goddard offering of avarice, deceit and murder. Once again, the clever Mr. Goddard has produced a work filled with a myriad of unusual twists and turns and melded them into another example of the engrossing narratives that have become his trademark. He has a gift for engaging the reader in the plight of his protagonist to such an extent t ...more
Jan 15, 2015 Jessica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, audio
Goddard is essentially the male equivalent of Susanna Kearsley - his books tend to involve a historical element, some romance, some mystery, and some derring-do for fun. Unfortunately, this one ends up getting very cluttered with the multiple plotlines that don't so much intersect as bounce off each other pinball-style, so the whole ends up being a mishmash. He's written some fine books, but this one needed fewer plotlines to rise to the level of his past work.
Frederick Masterman
This was my first Goddard novel, and I was pleased with the convoluted story, many questions and overlapping mysteries, which begin the book. Trying to tie various ends together was not easy, with events of centuries past somehow hovering in the background as a solution to the problem of today. I found Tim Harding a compelling protagonist, caught in a swirl of characters who all seem to know more than he does about what's going on, with the perpetrator of most of the misery kept quite in the sha ...more
A.S. Bond
Mar 12, 2014 A.S. Bond rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a Robert Goddard addict. OK, I've said it. However, it is true that, in my opinion, some of his books are better than others. I think this is one of his best. Perhaps because so much of it is set in Penzance, a place I know very well. As ever though, the plotting is twisty and elegant, the characters compelling and the end satisfying. He really is a class act.
May 31, 2015 Ellen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Terrific mystery.

Goddard is a student of history. Every one of his novels is different. What a range this writer has!

Name to a Face is cinematic, filled with deplorable people living through awful circumstances in incredible places. Like falling off a cliff in a bad dream. You have this feeling, and you just...can't...stop...reading...
Dec 05, 2010 Nicolette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Name to a Face
ByRobert Goddard (Bantam Press)

ENTHRALLING! Robert Goddard’s Name to a Face is filled with twists that will have you racing through this book.
The hero, Tim Harding, agrees to go to an auction in Penzance, in the far west of England, to buy back a family ring for a tax-exile friend. But the ring is stolen before the auction and so Harding embarks on a mystery-solving mission, which takes him from the county of Cornwall, to London, Monaco on the Mediterranean coast and into Germany.
Aug 04, 2015 Marian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm always glad to find a new-to-me Robert Goddard, master of the convoluted plot, the past will come back to haunt you, be careful what you wish for books. This one is not as strong as some of his others... some of the past didn't connect as well to the contemporary as it usually does. But I still found it an enjoyable diversion.
Dec 07, 2009 Kat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I discovered Robert Goddard a few years ago and had a bit of an overdose when I read a whole bunch of his books in a row. When I did that, they started to seem predictable. And they are in a way. There is always the unassuming Englishman who unwittingly gets embroiled in a complex plot that he is obliged to resolve by his inner sense of decency and justice. Then I had a big break from his books, which made this book seem fresh and engrossing. There is a 14th century mystery, an 18th century myst ...more
Jul 07, 2016 Elaine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not His Best!

I found it all a bit confusing throughout. Lots of characters that would appear and then leave and reappear much later. In other words not a page turner for me.
May 25, 2016 Sue rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
Fairly ordinary reading from the normally reliable Goddard. Perhaps under the one-book-a-year pump these days? Never mind, some interesting historical trivia and a pleasantly mindless way to pass a wet unscheduled day.
Jan 30, 2016 Sue rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read most of Robert Goddard's novels and enjoyed a lot of them. This wasn't one of his better ones . Weak plot, stereotypical characters but he is still a decent storyteller.
Bryan Higgs
Well, I had a significant hiatus from reading Robert Goddard books, but now I'm back at it, with my 19th one read in chronological order by published date.

This one's a good one. For a change, the main character is not a person who needs, or is looking for, redemption. Instead, he is portrayed as a chap who is intelligent, resourceful, loyal and persistent. He's confused and frustrated by all the deceitfulness going on around him, but he isn't stupid about it.

As usual, the plot is intelligent, th
Stefan Ellis
Nov 05, 2014 Stefan Ellis rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: boeke
I am new to Robert Goddard and I am always willing to give new authors a chance. The description on the cover sounded intriguing to me, and for the most part the book moved at a decent pace and had me wondering where this is heading - which is what I want. There seem to be two different endings. One takes place in the basement of house on a small island, while the second takes is set in a luxury apartment somewhere in Italy if I remember correctly. The latter was quite decently done, while the f ...more
Denise Dougherty
Just 2 stars. A bridge book - never read this author before and replaced it when a reserved book became available. Didn't finish and couldn't really remember what it was about so I didn't go back. Best I can say is I didn't hate it. Would I read the author again? Who knows - maybe as a bridge book again.

Rob Innis
Somehow for me Goddard's books are a bit 'thin' I don't mean page count just somehow they don't have the depth to really hold my interest. The characters are light weight and I just don't care about them or feel involved.

The main protagonist in this tale is an adulterer and a cheating one at that, my point is not a moral one, it's about the main protagonist being someone we are supposed to be supporting through his moral dilemmas.

The plot is also a bit trite and I have decided there are other au
Actually a ***1/2 for me. A decent mystery/thriller set in western Europe (Monaco, France, England, Germany), in which a couple of centuries-old mysteries involving a shipwreck and a faith-healing monk, a stolen ring, the questionable underwater death of a journalist, an avenging twin, underhanded business dealings, genealogy, and lots more subplots are unraveled and resolved by an employee of a shady businessman (with whose wife he is having an affair...). Confusing? Yes. Luckily, I read this i ...more
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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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