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Into the Blue (Harry Barnett #1)

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  1,712 Ratings  ·  135 Reviews
Harry Barnett lives the life of an Englishman on permanent vacation in Greece, house-sitting for a powerful friend and hiding from a past disgrace. That is, until a guest at the villa disappears on a walking tour, and Harry is the number one suspect. While a Greek detective tries to trap him, and the British tabloids pillory him at home, Harry’s conscience is his worst ene ...more
ebook, 496 pages
Published January 31st 2006 by Delta (first published January 1st 1990)
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18 hours 15 mins, read (brilliantly) by Paul Shelley.

Description: Harry Barnett is a middle-aged failure, leading a shabby existence in the shadow of a past disgrace, reduced to caretaking a friend's villa on the island of Rhodes and working in a bar to earn his keep. Then a guest at the villa - a young woman he had instantly and innocently warmed to - disappears on a mountain peak. Under suspicion of her murder, Harry stumbles on a set of photographs taken by Heather Mallender in the weeks bef
Bryan Higgs
Apr 08, 2012 Bryan Higgs rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, mystery
Well, he did it again! Robert Goddard, that is.

I am working my way through his books in chronological order, and this is the fourth one I've read so far. In every book, he sucks me into the plot in short order, and I have to finish the book. Goddard is a master of the plot twist (each book seems to have a surprise at the end which I, at least, didn't predict). In this book (and perhaps in all of those I've read so far), the identity of the 'bad guy' (the who) is less important than the why, and
Jan 07, 2008 Beatriz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the first novel by Robert Goddard I read. After that, I was completely hooked. I rate Goddard as the best suspense novelist I've ever read. His plot twists are incredible; as a long-time reader, I'm used to being able to predict endings. It's depressing, really, how few can surprise me. Well, Goddard can! And his are true plot twists, all the information is planted early in the novel, but you can never quite see which little nugget of information will end up being the crucial one! Delig ...more
Aug 26, 2010 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This lengthy mystery/thriller takes a long time to get going (about 150 pages in the mass-market paperback), but once it does, it's almost as riveting as Goddard's other books. This was his fourth novel and the first to be set in the present day (the others were historical mysteries/thrillers). Like all of Goddard's fiction, the mystery unravels over the entire course of the book, so you're always waiting for the next revelation . . . which will probably complicate or contradict what you've alre ...more
Aug 02, 2013 Eadie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2013
Into the Blue by Robert Goddard
Book Description:
Harry Barnett lives the life of an Englishman on permanent vacation in Greece, house-sitting for a powerful friend and hiding from a past disgrace. That is, until a guest at the villa disappears on a walking tour, and Harry is the number one suspect. While a Greek detective tries to trap him, and the British tabloids pillory him at home, Harry’s conscience is his worst enemy of all. What happened to young, beautiful Heather Mallender? Who took her—
Aug 05, 2015 Sue rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book entirely because I want to go on holiday and it's not happening. So a novel set in Rhodes seemed a good choice.

I've not read any Robert Goddard before. But I suspect I will read more after this. I'm really enjoying it. Good story. Shame the character has returned to the UK winter at the moment, but I'm hopeful of his return to the sunshine.

More later. But a good one so far.


Excellent read! I really enjoyed this book. I had no idea about what was really going to be the ou
Oct 10, 2015 Jane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, library, mystery
Another of Goddard's puzzling mysteries--on Rhodes the failed Harry becomes friends with a young woman, Heather. One day, as they are on an excursion, she leaves him waiting for her at the bottom of a small mountain, Profitis Elias. She climbs it, saying she'll be back shortly and for him to wait for her. She disappears leaving behind a scarf; at first Harry is accused of murder but when exonerated, he wants to solve the mystery. Is she dead? Is she alive and if so, where has she gone? Harry com ...more
Sep 18, 2012 Jaimie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have such mixed feelings about Into the Blue. Looking back on it, it had a few surprises that caught me off guard. At the same time, I felt very removed from the characters, and I also guessed the main "bad guy" about a 6th of the way through. It was also a very slow read for me (possibly because of the lack of feeling for the characters). I felt the ending was predictable, though poetic.

I think there was also a lack of drive for me. What was propelling the main character onward? Fear for him
Jan 13, 2016 Wanda marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Wanda by: Bettie☯
13 JAN 2016 - recommendation through Bettie. Many Thanks!
When we first meet Harry Barnett, a middle-aged, overweight, alcoholic Englishman, he's working as a caretaker at the Greek villa of distinguished Member of Parliament Allan Dysart. When young and attractive Heather Mallender arrives, as a guest of Dysart, she and Harry become friends, despite the age difference.

While walking in the hills, Heather vanishes. Harry is with her at the time and becomes a suspect in her disappearance. In an effort to clear his name, Harry begins his own investigatio
Jul 15, 2008 Sandie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Goddard does it again! In this novel we meet Harry Barnett, a fiftish failure with a past. Harry's life is immersed in failure; its only positive aspect being Harrys unlikely friendship with Alan Dysart, an Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Defense. While house sitting at Alan's villa in Greece, Harry is drawn into a perplexing and bizarre puzzle involving the disappearance of a beautiful, young houseguest.

These are only two of the several plot threads that textures this story and weav
Dec 29, 2008 Eric_W rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actually, I listened to the audio version of this book. It was very well read (Paul Shelley) and quite enjoyable. Surprisingly, it really held my interest. I suggest surprisingly, because the protagonist, Harry, is a kind of bumbler and ne'er-do-well who gets caught up in the disappearance of a young woman. They were climbing a small mountain on the Greek island of Rhodes. He gives out before reaching the top, she continues, and disappears. Harry is left a suspect and with nothing more than some ...more
Mar 22, 2009 Jan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: smart people who like mysteries
If you like mysteries, or used to like mysteries, (and I don't mean mass-market stuff like Jeffrey Deaver), you will like this. Literate, and the plot will keep your interest. Begins in Greece spends more time in England...lots of surprises. Robert Goddard writes very good novels which nearly always contain a clever mystery twist.
Hella Comat
Jan 18, 2015 Hella Comat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lengthy, with lots of characters and possibilities, the story begins with a hike on the island of Rhodes and the disappearance of the main character's young acquaintance. Although he's considered himself a loser throughout his life with no accomplishments and lots of dead end jobs, Harry sets out to solve the disappearance.
Feb 20, 2012 James rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, fiction, crime
A man with severe and justified self worth issues strikes up a frienship with a young woman who stays in the villa he is looking after. When she suddenly disapears, he sets out to find out why, despite being suspect number one in her disapearance. The book sets off slow before reaching a most satisfying climax albeit with some sacrifice to realism. Very enjoyable, fun and smart thriller choice.
Apr 17, 2015 Laurence rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british
I don't usually read thrillers but I was offered this one and I really enjoyed it. The plot is pretty good and hangs together well. The main character is also very good and credible. I enjoyed reading this book and would read more by Robert Goddard.
Deborah O'Regan
Jan 10, 2017 Deborah O'Regan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book, I never knew from one chapter to the next where we were going. Impossible to guess the outcome . Lots of twist and turns I have now begin to expect from Robert Goddard. A roller coaster of a ride!
Jun 22, 2013 Joellen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Long, tiresome and unending. I wanted to shake Harry and tell him to make up his mind. The problem was he was totally manipulate from the beginning and we could see it but he couldn't. What a waste of time.
Typical Goddard book in that it had great characters, a very deliberate and well constructed plot, and interesting settings. I really enjoyed this book just as I have his others.
Brenda Hawley
Sep 19, 2011 Brenda Hawley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Robert Goddard writes the most complex plots around. These books keep you thinking until the very end with all the twists and turns. Some nice prose too... I recommend him highly.
Rosario (
We meet Harry Barnett sitting on a rock on the side of a Greek mountain, waiting for his companion to come back from walking up to the summit. Heather Mallender is a new acquaintance, a young woman taking a short holiday at the house in Rhodes that Harry takes care of for a rich friend. Harry is starting to get worried, as she's taking a lot longer to come back than she should. He finally decides to go look for her, but it's in vain. The only trace of her is her scarf tangled on a branch.

Sep 13, 2012 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After careful consideration, I think this gets four stars. This book was recommended to me as Goddard's best book by two people who consider Goddard their favorite author (my mother and father, namely). What I was told of his writing was that he creates very intricately plotted mysteries in which the twists, surprises, and conclusions are impossible to predict, but always make sense to the reader after they are revealed because of subtle clues and foreshadowing; and that his style of writing is ...more
May 08, 2013 BooksnPics rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Robert Goddard nous emmène sur l’île de Rhodes en 1988. Heather Mallender, jeune britannique de bonne famille, séjourne sur l’île afin de se remettre d’une dépression liée au décès de sa sœur dans un attentat revendiqué par l’IRA. Invitée par le parlementaire et ministre britannique, Alan Dysart, à séjourner dans sa villa, Heather fait la connaissance du gardien de la demeure, Harry Barnett, quinquagénaire désabusé et ayant un penchant prononcé pour l’alcool. Il sera le dernier à voir Heather le ...more
Thibaut Creton
Quel gâchis! L'intrigue est passionnante, et aurait pu donner lieu à une excellente enquête. Las, les défauts s'accumulent tout au long du roman, jusqu'à un final complètement grotesque.

"Heather Mallender a disparu" est une enquête menée par un homme qui n'arrive pas à se contenter de l'absence d'explication à la disparition d'Heather, qu'il avait brièvement connue et avec qui il avait sympathisé. Mais dès le début on le soupçonne, la police ne le croit pas ; bref, on est déjà dans la caricature
Aurelie B
Oct 22, 2016 Aurelie B rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
J’ai eu un gros coup de cœur pour ce roman policier, initialement écrit et publié en 1990 et ressorti récemment.
Je l’ai littéralement dévoré, impossible de m’arrêter.
L’intrigue est très riche et fourmille de petits détails, qui auront peut-être leur importance plus tard… ou pas.
Robert Goddard est très malin à ce sujet : là où chez un autre écrivain, tout détail placé dans l’intrigue trouvera sa justification plus loin (et rendant ainsi l’histoire un peu prévisible), il n’hésite pas à développer
Okayish. This book had a really great opening – a man is standing alone on a footpath near some cliffs in Rhodes waiting for a woman to return from her hike. He waits and waits and waits. It gets dark. She doesn’t return. He reports her disappearance to the police and gets put in jail because everyone is convinced he has murdered her. Her body is never found, he is convinced she is still alive, so once he is released from jail, he sets off to find her, following a series of photographs she took ...more
Oct 11, 2007 Cecilia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: thriller readers/mystery fans
Shelves: favorites
A great suspense tale filled with everything…adventure, love, surprises, action, great characters, tension, etc. This one has it all…it is one of the better suspense stories I’d read in a while…and I read quite a few. Starting off with the disappearance of a young woman in Greece, Goddard sets the stage for the type of book he’s writing. He gives us a main character (the man who is with the girl when she disappears) who is not always likable or honest. Do we believe he is innocent or not? When s ...more
R.J. Harries
Feb 07, 2014 R.J. Harries rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my favourite authors whose writing style and complex plotting sets him way above most of his contemporaries. This is the first in a series of three books about a middle-aged failed businessman called Harry Barnett who never has much luck or money but somehow gets sucked into great adventures with enough magic beans for travel and pubs, while younger better looking women constantly fall for his charms. If you can handle that then you’re in for a brilliant ride solving intriguing mysteries ...more
KEL Stephen
(Audio Book) First of all I enjoyed Into The Blue, Goddard writes very well and effectively and engagingly recounts any situation - even when nothing much is happening.
However, here and there I find Goddard's choice of vocabluary verbose and over-worked, which on occasion interefered with my involvement and submersion in the narrative - especially so, seeing as the first person narrator Harry Barnett is a chap from a standard background and education, where I come from indeed - so I found some
Dec 13, 2015 Maria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a great mystery novel. The writing was fantastic and had a depth to it that I rarely find in mystery novels lately. The story was unpredictable and the characters were well-developed. I found the protagonist, Harry, to be flawed and complex yet likable- while he seems to be an alcoholic and lack ambition, he springs into action when a young woman whom he befriended disappears on the island of Rhodes. While the memory of the missing girl begins to fade and the police call off their searc ...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.
More about Robert Goddard...

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Harry Barnett (3 books)
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