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Days Without Number

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  1,005 ratings  ·  89 reviews
Michael Paleologus, retired archaeologist and supposed descendant of the last Emperors of Byzantium, lives alone in a remote and rambling house in Cornwall. His son, Nicholas, is summoned to resolve a dispute which threatens to set his brothers and sisters against their aged and irascible father. An overly generous offer has been made for the house, but
Michael refuses to
Paperback, 464 pages
Published December 15th 2003 by Corgi (first published 2003)
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Average rating 3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,005 ratings  ·  89 reviews

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Mar 27, 2011 rated it it was ok
This was rather tedious. A convoluted plot, with dysfunctional characters-you'll love it or hate it.The author couldn't resist the urge to twist and turn the plot around-something he normally does extremely well. But in this instance, he tried to be too clever, and the plot suffered as a consequence of it. The characters on the other hand, all had their moments, and were the saving grace of what would otherwise have been an extremely disappointing read.The conclusion was predictable, and yet it ...more
Debbie Robson
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have lost count of the number of Robert Goddard books I have read but I’ve reviewed a few now on Goodreads. This is one of his more straight forward ones and with that observation comes another. Why aren’t movies being made of Goddard’s books? The only one that has so far is Into the Blue and evidently the film was a travesty as far as Goddard was concerned. Perhaps no one else has been game to try.
Days Without Number would be a good introduction to a series of films on his books. One of the
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The introduction to a rather unusual family in Cornwall comes through son Nick, driving west to reach his family home, Trennor, to spend time with his family, ostensibly gathering to celebrate his older brother Andrew's fiftieth birthday - but also to address some rather sticky matters regarding his elderly father. There is a suspiciously generous offer for the family home, twice the market price, and the siblings are being herded together to have a sit down about the details to pressure their ...more
Apr 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio-books
Formulaic Robert Goddard at its best for most of the book and then seemed to run out of steam at the end.

As usual I couldn't put it down and enjoyed the familiar elements of the dysfunctional Cornish family, ancient secrets, mysterious woman, tragic suicide of one of the more dysfunctional characters and travel by train through the more picturesque parts of Europe.

Too many loose ends seemed left dangling, though, or were hastily and confusingly gathered up in the final scenes which seemed
Feb 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent tale of family intrigue and secrets. Robert Goddard never fails to entertain and this story drew me in almost immediately and held my interest to the last page. The Paleologus family are offered a huge sum for their old Cornish family home but the father stubbonly refuses to consider the offer. After his unexpected death, his five children try to find out why, uncovering long buried secres and a body. My book of the month for April
Jan 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have always liked Robert Goddard's novels. I happened to find this one at my public library just the other day, and since I had not read it, I could not resist checking it out. It is a great story about a family, the Paleologus', who are allegedly descended from the last emperors of Byzantium. They live in Cornwall, and the patriarch of the family, Michael, who has five children, has been offered a huge sum of money for the house in which he lives. The kids are all for selling the house, but ...more
Mar 23, 2017 rated it liked it
This didn't turn out to be at all what I was expecting from the back cover and the first 50-100 pages of the novel, but it was still enjoyable, and it kept me intrigued enough to read almost straight through, trying to find out what was going to happen.
Mar 24, 2015 rated it liked it
It's a long time since I read a Robert Goddard. I was going to say he's a one trick pony, always writing about a modern event affected by something that happened long ago. But then many authors are like that. After all, Agatha Christie wrote nothing but detective stories! I have to admit this story kept me hooked - I read the book very quickly. Where I felt the book falls down is in its lack of the sense of place. I have recently reviewed The Water Clock and said I could feel the Fens right from ...more
May 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
What a blistering good read - again. Take a group of siblings - 3 brothers and two sisters - all with their own various dysfunctions (and don't we all acquire those over the years) leading them to covet the value of their father's house when an extremely generous offer is received for it. Cue the in family bickering and cue the strange death of the father. Then the cover ups and lies and intrigue all start and the so called secret of the family name unravel - all over Europe. Death, self ...more
Feb 11, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
This was a good, well written thriller and the plot was believable. However I too felt that the end was unsatisfying, the story sort of fizzled out. I feel that Goddard is getting a bit samey and it is hard to tell the difference between his main characters as I suspect that they are all him!
Ian Rodwell
May 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
A real page turner that I could not put down.

However the last quarter of the book (the Italy part) just completely lost it for me. I had really enjoyed the dynamics of the family to that point.

A disappointing end or else I would have given this 5 stars....
Deborah O'Regan
Dec 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Another great twist and turn form Robert Goddard....You never know where is books are going to go!
Dec 09, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mystery
Much ado about nothing. Unconvincing twisted plot with a huge anti-climax. I only gave it three stars because it had got me reading enough to finish it but a disappointment nevertheless.
Rand Harker
Jul 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
Ultimately unsatisfying. Structured on the One Damn Thing After Another system, and when the reveal is revealed it raises at least as many questions as it answers.
Oct 05, 2013 rated it liked it
kind of like DaVinci Code, in search of a hidden relic, the ending a little too pat
Aricia Gavriel
Jul 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: history, mystery, crime
Having read the promos for this, I expected a thriller. In fact, it’s an extremely interesting mystery, with about 50pp of domestic drama as the opener, and a short thriller sequence close to the end! It held my interest throughout, and in fact I’d been going to give it five stars … until about the p380 mark, at which point the book loses its sense of pace.

It doesn’t slow down; far from it. But the rhythm or timing, of an absolutely excellent book are nearly as important (especially on the last
Sridhar Babu
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Michael Paleologus, Nick Palelogus, Andrew Paleologus, Basil Paleologus, Demetrius constantine Palelogus, Emily Braybourne, Tom, Anna, Irne and others...


The story revolves around James, an ambivalent figure in the history of the Church, since to the Catholics the existence of sibilings of Christ is literally inconceivable, by reason of Mary's perpetual virginity. No dispassionate reading of the Gospels
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, 2019
Aficionados of medieval history will love this book. But me, not so much. The historical narrative was tedious and overdone. The characters were interesting and distinctive though. The story is that a house in Cornwall, belonging to an archeologist with Byzantine royal ancestors, conceals a secret. With shades of the Knights Templar and the Holy Grail, this secret can change the world. The improbable plot revolves around the adult children of the house traveling the world at great peril to ...more
Michael Heath-Caldwell
Jul 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: britain, fiction
Satisfactory country house murder mystery with the main characters getting knocked off in regular and quick succession, with a few double crossings as well. And some interesting history. Quite well written to keep that pages turning. Its late at night here and I can't think of anything else to say.
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fiction
Many people are probably turned off by this book's ending but I won't try to describe it here.

I really enjoy Goddard's books and would easily consider him to be my favorite living fiction author. I was, therefore, disappointed to find him contributing to the destruction of the concept of "begging the question" by using a variation of the term in the same sort of way our ignoramus t.v. personalities do. "But the promise only begged a question" P. 281 in my 439 pp ebook version.

Also, he has a
May 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
I debated between 2 and 3 stars on this book. At times it was a really compelling story, at other times it dragged on and seemed over complicated.

For a few chapters I was looking for a DaVinci Code wanna be. Other times it seemed like a family drama mystery. Neither really turned out to be the case. Overall I found the ending to be unsatisfying.
John Stanley
Jul 28, 2017 rated it did not like it
I am a Robert Goddard fan, but this was dreadful.

For me the plot became very unbelievable very early on, and it just got worse, with hints of Dan Brown style historical storylines.

I think this is the first time I've given a 1-star rating.
Daryl Kunzmann
Trudge Along ...

The book started along in a decent fashion that lead ... no where.
The characters were dull, self centered, or myopic. Others changed themselves like a set of clothes.
Sorry, I cannot recommend this as a good read.
Geoff Collins
Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Enjoyed reading. I like his place descriptions. True ending somehow kind of abrupt but it had to be ! Goddard is able to conjure intricate twists and turns!
Feb 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Not one of his best. Too many, not very likeable, characters and a plot that was too clever by half
May 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Had to get to the end, but did I understand = No. loads leads going nowhere, convoluted story. Perhaps best to read history of crusades and that era.
Jun 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very enjoyable twists and turns. My first book from Robert Goddard and certainly not the last.

Difficult to put down and with the UK theme all the more enjoyable.
Jul 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Started well with all the requisite twists, turns and double crosses. But then lost its way for me in some history of artefacts I did not care about
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What shopping good yarn. Check it out. You won't be disappointed.
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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.