Goddard back to best

July 18, 2011

Blood Count, by Robert Goddard (Bantam Press, RRP $40):

Author Robert Goddard has been criticised in the past for being a little formulaic with his plot development, but he is back to his best with this latest novel in his quite prolific career.

I suppose the fact that his past eight novels have all appeared on Britain’s Sunday Times bestseller list is also a pretty good answer to that criticism.

The main character in Blood Count is surgeon Edward Hammond, a man who finds that there is no such thing as easy money.

Dr Hammond accepts a fairly generous fee to perform surgery on Serbian bad guy Dragan Gazi, who goes on to commit atrocious war crimes.

Fast-forward 13 years and Gazi’s family is putting pressure on the good doctor.

Gazi is standing trial for those war crimes and his family is looking for the money he has hidden away.

And they want Dr Hammond’s help to find it.

This is one of those epic novels that has stacks of complex characters and an even more complex storyline, but it manages to move from place to place and character to character easily and seamlessly.

There are also plenty of plot twists, which is one of Goddard’s strengths.

The ending wasn’t as strong as the rest of the book but all-in-all it was still a good read.

Jillian Allison-Aitken

I come from the other land down under, where men are men, and sheep are nervous. I'm a sub-editor and in the past have been a proof-reader, news editor and web editor. I am also an ex-columnist, and book and software reviewer for the local daily newspaper.I still read. A lot. And surf the web. Also a lot.You'll find a little about both of those pastimes here, and on By George.

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