Robert Goddard (novelist)

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Robert William Goddard
Robert Goddard
Robert Goddard
Born (1954-11-13) 13 November 1954 (age 64)
Fareham, Hampshire, England
GenreMystery fiction,
Crime fiction

Robert William Goddard (born 13 November 1954 in Fareham, Hampshire) is an English novelist.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Goddard was educated at Bathampton County Primary School then Wallisdean County Junior School and Price's Grammar School in Fareham before going on to study history at Peterhouse at the University of Cambridge. After unsuccessful attempts at careers in both journalism and teaching, he worked for a time as an educational administrator in Devon before becoming a full-time novelist. His thrillers usually have a historical element and settings in provincial English towns and cities, and many plot twists. They usually involve the lead character gradually uncovering a conspiracy which has long been kept secret, by means of historical documents such as diaries or by means of word-of-mouth accounts that have been handed down from one person to another. Goddard's first novel, Past Caring, was published in 1986. He has since written more than twenty novels; the majority were Sunday Times Top Ten best-sellers in the UK.


Goddard's 1990 book Into the Blue was the inaugural winner of the W H Smith Thumping Good Read Award, presented to the best new fiction author of the year.

Goddard's 1997 book Beyond Recall was nominated for the Edgar Award Best Novel prize but lost out to Mr White's Confession by Robert Clark.

Goddard's book Long Time Coming won the 2011 Edgar Award for Best Original Paperback and was nominated for the 2011 Anthony award in the same category.[2][3]

In 2019 , Goddard was awarded the Cartier Diamond Dagger by the Crime Writers' Association for his outstanding lifetime's contribution to the crime fiction genre.[4]

Harry Barnett[edit]

The books Into the Blue, Out of the Sun and Never Go Back,[5] although distinct books in their own right, form a chronological series featuring the central character of Harry Barnett. Harry Barnett also appears in Goddard's only published short story, 'Toupee for a Bald Tyre'.

Into the Blue was adapted for television in 1997 and starred John Thaw in the lead role of Harry Barnett. Robert Goddard was not impressed with the adaptation. In an interview, he said "The TV version of Into the Blue was a travesty of the story I wrote and I am determined that any future adaptations should be more faithful to the original."

Personal life[edit]

Robert Goddard is married and lives with his wife Vaunda in Truro, Cornwall. Several of the recent books published in his name have identified Vaunda as joint holder of the copyright.


  • One False Move (2019), ISBN 9780593076385
  • Panic Room (2018), ISBN 9780593076361
  • The Ends of the Earth (2015), ISBN 9780593069790
  • The Corners of the Globe (2014), ISBN 9780593069752
  • The Ways of the World (2013), ISBN 9780593069738
  • Fault Line (UK: March 2012), ISBN 0-593-06520-4
  • Blood Count (UK: March 2011), ISBN 0-593-06508-5
  • Long Time Coming (UK: January 2010, US: March 2010), ISBN 0-593-06025-3
  • Found Wanting (September 2008), ISBN 0-593-06023-7
  • Name to a Face (September 2007), ISBN 0-593-05367-2
  • Never Go Back (April 2006), ISBN 0-593-05365-6
  • Sight Unseen (May 2005), ISBN 0-593-05363-X
  • Play to the End (May 2004), ISBN 0-593-04760-5
  • Days Without Number (May 2003), ISBN 0-593-04759-1
  • Dying to Tell (November 2001), ISBN 0-593-04758-3
  • Sea Change (November 2000), ISBN 0-593-04274-3
  • Set in Stone (November 1999), ISBN 0-593-04271-9
  • Caught in the Light (June 1998), ISBN 0-593-04266-2
  • Beyond Recall (June 1997), ISBN 0-593-03617-4
  • Out of the Sun (June 1996), ISBN 0-593-03614-X
  • Borrowed Time (April 1995), ISBN 0-593-03587-9
  • Closed Circle (November 1993), ISBN 0-593-02492-3
  • Hand in Glove (November 1992), ISBN 0-593-02489-3
  • Take No Farewell (June 1991), ISBN 0-593-01859-1 (Published in North America as Debt of Dishonour)
  • Into the Blue (May 1990), ISBN 0-593-01808-7
  • Painting the Darkness (June 1989), ISBN 0-593-01413-8
  • In Pale Battalions (May 1988), ISBN 0-593-01410-3
  • Past Caring (August 1986), ISBN 0-7090-2743-5


  1. ^ Stasio, Marilyn (14 March 2010). "Killing by Numbers". New York Times. Retrieved 8 May 2011.
  2. ^ J. Kingston Pierce (28 April 2011). "The Rap Sheet: Matching Edgars with Authors". Retrieved 1 March 2012.
  3. ^ "Bouchercon World Mystery Convention : Anthony Awards Nominees". 2 October 2003. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
  4. ^ "The Diamond Dagger: Robert Goddard", Crime Writers Association. Retrieved 15 April 2019
  5. ^

External links[edit]