"That feeling is why I'm talking into this machine. I can't quite describe it. Not foreboding, exactly. Not excitement. Not even anticipation. Something slipping between all three, I suppose. A thrill; a shiver; a prickling of the hairs on the back of the neck; a ghost tiptoeing across my grave."
Although some of his more recent works have been slightly disappointing, I still consider Robert Goddard to be one of my favourite authors - mainly based on his dozen or so earliest novels. "Play to the End" is from 2004, just about the time it all started to go downhill a bit. In fact, for about three quarters of the novel, this was among the least engaging Goddard books I've read. Yes, it's beautifully written -as always- and there are once again lots of twists and turns. But the characters didn't click and the mystery couldn't really hold my attention. However, in the last 100 pages or so, the story really picks up speed and the finale is satisfying. So, not his best by a long shot (I'd suggest "Painting the Darkness" or "Take no Farewell"), but not one to skip either.
Author: Robert Goddard
Title: Play to the End
Publisher: Corgi, London
Number of pages: 443 p.