Sometimes the danger is on the inside . . .
High on a Cornish cliff sits a vast uninhabited mansion. Uninhabited except for Blake, a young woman of dubious background, secretive and alone, currently acting as housesitter.
The house has a panic room. Cunningly concealed, steel lined, impregnable – and apparently closed from within. Even Blake doesn’t know it’s there. She’s too busy being on the run from life, from a story she thinks she’s escaped.
But her remote existence is going to be invaded when people come looking the house’s owner, missing rogue pharma entrepreneur, Jack Harkness. Suddenly the whole world wants to know where his money has gone. Soon people are going to come knocking on the door, people with motives and secrets of their own, who will be asking Blake the sort of questions she can’t – or won’t - want to answer.
And will the panic room ever give up its secrets?
PANIC ROOM is Robert Goddard at his nerve-shredding best. A sliver of a mystery kicks off a juggernaut of a thriller. Layers of secrets, half truths and lies must be peeled back to reveal what really lies within.
THE BESTSELLING TRILOGY
For the first time, the trilogy that introduced you to the intrepid Max Maxted is available as one e-book.
Robert Goddard is 'the master of the triple double-cross' (The Times)
THE WAYS OF THE WORLD
With the fate of the world's nations hanging in the balance, a secret affair ends with the death of a senior British diplomat.
As the authorities try to pass it off as a bizarre accident, ex-RFC flying ace, James 'Max' Maxted is convinced otherwise and throws himself headfirst into the dark heart of a seemingly impenetrable mystery - hellbent on uncovering the truth.
With friends indistinguishable from foes, the only way is to keep pushing . . . until you can see who's pushing back!
THE CORNERS OF THE GLOBE
Max Maxted has left Paris after avenging the murder of his father, Sir Henry Maxted, convinced the only man who knows about the mysterious events leading up to his death is elusive German spymaster, Fritz Lemmer.
To find out more, he turns double agent and is despatched by Lemmer to the Orkney Isles to gain possession of a document secreted aboard one of the German battleships interned in Scapa Flow. But the information the document contains is so explosive Max is forced to break cover and embark on a desperate and dangerous race south.
Max can trust no-one and the stakes could not be higher. It is life and death for all concerned.
THE ENDS OF THE EARTH
Max Maxted's attempt to uncover the secret behind the death of his father has seemingly ended in failure - and his own death.
Unaware of Max's fate, the team continue to pursue their only lead, travelling to Japan in search of a mysterious prisoner held by Sir Henry's old enemy, Count Tomura. Once there, they encounter former German spymaster, Fritz Lemmer, now rebuilding his spy network in the service of a new, more sinister cause.
The quest Max embarked on in Paris will reach its dizzying end at Tomura's castle in the mountains of Honshu - and the full truth of what occurred thirty years before will finally be laid bare . . .
1919 – The truth has never been in such short supply
Ex-flying ace James ‘Max’ Maxted’s attempt to uncover the secret behind the death of his father, Sir Henry Maxted, has seemingly ended in failure – and his own death.
Unaware of Max’s fate, the team continue to pursue their only lead, travelling to Japan in search of a mysterious prisoner held by Sir Henry’s old enemy, Count Tomura. Once there, they encounter former German spymaster, Fritz Lemmer, now rebuilding his spy network in the service of a new, more sinister cause.
The quest Max embarked on in Paris will reach its dizzying end at Tomura's castle in the mountains of Honshu - and the full truth of what occurred thirty years before will finally be laid bare…
Spring, 1919. James ‘Max’ Maxted, former Great War flying ace, returns to the trail of murder, treachery and half-buried secrets he set out on in The Ways of the World. He left Paris after avenging the murder of his father, Sir Henry Maxted, a senior member of the British delegation to the post-war peace conference. But he was convinced there was more – much more – to be discovered about what Sir Henry had been trying to accomplish. And he suspected elusive German spymaster Fritz Lemmer knew the truth of it.
Now, enlisted under false colours in Lemmer’s service but with his loyalty pledged to the British Secret Service, Max sets out on his first – and possibly last – mission for Lemmer. It takes him to the far north of Scotland – to the Orkney Isles, where the German High Seas Fleet has been impounded in Scapa Flow, its fate to be decided at the conference-table in Paris. Max has been sent to recover a document held aboard one of the German ships. What that document contains forces him to break cover sooner than he would have wished and to embark on a desperate race south, towards London, with information that could destroy Lemmer – if Max, as seems unlikely, lives to deliver it...
1919. The eyes of the world are on Paris, where statesmen, diplomats and politicians have gathered to discuss the fate of half the world’s nations in the aftermath of the cataclysm that was the Great War. A horde of journalists, spies and opportunists have also gathered in the city and the last thing the British diplomatic community needs at such a time is the mysterious death of a senior member of their delegation. So, when Sir Henry Maxted falls from the roof of his mistress’s apartment building in unexplained circumstances, their first instinct is to suppress all suspicious aspects of the event.
But Sir Henry’s son, ex Royal Flying Corps ace James ‘Max’ Maxted, has other ideas. He resolves to find out how and why his father died – even if this means disturbing the impression of harmonious calm which the negotiating teams have worked so hard to maintain. In a city where countries are jostling for position at the crossroads of history and the stakes could hardly be higher, it is difficult to tell who is a friend and who a foe.And Max will soon discover just how much he needs friends, as his search for the truth sucks him into the dark heart of a seemingly impenetrable mystery.
It could be your average suicide. A man found dead in his car, engine running, parked at the end of a lonely track, a tube feeding deadly fumes from the exhaust through the window. Except for the seven-year-old boy still breathing in the boot...
For Jonathan Kellaway, the past is somewhere he chooses not to go. Dead friends, lost lovers and a family dynasty hell-bent on self- destruction lie buried there.
But if he is to uncover the truth, he must confront all the secrets which have consumed his life, and which may yet consume him...
1882. When the creak of the garden gate one autumn afternoon sounds the arrival of an unexpected stranger, William Trenchard is puzzled, but not alarmed. He cannot possibly know the destruction this visitor will wreak on all he holds dear.
The stranger is James Norton, who claims to be the man William's wife Constance was once engaged to, and who was reported to have committed suicide eleven years ago. Trenchard fears the loss of his wife's affections, but he is forced to plumb the depths of his own despair before the dark secrets of the Davenall family can finally - shockingly - be revealed...
January, 1721. London is reeling from the effects of the greatest financial scandal of the age - the collapse of the South Sea Bubble. William Spandrel, a penniless mapmaker, is offered a discharge of his debts by Sir Theodore Janssen, a director of the South Sea Company, on one condition: he must secretly convey an important package to Amsterdam.
The package safely delivered, Spandrel barely survives an attempt on his life, only to discover the recipient has been murdered, and Spandrel is the prime suspect. Spandrel quickly realises that he has become a pawn in several people's games - British Government agents, and others, are on his trail, believing that the mysterious package contains secrets that could spark a revolution in England.
Spandrel's only chance of survival is to recover the package and place its contents in the right hands. But what are the contents and whose exactly are the right hands?
Harry Barnett is shocked to learn that he has a son - David Venning, a brilliant mathematician, now languishing in hospital in a diabetic coma. And this is only the first and smallest of the mysteries he is about to encounter.
It is not known whether David's condition is due to an accident or a suicide attempt. But Harry discovers that his mathematical notebooks are missing from the hotel room where he was found. And two other scientists employed by the same American forecasting institute have died in suspicious circumstances.
Driven on by the slim hope of saving the son he never knew he had, Harry goes in search of the truth and finds himself entangled in several different kinds of conspiracy - none of which he ought to stand the slightest chance of defeating.
Lance Bradley, idling his life away in Somerset, suddenly receives a call for help from the eccentric sister of his old friend Rupert Alder. Rupe appears to have vanished without trace. Reluctantly, Lance goes to London where he discovers that Rupe's employers want him tried for fraud. A Japanese businessman claims he has stolen a document of huge importance. And Rupe has hired a private detective to try and trace an American called Townley, who was involved in a mysterious death thirty years before.
No sooner has Lance decided that whatever Rupe was up to is far too risky to get involved in, than he finds that he already is involved. And the only way out is to get in deeper still. Where is Rupe? What is the document he has stolen? Who is Townley? And could the seemingly unexplainable events of the past hold the key to a secret more shocking than Lance Bradley could ever have imagined?
1931. The new, luxurious transatlantic liner Empress of Britain is on her eastward passage. Among the first-class passengers on board are two English confidence tricksters, making a discreet exit from a scam they have left behind them in the United States. A chance meting on deck brings them a tempting new target in the shape of the beautiful and wealthy heiress, Diana Charnwood.
It's a trick they've pulled before, with some success. Charm the daughter into an engagement to marry, then get the father to buy you off. So confident are they of success, in fact, that they make a pact: whichever of them wins Diana Charnwood's love will share his fortune with the other.
But a violent death is to interrupt their neat little scheme. And they find themselves stumbling into something much darker than either had suspected...
When Tim Harding agrees to do a friend a favour by bidding for an antique ring at an auction on his behalf, he is unaware of the secrets tied up with it - secrets that date back three hundred years.
But the ring is stolen before it can be sold, and a shocking murder follows. Harding is quickly thrown into a web of conspiracies surrounding the ring's origins. As he draws closer to the heart of the mystery, he comes across a young woman he is certain he recognizes, even though they have never met.
But as he goes in search of her identity, his life begins to fall apart. Somewhere, a perilous truth awaits him, coupled with a terrible realization: those who uncover that truth cannot be allowed to live...
Thirteen years ago, surgeon Edward Hammond performed a life-saving operation on Serbian gangster Dragan Gazi. Now Gazi is standing trial for war crimes at the international court in The Hague. After Hammond saved his life, Gazi's men went on to slaughter thousands in the Balkan civil wars.
Now, in exchange for keeping Hammond's dirty little secret, Gazi's family want a small favour: to find the man who knows what happened to Gazi's money. But Italian financier Marco Piravani doesn't want to be found. And no sooner has Hammond tracked him down than he disappears again. Hammond has no choice but to set off across Europe in pursuit.
In Blood Count, every action has a consequence and every question must have an answer. Only then might Hammond be able to lay the past to rest...
Tristram Abberley was an acclaimed English poet of the 1930s whose legendary reputation was sealed when he died fighting for the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War. Nearly fifty years later, his sister Beatrix is brutally murdered in her seaside cottage.
Her family are stunned by the crime - especially Beatrix's niece, Charlotte Ladram. But Charlotte has little time to mourn her aunt as fifty years of secrets begin to unravel. Beatrix is the victim of a dark conspiracy, one that her loved ones are powerless to defeat. A harrowing quest for answers begins, one that uncovers a shocking tale of wartime greed and treachery, and a vendetta seemingly without end...
For actor Toby Flood, Brighton is the final week of a long tour. One night he is visited at the theatre by his estranged wife, Jenny, who, visibly scared, thinks she is being stalked. She asks Toby, for old times' sake, to find out what is going on.
Alarmingly he discovers a sinister connection with Jenny's new partner. Spurred on by a desire to win Jenny back, Toby begins to ask some difficult questions. Before he fully understands the risks he is running, he finds himself caught up in a mysterious - and dangerous - tangle of family rivalries and murderous intent. Suddenly the prospects for his survival start to look very far from good...
Geoffrey Staddon turned his back on the best things in his life. He turned his back on the beautiful house Clouds Frome, his finest achievement as an architect. He turned his back on the woman he loved, Consuela Caswell, and who loved him in return. Twelve years later, amidst the tatters of his career and marriage, he is forced to contemplate the remorse and shame of his betrayal.
But when he reads that Consuela has been charged with murder, he knows instinctively that she cannot be guilty. And when she sends her own daughter to him, pleading for help, Geoffrey cannot ignore the dangerous lure of the past any longer. He must return to Clouds Frome, and face the dark secret it holds.
Harry Barnett thought he had left his military career behind, so he is startled when two figures from his past turn up on his doorstep after fifty years. An old friend has organised the reunion to end all reunions: a weekend in the Scottish castle where the ex-comrades took part in a psychological experiment many years before. They haven't seen each other since.
As they set off on their all-expenses-paid jaunt to Aberdeen, the old friends are in high spirits. But the cheerful atmosphere is quickly shattered by the apparent suicide of one of their party.
When a second death occurs, a sense of foreboding descends on the group. It appears that the past is coming back to haunt them, a past that none of them have ever spoken about. Their recollections are all frighteningly different. So what really happened?
Then when one of them uncovers an extraordinary secret, he becomes convinced that they will never leave the castle alive...
Recovering from the tragic death of his wife, Tony Sheridan goes to stay with his sister-in-law, Lucy, and her husband.Their home is a bizarre moated house deep in the Rutland countryside, known as Otherways.
Disturbed by memories of his wife, and a growing attraction to Lucy, Sheridan is also troubled by weird and vivid dreams. Soon he learns that Otherways is a house steeped in a history of murder and wartime treason. And it seems that these crimes hold an eerie influence over the present inhabitants.
It is a hot summer's day in the tourist village of Avebury. A man sits outside the Red Lion pub, waiting. He sees a woman with three young children, two of them running ahead while their sister dawdles behind. A child's voice catches on the breeze.
For want of anything more interesting to do, the man watches. He sees nothing sinister or threatening. Even when another figure enters his field of vision, he does not react. The figure is ordinary - male, short-haired, stockily built.But he is moving fast, at a loping run.
And then it happens. In one swift movement, the running man grabs the youngest child and carries her away. Still the man outside the pub does not react. Suddenly, awhite transit van bursts into view, its engine racing, its rear door slamming shut. The child and her abductor are inside. The child's sister rushes forward. The man outside the pub jumps up...
The tragedy begins at Avebury. But it does not end there.
Some secrets are best kept hidden...
Nick Paleologus is summoned to resolve a dispute that threatens to tear his family apart. His father, Michael, is a retired archaeologist and supposed descendant of the last Emperors of Byzantium. Michael has received a hugely generous offer for the family home in Cornwall, but refuses to sell - and refuses to divulge why.
But soon the stalemate between Nick's siblings and their father is tragically broken. And only then do they discover why their father was bound to protect the house at all costs.
Their desperate efforts to conceal the truth drag them into a deadly conflict with an unseen and unknown enemy. Soon, Nick realises the only chance they have of escaping from their persecutor's trap is to hunt this ruthless adversary down. But the hunt involves excavating a terrible secret from their father's past. And once that secret is known, nothing will ever be the same again.
Robert Goddard was born in Hampshire and read History at Cambridge. His first novel, Past Caring, was an instant bestseller. Since then his books have captivated readers worldwide with their edge-of-the-seat pace and their labyrinthine plotting. The first Harry Barnett novel, Into the Blue, was winner of the first WHSmith Thumping Good Read Award and was dramatized for TV, starring John Thaw. His thriller, Long Time Coming won an Edgar in the Mystery Writers of America awards. Robert's most recent books feature hero James 'Max' Maxted.