The Ways of the World : (The Wide World - James Maxted ) Paperback
Part of the The Wide World Trilogy series
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.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 544 pages
- Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
- Publication Date: 05/06/2014
- Category: Crime & mystery
- ISBN: 9780552167055
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Review by LARA335
I have read all of Goddard's novels, but this novel disappointed me so much I can't see myself rushing to buy another. The cover promises 'adultery... Paris 1919', but the adultery took place before the novel started, and - apart from some crippled veterans begging - there was little sense of place. I love historical mysteries for being informed whilst being entertained, but know no more about The Treaty of Versailles and postwar Paris after 500 pages.As Max tried to discover his father's murderer, a number of shadowy possibilities were introduced, but when he finally discovered the culprit it seemed just another shadowy name to me rather than a revelation (possibly my fault as I was so disengaged by the romp at that point that I was reading another book in tandem). What really took the biscuit though was the non existent ending. It seemed that, like me, Goddard got bored mid-paragraph and simply put his pen down. There was a note saying Max's story continues, and the first chapter included of the second novel, which didn't continue with him walking down a French road, but in Scotland I think. I can only guess that Goddard is too big a name for his publisher to have demanded the novel be completed?