Painting the Darknessby Robert Goddard
“[Painting the Darkness] has all the ingredients of a first-class melodrama . . . engaging and satisfying.” —Times (UK)
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In Robert Goddard’s third novel, a bestseller in the United Kingdom and now back in print, is a masterful exercise in suspense set in Victorian-era England. On a mild autumn afternoon in 1882, thirty-four-year-old husband and father William Trenchard sits smoking his pipe in the garden of his comfortable family home. When the creak of the garden gate announces the arrival of an unexpected visitor, he is puzzled but not alarmed. He has no inkling of the destruction this man will wreak on all that he holds most dear. The stranger claims he is Sir James Davenall, the man to whom Trenchard’s wife Constance had once been engaged, and who had supposedly committed suicide eleven years ago. Davenall’s mother and younger brother, who has since inherited the family’s baronetcy, refuse to recognize this stranger as one of their own, and they soon force Trenchard—who fears the loss of his wife’s affections and his own sanity—into an uneasy alliance against him. But Trenchard must plumb the depths of his own despair before the dark secrets of the Davenall family can finally, shockingly, be revealed.
“Goddard, a master of intricate period skullduggery, hits his stride with a superb thriller on the old, old theme of the claimant to the identity of a long-vanished heir . . . [A] superior Victorian sampler.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“It explodes into action so that the reader is hooked by the time he reaches the third page . . . A superb storyteller.” —Sunday Independent (UK)
“Goddard goes from strength to strength . . . This exciting story, with its careful complexity and completeness—no loose ends—is a joy to read.” —Publishers Weekly