cover image Found Wanting

Found Wanting

Robert Goddard, Bantam, $15 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-0-385-34362-6

At the start of Goddard's highly entertaining suspense novel, London civil servant Richard Eusden is contemplating "the predictable day and unsurprising week that lie ahead" one Monday morning outside his office in Whitehall. Then Richard's ex-wife, Gemma, pulls over in her car and insists he get in. Marty Hewitson, Richard's "childhood friend" and Gemma's "other ex-husband," is dying from a brain tumor, and she needs Richard to deliver to Marty an old leather attaché case that belonged to Marty's grandfather, Clem Hewitson. An Isle of Wight police officer who's been dead more than 20 years, Clem was known to exaggerate and sometimes invent adventures that included spies, murderers, and arsonists. But this ordinary errand takes a wild turn, and soon Richard is crisscrossing Europe, dodging assassins trying to protect the satchel that may contain secret documents related to the Romanovs. Richard can't trust anyone, least of all Marty. Goddard (Long Time Coming) imbues his clever plot with hairpin turns and sophisticated humor. (Mar.)