cover image Debt of Dishonour

Debt of Dishonour

Robert Goddard. Poseidon Press, $20.5 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-671-70484-1

British writer Goddard ( Into the Blue ) is a notably literate and imaginative practitioner of the novel of romantic suspense. His books generally feature a long-buried, often tragic secret that is brought to light after complex twists and turns of fate. The narrrator of this increasingly suspenseful story is Geoffrey Staddon, a successful London architect whose soul is scarred by shame over an act he committed a decade before. Having fallen in love with the beautiful Brazilian wife of Victor Caswell, for whom he was designing a sumptuous country residence, Geoffrey reneged on his promise to run away with Consuela after being offered a commission that would bring him wealth and public acclaim. Now, learning that Consuela has been accused of the death of her niece and attempted murder of her husband, Geoffrey sees a chance to redeem his craven betrayal by proving her innocence. Becoming once again involved in the affairs of the Caswell family, Geoffrey is drawn into a snare of lies and evil deeds, and participates in events that threaten his own life. Goddard is a fluent writer adept at character portrayal and scenic description (London, Hereford, Cap Ferrat). Though his plot here seems overloaded with loathsome, amoral and ruthless characters, his urbane narrative skill will keep readers happily absorbed. (Jan.)