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The Ways of the World

Narrated by: Elliot Chapman
Series: James Maxted Thrillers, Book 1
Length: 11 hrs and 34 mins
4 out of 5 stars (41 ratings)

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Summary

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’ 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.

©2013 Robert Goddard (P)2019 Audible, Ltd

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Complex, diverse, but over 30 minutes missing

I’m amazed at Robert Goddard’s diversity as an author. He writes with conviction about many different eras, the premise generally crafted around real events and involves a missing letter or similar artefact.

The Ways of the World is set predominantly in post WW1 Paris. 1919 and world leaders have gathered to agree how Europe should be carved up. Our hero is a distinguished pilot; his background is one of privilege and his father has been found dead after falling from the roof of a Paris building. Did he fall, was he pushed or did he commit suicide? As anticipated with a Goddard story, there are numerous characters, well defined, plausible and with complex motivation. I enjoyed this tale which involved duplicity with French and British Gvt officials, police and secret services. Throw in a smattering of Japanese involvement and disaffected Jews...I was gripped as the complex plot unfolded and it was difficult to second guess who may be responsible. Then there was an offer for someone to change sides...and the story ended. Very suddenly, almost mid sentence. Despite the statement saying to continue listening to hear what happened next and some 27 minutes showing as unplaced, the book stopped.

So yes, I’ve enjoyed it, but the ending leaves me uncertain as to whether this audio version is complete. I’m returning the book.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent great fun.

I am reviewing the entire trilogy, because this is really one book in three parts, with the same, albeit evolving story. These are fast paced, exciting, novels set in an interesting period of history, 1919, with three dimensional characters, a decent complicated plot and several surprises along the way. The reader is particularly good and he keeps his voices, in several different accents, both men and women, consistent and believable. I thoroughly enjoyed them all.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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well up to usual standards

something of a division to his usual one off stories as there is a book 2 which we will eagerly look forward to hearing next!

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Moderately entertaining

This is an old fashioned thriller (none the worst for that perhaps) very much in the vein of John Buchan or W.E. Johns. The intricate plot is competently narrated by Elliot Chapman but I am afraid that I was not sufficiently gripped to take up the rather blatant inducement provided by the the unresolved conclusion to purchase the sequel.

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Superb

An excellent story. Very well read. Now on to the next book in the series...

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Classic Goddard

A big fan and this did not disappoint. Beautifully woven story, which, as ever, intrigues. I just struggled with the narration.

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A thoroughly enjoyable & engaging tale of post WWI intrigue

For those who enjoy this time & genre, this is a fast paced & entertaining listen. Skillfully narrated & with an eye for timely detail, Max & his shared story-dwellers rely on intrigue, ingenuity, & some suspension of reality to transport the listener on a rollicking journey.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Spy drama of a hundred years ago.

I liked the characterisation ably voiced by the expert narrator, which lent credibility to this historic spy story, apart from some French pronunciation which was not obtrusive. The author’s hero, Max, ,though lightly portrayed, is likeable, upright and full of derringdo, and I look forward to more of his adventures, loyally supported by his respectful veteran aide, Sam.
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A thriller of mystery, a mysterious thriller.

Gripping. I have become involved in the characters and the subtly unfolding mystery of Max's father. The narrator is excellent, with an unimportant flaw being that his rendering of American speech isn't the best. Nobody's perfect!