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An introduction to the Wide World trilogy

I’m delighted the three books of my Wide World trilogy are now available as an ebook bundle. The trilogy’s always been a popular form of story-telling literature and certainly the greater scope it offered me for plotting was one of the reasons why I embarked on these three linked books.

The story they tell is another. Something about the idea that came to me regarding the intrigue behind the apparently accidental death of Sir Henry Maxted in Paris during the 1919 peace conference insisted on being a longer, deeper mystery than those I’ve tackled before – and it’s fair to say none of those were exactly lacking in length and depth.

The peace conference itself is a character in its own right in this story. I think the complexity of the manoeuvring and conspiring that went on in Paris during the first six months of 1919 inspired me to plan a story that reflected some of that by ranging widely, as the title implies, across the post-war world as it was in the wake of the Great War.

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The principal character is, of course, James ‘Max’ Maxted, war pilot and man of action, sub-consciously looking for – and finding – all the danger and adventure he should have waved goodbye to at the conclusion of hostilities. He and his loyal friend Sam Twentyman are the binding elements in a story that begins in March of 1919 and ends four months later, whisking us in the process from Paris to Japan via London, the Orkney Isles, Marseilles, Switzerland and the high seas.

Another advantage of the trilogy form was that I could build in surprises not just of plot but of character. Who is important and who isn’t? Who can be trusted and who can’t? Readers should study the people who move through these pages carefully. Some are more, or less, than they first seem. Some have secret stories of their own that will shape the outcome of Max’s quest for the truth about his father’s death. Others flatter to deceive.

At the heart of this trilogy is a secret that binds Max’s own identity to the struggle for dominion among the world powers dividing the spoils after victory over Germany and her allies. It’s a great roller-coaster ride to jump onto that will deliver thrills, spills and shocks along the way – and a resolution that can scarcely be envisaged at the outset of the story.

Except by me, of course. I really enjoyed the unusually broad scope of the trilogy and the opportunities it gave me. It’s great to know readers can now engage with the three books as a whole. Join the journey and follow Max and Sam and the true friends they find among all the foes they encounter as they search for the answers to all the questions. The final answer is waiting – at the end of the road.

Read more about The Ways of the World. Have you read any of the books in the Wide World trilogy? Let us know in the comments below!

Robert Goddard, author of The Fine Art of Invisible Detection
Robert Goddard, author of The Fine Art of Invisible Detection
Robert Goddard

Robert Goddard was born in Hampshire and read History at Cambridge. His first novel, Past Caring, was an instant bestseller. Since then his books have captivated readers worldwide with their edge-of-the-seat pace and their labyrinthine plotting. The first Harry Barnett novel, Into the Blue, was winner of the first WHSmith Thumping Good Read Award and was dramatized for TV, starring John Thaw. His thriller Long Time Coming won an Edgar in the Mystery Writers of America awards. Robert’s most recent books feature hero James ‘Max’ Maxted.

1 Comment

    Goddard achievement is to make the reader fell there really is something at stake love ,death, war,loyalty.An exuberant trilogy.

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