Review: The Ways of the World by Robert Goddard
From the author of In Pale Battalions comes a new World War I thriller, filled with espionage and of course, a mysterious murder. James “Max” Maxted has recently returned from a German POW camp at the conclusion of WWI, and is described as “a refreshing throwback to an earlier romantic tradition of heroes,” by The New York Times. As a Royal Flying Corps veteran, his ambitions go no further than to start a flying school with his former plane engineer and fellow veteran Sam Twentyman. While Max is not particularly close with his father, Sir Henry Maxted, a British diplomat serving in Paris during the Treaty of Versailles negotiations, when he is notified of his father’s unexpected death outside of a Montparnasse apartment building, Max is suspicious that there is more to the story than Sir Henry’s merely tripping and falling from the roof.
Max and his older brother, now Sir Ashley, travel to Paris to claim the body, but Max is unsatisfied to say the least at the official explanation offered by the British
secret service; rather, his suspicions are further aroused by the haste in which they seem to desire a conclusion to the proceedings. He is thus determined to stay behind in Paris to root out the actual affairs that led to his father’s death. Max’s dogged relentlessness to find the truth leads him through the twisted politics of 1919 Paris, a city seething with spies, double agents and assassins.
Goddard’s likeable and realistic characters make this story come alive and kept me reading almost as much as the intriguing plot. A master of suspense, Goddard writes yet another gripping page-turner that is sure not to disappoint. One note of warning: this is book 1 in a trilogy, so while the key points are neatly wrapped up, there are aspects to the over-arching plot that wait for resolution in the next book in the series, The Corners of the Globe.