Borrowed Time

ISBN: 0385339224
ISBN 13: 9780385339223
By: Robert Goddard

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1990s Crime Currently Reading Fiction Mysteries Mystery Mystery Thriller Suspense Thriller To Read

About this book

It is a golden evening of high summer in July 1990. Robin Timariot has set out that morning on what he has planned as a six-day tramp along part of Offa's Dyke. At the close of his first day's walk he encounters anĀ  elegant middle-aged woman who seems strangely out of place among the sheep and gorse of Hergest Ridge. They exchange only a few words of conversation, but their talk is enigmatic -- and unforgettable. A few days later, at the end of his walk, Timariot returns home to learn from the newspapers that, just a few hours after their meeting, the woman, whose name was Louise Paxton, was raped and then murdered, along with an artist, Oscar Bantock, who lived near by.A man is swiftly charged and convicted of the crime, but a string of inexplicable events begins to convince Timariot -- and others -- that all is not what it seems. Timariot, fascinated by Louise Paxton's memory, is drawn irresistibly into the complex motives and relationships of her family and friends, searching against his better judgement for the secret of what really happened on the day she died. The closer he gets to the truth, the more hideous and uncertain it seems to be. And far too late he realizes that it may threaten many powerful people. So much so that anybody who uncovers it is unlikely to be allowed to live.From the Paperback edition.

Reader's Thoughts

Zoe Jussel

I wish there were half stars and I would likely give this 3.5. I have just discovered Goddard and I must say, he weaves a tale more twisted than a bag of licorice whips! Just when you think everything is all tied up in a pretty bow, you note that you have only read a fourth of the book (via Kindle % at the bottom) and wonder what else there could possibly be. , After a bit impatience for the author to "get on with it",he's got you again and off you go and a long ride to what will eventually segue into a light bulb over the head moment. This is a long book, but very well written about a walk in the woods, the meeting of two strangers, desire, yearning, murder and greed, and finally retribution of a different nature.


I normally like Robert Goddard's books as they usually have a fantastic twist. This was not one of his good ones. I found the main character unlikeable and the story pretty pedestrian. I wouldn't recommend this one.

Viji Sarath (Bookish endeavors)

An enjoyable read. The plot is original and the characters are interesting. But this book is unlike the usual books in the same genre. There is a touch of psychology and mysticism. The characters have a haunting nature and often disturb our thoughts. After finishing the book,I felt a bit hollow inside. It was not what I expected. As the story progressed,more and more facts unravelled but instead of making things more clear,it made it more complicated. A must-read for those who love real thrillers. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


What I love about this book is the depth to which the reader gets to know each character, especially the narrator, Robin Timariot. The novel is very well-written and absorbing. However, this is one of Goddard's weaker books in terms of plot. At times, the story here borders on the very edge of credibility. Equally disappionting is the ending. The "mystery" was quite foreseeable and came as no surprise at all.

Jennifer Jowsey

this was one of the slowest moving, dullest, most excruciating books i've ever read. the last 8 pages or so before the epilogue were decent, but the rest ... it just dragged terribly. there was more about the board meetings of the cricket company than discussion of the mystery. i was disappointed.


I tried to finish this book, but it was just too slow moving.

Judith Cranswick

Critics who look down crime fiction claiming that it has little literary merit have never read Robert Goddard. Goddard's choice of words and his wonderful descriptive passages serve only to heighten rather than decrease the tension. There is suspense and menace aplenty. Goddard is a master plotter, the twists and turns keep one reading long after the reader had intended to stop. Although not his best novel, Borrowed Time proved compulsive reading right to the very final twist.

Johan Strijker

Gestolen tijd


A bit long winded, but really good characters. The ending was unexpected

R.k. Bisht

superb storylines, last part is just too thrilling.


I tried reading this and the first few pages just didn't catch my interest. So there are so many books that do from the start, I am setting this one aside.

Hazel McHaffie

Having loved Past Caring I ordered three more Goddard books. Borrowed Time has a very complicated plot - just when you think the mystery is resolving it all unravels again. Not as good as Past Caring but still impressive.

Paul J.

Great summer read! Loved the character development and multiple plot twists. While so many writers back themselves into a corner, Goddard did the opposite. He could have ended this book in half a dozen ways, and any one of them would have been believable and satisfying.


Great ending - didn't see that coming, and worth it after quite a slow but still absorbing story which built up and built up

Phil Roberts

Took a while to get going but loved the twists and turns.

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