22nd March 2019 – 4 stars.
This is my kind of book. Ordinary people, drawn into a dense, intriguing mystery that keeps you guessing till the final moments when all is revealed in a breathtaking climax. No gratuitous bad language or violence needed – just beautifully drawn characters and settings, wrapped around a small detail that mushroomed into a mystery that could not be ignored.
This was the first Robert Goddard book I’d read, and I doubt if it will be the last.
Ironically, Panic Room has a leisurely, but assured pace as estate agent, Don, makes what appears to be a routine visit to prepare a luxury house on the coast of Cornwall for sale. Once there, he encounters Blake, a free spirit, who may or may not have been running from something. Those elements of doubt and suspicion continued to drive the plot along as these two characters sense something is not quite right.
Central to this doubt and suspicion is the panic room, locked from within.
When a couple of malevolent characters arrive, demanding to know what is inside the room and how to gain access, Don and Blake are out of their depth. But they can’t walk away because they too want to know what’s going on and begin their own investigation.
The author cleverly weaves a number of disparate elements together into a satisfying thriller that picks up pace as the climax approaches. While Don and Blake are no detectives, they’re resolute, determined and resourceful, negotiating every obstacle to get to the shocking truth behind the panic room.
I loved the intrigue that drove the characters on, the unease that ran like a shiver through the whole story and the dramatic conclusion that still managed to throw in a few exciting surprises.
Panic Room’s a highly entertaining and original novel, cleverly plotted and executed with style. Definitely worth reading.
WHAT REALLY LIES WITHIN?
High on a Cornish cliff sits a vast uninhabited mansion. Uninhabited except for Blake, a young woman of mysterious background, currently acting as housesitter.
The house has a panic room. Cunningly concealed, steel lined, impregnable – and apparently closed from within. Even Blake doesn’t know it’s there. She’s too busy being on the run from life, from a story she thinks she’s escaped.
But her remote existence is going to be threatened when people come looking for the house’s owner, rogue pharma entrepreneur, Jack Harkness. Soon people with questionable motives will be asking Blake the sort of questions she can’t – or won’t – want to answer.
WILL THE PANIC ROOM EVER GIVE UP ITS SECRETS?