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When Tim Harding is sent by his employer to buy an antique ring at auction, little does he realize that he is about to restart a chain of events which began many years before. The ring was first lost in a sinking off the isles of Scilly in 1707. When centuries later it is rediscovered in 1999, once again its appearance coincides with a terrible tragedy.

But before it can be sold, the ring is stolen and looks set to disappear forever. Until a shocking murder draws attention to a sequence of events designed to conceal crucial facts about its origins. At the heart of the mystery is a young woman whom Harding is certain he recognizes, even though they have never met before. As he goes in search of her identity, his life begins to unravel around him. Somewhere, a perilous truth about the ring awaits him, coupled with a dreadful realization: those who uncover the truth are not allowed to live…

Thus is the premise for this book by Robert Goddard. After reading this blurb on the back of the book which Sea sent me, I was excited to read it. It was a chance for me to learn a little bit of England's lesser known history. However, I must say that I was sorely disappointed in the outcome of the book. After zipping through the prologue, I was awaiting a mega-secret that would be of epic proportion... kinda along the lines of Dan Brown's revelation that Jesus and Mary were possibly married. The question about the ring was mentioned only once in the prologue, touched on briefly maybe 3/4 of the way through the book and at the end. The rest of the story was about Harding figuring out who this mystery woman was.

I haven't given up on Goddard for good, but if any of his other books are like this I will. As a reader I expect authors to deliver on what's on the menu so-to-speak. He didn't.

Robert Goddard

Like I said after reading Blackwood Farm, I'd better read Taltos next. Am glad I have done. I finished it on Sunday, (11th,) so it took me considerably less time to read than the other two "Lives of The Mayfair Witches" novels. At 520 pages in small print, for the paperback version, it is not a "quick read". Although slow to start, the plot soon draws you in, and I found myself no wanting to put it down.
For those of you have read The Witching Hour and Lasher, Taltos in this novel is the same type of being as Lasher, but without his controlling nature.
To read the synopsis from Anne Rice's website click here

There were one or two things that disappointed me in this novel, just niggly things although I am guessing the bulk of the copies of Taltos were sold in the USA, and these things wouldn't bother US reader. We have roads and motorways here in the UK, not highways, another thing was again just a language difference thing, but I've forgotten what it was, so it wasn't too bad. The other thing was we haven't had pound notes since 1982, it was just something that made me take notice at the time, as I presumed the novel is contemporary to when it was written.

Apart from those, I loved the way Anne Rice developed Mona Mayfair's character, and the introduction of Mary Jane Mayfair was just the right touch of humour. As a foil to Ash, the Taltos, Samuel was well developed, and never farcical, although he could have been. (No, I won't say who Samuel is, read the book to find out.) The speed with which Mona's pregnancy progresses would be shocking to someone who had just picked up Taltos as a random read, but I don't think it would spoil their enjoyment, as sufficient background is supplied.
I thoroughly enjoyed Taltos.

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