'The master of the clever twist' Sunday Telegraph
Harry Barnett thought he had left his military career behind, so he is startled when two figures from his past turn up on his doorstep after fifty years. An old friend has organised the reunion to end all reunions: a weekend in the Scottish castle where the ex-comrades took part in a psychological experiment many years before. They haven't seen each other since.
As they set off on their all-expenses-paid jaunt to Aberdeen, the old friends are in high spirits. But the cheerful atmosphere is quickly shattered by the apparent suicide of one of their party.
When a second death occurs, a sense of foreboding descends on the group. It appears that the past is coming back to haunt them, a past that none of them have ever spoken about. Their recollections are all frighteningly different. So what really happened?
Then when one of them uncovers an extraordinary secret, he becomes convinced that they will never leave the castle alive...
At the start of British author Goddard's well-crafted new thriller, Harry Barnett, the almost too unprepossessing hero of Into the Blue and Out of the Sun, returns to his hometown of Swindon, where he gets unexpectedly swept into a reunion of RAF servicemen with whom he had participated in a three-month research project 50 years earlier. Clever nicknames and brief characterizations help the reader keep track of the 14 members of the group, some of whom have died in the intervening years. After returning to the Scottish castle where the experiment took place, Harry's compatriots start (a bit predictably) dropping like flies, and suspicions grow about the true nature of the long-ago project, ostensibly only an exercise in gauging the effect of intensified academic pressure. Barnett, reunited with his dodgy pal Barry "Fission" Chipchase, is caught in the middle, and soon the two find themselves the primary suspects in the murders. Smooth prose and pitch-perfect pacing make this otherwise conventional story entertaining and absorbing.