It's 1931. The new, luxurious transatlantic liner Empress of Britain is on her eastward passage. Among the first-class passengers on board are two English confidence tricksters, making a discreet exit from a scam they have left behind them in the United States. A chance meeting on deck brings them a tempting new target in the shape of the ...
It's 1931. The new, luxurious transatlantic liner Empress of Britain is on her eastward passage. Among the first-class passengers on board are two English confidence tricksters, making a discreet exit from a scam they have left behind them in the United States. A chance meeting on deck brings them a tempting new target in the shape of the beautiful and wealthy heiress, Diana Charnwood. It's a trick they've pulled before, with some success. Charm the daughter into an engagement to marry, then get the father to buy you off. So confident are they of success, in fact, that they make a pact: whichever of them wins Diana Charnwood's love will share his fortune with the other. But a violent death is to interrupt their neat little scheme. And they find themselves stumbling into something much darker than either had suspected...
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Publishers Weekly, 1995-11-20 British novelist Goddard's thriller of deception and conspiracy takes place in Europe between the world wars. (Jan.)
Publishers Weekly, 1993-11-08 Goddard's seventh novel (after A Debt of Dishonor ) about two dapper English con men in the 1930s, gets off to a droll and snappy beginning. Aboard ship after narrowly escaping prosecution for a financial scam in America, Guy Horton and Max Wingate meet a beautiful heiress, who they think is ripe for their particular brand of seduce-and-extort scheme. But their plans go awry when Max falls in love with Diana Charnwood and enlists Guy's help in an elopement that will ultimately leave her financier father dead, and Max accused of his murder. When Guy supplants Max as the main object of Diana's affections, a jealous brawl results in a second death--Max's. With this event, Goddard's lightly cynical buddy story becomes a political mystery. While halfheartedly attempting to prove Max's innocence--and pursuing Charnwood's disappeared millions as well as his deceitful daughter--Guy is drawn into an international conspiracy involving murder, money and war. Although Goddard is adept at intricate plotting, there is one major misstep; Max and Guy make an appealing duo but Guy alone isn't a strong enough character to carry the story solo, and thus Closed Circle fails to fulfill early promises of immense readability. (Jan.)
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