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Play to the End

Robert Goddard: Play to the End (USA 2006)

From the Publisher:
Once Toby Flood played a Bond-like hero in a Hollywood film. Now he's serving a sentence in a crippled traveling production of a newly unearthed Joe Orton play -- a play that might have saved Toby's career if only someone enjoyed watching it. Painfully, the show's swan song is coming in Brighton, where Toby's wife happens to be living happily with another man in anticipation of a divorce decree. Then, almost as if he were scripted, a stranger enters the scene...

A stalker is frightening Toby's wife, Jenny, who believes the man is probably one of her estranged husband's fans. When Jenny asks Toby to confront the man, Toby leaps at the chance. Soon, he's moonlighting from the stage lights and heroically pursuing... something. The truth is, the more Toby finds out about Jenny's stalker, the more questions he has about a twisting tale of unexplained deaths, interlocking lives, and the violent, greedy adventures of none other than Jenny's wealthy fiancé -- a man who might make the perfect villain, if only the hero lives long enough to prove it...

Robert Goddard: Play to the End. Delta Trade, ISBN: 0385339186 (April, 2006), 342 p., $12.00

 

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Play to the End

Robert Goddard: Play to the End (UK 2004)

From the Publisher:
Actor Toby Flood arrives in Brighton for the final week of the production of a Joe Orton play. That night he is visited by his estranged wife, Jenny, who is worried that she is being stalked by a strange man. She asks Toby, for old times’ sake, to follow the man and get to the bottom of things.

What he discovers is a legacy of industrial negligence and a sinister connection with Jenny’s new partner, Roger Colborn. Spurred on by a desire to win Jenny back, Toby begins to ask probing questions. Before he fully understands the risks he is running, he finds himself caught up in a mysterious - and dangerous - tangle of family rivalries and murderous intent. The prospects for his survival until the close of the show suddenly start to look very far from good…

Robert Goddard: Play to the End. Corgi Books; ISBN: 0552148792 (November, 2004); 419 p., £6.99

 

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Play to the End

Robert Goddard: Play to the End (UK 2004)

From the Publisher:
Actor Toby Flood, formerly of big and small screen, arrives in Brighton on the first Sunday in December with the other cast members of the Joe Orton play Lodger in the Throat. They have been on tour since September and are looking forward to the end of the run the following Saturday.

Flood is visited that night by his estranged wife, Jenny, now living with wealthy entrepreneur Roger Colborn, whose country residence, Wickhurst Manor, lies just north of Brighton. Jenny runs a shop in the Lanes and is worried about a strange man who has taken to hanging around outside. Roger has dismissed her concerns and she hopes instead that Toby will agree for old times’ sake to follow the man and get to the bottom of his behaviour. Reluctantly, Toby agrees.

Next day he trails the man to his house and confronts him. Derek Oswin is an unemployed loner, who blames Colborn for his father’s death from cancer, on account of dangerous practices at the defunct plastics factory run by Roger and his father, the late Sir Walter Colborn. Many other workers at the factory met a similar fate and Oswin wants to remind Colborn of what he should have on his conscience. Circumstances conspire to draw Flood further and further into Oswin’s life. Colborn gets wind of Flood’s contact with Jenny and tries to buy him off, but Flood sees only a longed-for opportunity to win Jenny back. Before he fully understands the risks he is running, he finds himself entangled in the mysterious - and dangerous - relationship between the Oswins and the Colborns. Prospects of his survival until the close of the show suddenly start to look very far from good.

Play to the End is another classic Robert Goddard mystery, intricate, fascinating and deeply satisfying to the last page.

Robert Goddard: Play to the End. Bantam Books, ISBN: 0593047605 (May, 2004), 335 p., £16.99

 

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