NEW BOOKS: Panic Room is Robert Goddard at his nerve-shredding best.
NEW BOOKS: Panic Room is Robert Goddard at his nerve-shredding best.

Books: Will the panic room reveal its secrets?

PANIC Room is Robert Goddard at his best. A sliver of a mystery kicks off a juggernaut of a thriller. Layers of secrets, half-truths and lies must be peeled back to reveal what really lies within.

Sometimes the danger is on the inside . . .

High on a Cornish cliff sits a vast uninhabited mansion. Uninhabited except for Blake, a young woman of dubious background, secretive and alone, 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.

"I feel safe here. That's really what it comes down to. Oh, there's the sea as well. I like the ocean in all its moods, from stormy to still: white, grey, turquoise, blue. I can watch the surf crashing on the rocks for hours.

"On windless mornings, I can hear the skylarks circling above me as I walk down to the beach, my legs brushing through the drifts of wild mustard and cow parsley on the narrow path. And then there are the sunsets, pink and scarlet and gold, out beyond Wolf Rock, over the tilt of the world. Nothing here is like where I came from originally.

I don't want to leave, like I did there, all the time. I want to stay. Maybe forever."

But her remote existence is going to be invaded when people come looking for the house's owner, missing rogue pharma entrepreneur, Jack Harkness. Suddenly the whole world wants to know where his money has gone. Soon people are going to come knocking on the door, people with motives and secrets of their own, who will be asking Blake the sort of questions she can't - or won't - want to answer.

And will the panic room ever give up its secrets?

Panic Room is Robert Goddard at his nerve-shredding best. A sliver of a mystery kicks off a juggernaut of a thriller. Layers of secrets, half truths and lies must be peeled back to reveal what really lies within.

Published by Bantam Press and available in bookstores now, the RRP is $32.99.


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