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When Harry Barnett is informed that his son has been hospitalized in a diabetic coma, he thinks there is some mistake. He doesn't have a son. But Harry soon discovers otherwise. David Venning, a brilliant mathematician working in realms of thought that only a handful of people on earth could even begin to compreh, is now susped somewhere between life and death. The question When Harry Barnett is informed that his son has been hospitalized in a diabetic coma, he thinks there is some mistake. He doesn't have a son. But Harry soon discovers otherwise. David Venning, a brilliant mathematician working in realms of thought that only a handful of people on earth could even begin to compreh, is now susped somewhere between life and death. The question of Harry's paternity is immediately resolved, but other, darker mysteries quickly intervene. David Venning's tragic condition appears to be either accidental or self-inflicted. But his precious notebooks are missing from the hotel room in which he was found. Two other scientists employed have died in suspicious circumstances. Harry is propelled into an arena of conspiratorial intrigue, brilliantly rered by Goddard's deft and atmostpheric prose. He journeys to Europe and the United States in search of the truth, in an effort to help the son that he's never met.


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When Harry Barnett is informed that his son has been hospitalized in a diabetic coma, he thinks there is some mistake. He doesn't have a son. But Harry soon discovers otherwise. David Venning, a brilliant mathematician working in realms of thought that only a handful of people on earth could even begin to compreh, is now susped somewhere between life and death. The question When Harry Barnett is informed that his son has been hospitalized in a diabetic coma, he thinks there is some mistake. He doesn't have a son. But Harry soon discovers otherwise. David Venning, a brilliant mathematician working in realms of thought that only a handful of people on earth could even begin to compreh, is now susped somewhere between life and death. The question of Harry's paternity is immediately resolved, but other, darker mysteries quickly intervene. David Venning's tragic condition appears to be either accidental or self-inflicted. But his precious notebooks are missing from the hotel room in which he was found. Two other scientists employed have died in suspicious circumstances. Harry is propelled into an arena of conspiratorial intrigue, brilliantly rered by Goddard's deft and atmostpheric prose. He journeys to Europe and the United States in search of the truth, in an effort to help the son that he's never met.

30 review for Out of the Sun

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bettie

    “The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.”― Niels Bohr 11 hours 55 mins read by Paul Shelley. Blurb: The presumably childless Harry Barnett, living a quiet, aimless life in Britain, receives an anonymous call informing him that his son, a brilliant mathematician, is comatose. Worse, the son's condition is probably not accidental. His notebooks are missing; people around him are dying under mysterious circumst “The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.”― Niels Bohr 11 hours 55 mins read by Paul Shelley. Blurb: The presumably childless Harry Barnett, living a quiet, aimless life in Britain, receives an anonymous call informing him that his son, a brilliant mathematician, is comatose. Worse, the son's condition is probably not accidental. His notebooks are missing; people around him are dying under mysterious circumstances. Harry, introduced in Goddard's Into the Blue, finds a new sense of purpose with the discovery that he is a father, and he begins to investigate what happened and why. The answer lies under layers of deceit, greed, fear, madness, and genius and leads Harry into unexpected byways... HAH - many have read this since I last did - it goes in the 'under 1000' shelf now. If I remember rightly, this does suffer middle of trilogy syndrome... LATER - ooo, how wrong I was in thinking this subsidiary, the passing of time can distort memory - I love the science conspirarcy here. "The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.”― Isaac Asimov 4* Into The Blue (Harry Barnett #1) (1990) - re-visit 2016 3.5* Out of the Sun (Harry Barnett #2) (1996) - re-visit 2016 CR Never Go Back 5* Past Caring (1986) 5* In Pale Battalions (1988) 3* Play To the End (1988) 4* Painting the Darkness (1989) 4* Take No Farewell (1991) 3* Hand in Glove (1992) 2* Closed Circle (1993) 3* Borrowed Time (1995) TR Beyond Recall (1997) 4* Caught in the Light (1998) 4* Set in Stone (1999) 3* Sea Change (2000) 1* Dying to Tell (2001) 3* Days Without Number (2003) 3* Sight Unseen (2005) 2* Name to a Face (2007) 1* Found Wanting (2008) TR Long Time Coming (2009) TR Blood Count (2010) WL Fault Line (2012) 3* The Ways of the World (The Wide World Trilogy #1) (2013) WL Intersection: Paris, 1919 (2013) TR The Corners of the Globe (The Wide World Trilogy #2) (2014) WL The Ends of the Earth (The Wide World Trilogy, #3) (2015)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Chris Steeden

    6 years after Harry Barnett, a middle-aged man who has rather let himself go, chased around Greece and England looking for a girl that had disappeared is back. This time finding out he has a 33-year-old son, Dr David John Venning, who is a brilliant mathematician but happens to be in a deep diabetic coma. Something strange is happening at the company that David used to work for, Globescope. Seems like Harry is going to have to turn detective once more. My chief concern before starting this book i 6 years after Harry Barnett, a middle-aged man who has rather let himself go, chased around Greece and England looking for a girl that had disappeared is back. This time finding out he has a 33-year-old son, Dr David John Venning, who is a brilliant mathematician but happens to be in a deep diabetic coma. Something strange is happening at the company that David used to work for, Globescope. Seems like Harry is going to have to turn detective once more. My chief concern before starting this book is why would Goddard write another book with Harry? He is not really your Jack Reacher type. Admittedly I enjoyed ‘Into the Blue’ but it just seemed strange to bring Harry Barnett back. Has he just been shoe-horned into this due to the success of the last book? Maybe. Anyway, I gave it a go. We follow Harry as he tries to work out the mystery around Globescope and why David is in a diabetic coma. It is a bit of an oddity this one but is mildly diverting. I was nowhere near as engaged as ‘Into the Blue’. All the same silliness is there but I just felt this one did not gel. Oh well.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sandie

    I first met Goddards character Harry Barnett in the novel Into the Blue. He was a likable character, prone to misfortune and possessing a penchant for lifting a few "pints" at the local pub. In Out of the Sun Harry discovers he has a 33 year old son, a math genius who has fallen into a insulin overdose induced coma. When it is discovered that all of his son's mathematical notes are missing, and that several other individuals who had been working on a project with him for a company known as Globe I first met Goddards character Harry Barnett in the novel Into the Blue. He was a likable character, prone to misfortune and possessing a penchant for lifting a few "pints" at the local pub. In Out of the Sun Harry discovers he has a 33 year old son, a math genius who has fallen into a insulin overdose induced coma. When it is discovered that all of his son's mathematical notes are missing, and that several other individuals who had been working on a project with him for a company known as Globescope have also been felled by fatal "accidents", Harry embarks on a dangerous campaign to save the son he never knew he had. The plot of this novel is compelling, with lots continent hopping adventures and enough twists turns to fill a package of fusilli pasta. All of these keep the reader interested, however the mathematical "hyperdimensions" mumbo-jumbo and ultimate explanation for the murders was disappointing. (Perhaps "genius" is not what it's cracked up to be). This is not the best of Goddards offerings, but his average offering is often a lot better than other writers best.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Eadie

    Robert Goddard is a very talented writer and I have enjoyed all of his books that I have read very much. This one is not his best but Goddard will definitely keep you guessing until the quite surprising ending. Looking forward to reading my next Goddard book very soon.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Elwood

    Being a Robert Goddard fan, I was looking forward to this book since I’d loved Out of the Blue, his previous novel featuring Harry Barnett. I wasn’t disappointed. Out of the Sun proved to be another engrossing read. I preferred it to the previous Goddards I’d read, Found Wanting and Days Without Number, for although it also dealt with elusive quests for which people were prepared to kill, Out of the Sun had a much more dramatic impact than the other two. This was partly because the progression o Being a Robert Goddard fan, I was looking forward to this book since I’d loved Out of the Blue, his previous novel featuring Harry Barnett. I wasn’t disappointed. Out of the Sun proved to be another engrossing read. I preferred it to the previous Goddards I’d read, Found Wanting and Days Without Number, for although it also dealt with elusive quests for which people were prepared to kill, Out of the Sun had a much more dramatic impact than the other two. This was partly because the progression of the story seemed less contrived, but mainly because the quest was driven by the strong personal feelings of the protagonist. The other two books lacked that emotional intensity, Days Without Number being full of references to crusaders and Masonic orders, and Found Wanting so full of twists and turns that one could figure out the next step because it was predictable that there would be another about-face by the various characters. However, in Out of the Sun, Harry Barnett is driven by the urge to help the son he never knew he had, and even though the plot deals with complexities of higher mathematics that are way beyond most readers’ comprehension, the characters and their relationships are interesting and easy to relate to. As a result, the book told a much more human story than the other two, even though the solution to the mystery does delve into the realms of fantasy. Out of the Sun isn’t the most upbeat read, especially given its depressing view of where mankind is heading, well summed up in the sentence: “He feared a widening gap between knowledge and the moral maturity of mankind.” In spite of this, the book ends on a note of optimism, which is very human, realistic and a satisfying conclusion to Harry’s story. Well worth a read for mystery lovers.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Penny

    This is a typical Goddard - crime and intrigue all twisted together. Harry discovers his son is in a coma in a hospital when a message is passed to him via his employer. Trouble is, Harry doesnt have a son. In true Goddard style of course, all is not what it seems and Harry's son is a member of a group of scientists who are all slowly dying in so-called accidents. Harry is drawn in to the circle of corruption and big business, scientific research and murder. Great book - slightly shorter than some This is a typical Goddard - crime and intrigue all twisted together. Harry discovers his son is in a coma in a hospital when a message is passed to him via his employer. Trouble is, Harry doesnt have a son. In true Goddard style of course, all is not what it seems and Harry's son is a member of a group of scientists who are all slowly dying in so-called accidents. Harry is drawn in to the circle of corruption and big business, scientific research and murder. Great book - slightly shorter than some of the other Goddards I have read but still worth a read!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lori Baldi

    This should get at least 4 1/2 stars. Liked it even though it took a long time to get through. The main character, good old Harry Barnett, is so loveable. I will have to get to the next book that has him as the main character. He's a keeper especially the way that I picture him as the actor, John Thaw. The story was a little ponderous but good. The travels in the US were especially entertaining. Definitely pre-9/11 travel. This should get at least 4 1/2 stars. Liked it even though it took a long time to get through. The main character, good old Harry Barnett, is so loveable. I will have to get to the next book that has him as the main character. He's a keeper especially the way that I picture him as the actor, John Thaw. The story was a little ponderous but good. The travels in the US were especially entertaining. Definitely pre-9/11 travel.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    So I now know who did it but how did they do it? I don't like it when my books cross genre. I didn't like the ending of 'Life on Mars' or Ashes to ashes' either (I know, on the goggle box not a book), as that went from being crime drama to spooky ghost story. So is this crime/drama or fantasy? But I'll continue reading the rest of his books that I have as they're good fun. So I now know who did it but how did they do it? I don't like it when my books cross genre. I didn't like the ending of 'Life on Mars' or Ashes to ashes' either (I know, on the goggle box not a book), as that went from being crime drama to spooky ghost story. So is this crime/drama or fantasy? But I'll continue reading the rest of his books that I have as they're good fun.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Ducie

    Harry Barnett isn't doing too well. He has a dead end job, drinks too much and has no family and few friends. But the news that he has a grown-up son, a son that is fighting for his life, gives his existence some purpose. He sets off on an incredible series of adventures. The background to this novel, set in the world of mathematics and physics, is very difficult to follow. But maybe that's the point; to put the reader in the same state of confusion as Harry. The writing is tight; the twists kee Harry Barnett isn't doing too well. He has a dead end job, drinks too much and has no family and few friends. But the news that he has a grown-up son, a son that is fighting for his life, gives his existence some purpose. He sets off on an incredible series of adventures. The background to this novel, set in the world of mathematics and physics, is very difficult to follow. But maybe that's the point; to put the reader in the same state of confusion as Harry. The writing is tight; the twists keep coming. I very much enjoyed thus thriller and didn't guess the ending.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Catherine Pinkett

    3.5* I enjoyed this my first of this suthor. Easy writing style and enjoyable plot

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lars Dradrach

    Another solid story from Goddard, closely following the first novel in the series. The storyline is compelling and interesting enough to keep you guessing until the end. What Goddard does best is describing the underdog, without falling into the trap of suddenly providing our “hero” with up until now unknown talents. Harry is a middle aged man without much more than a stubborn determination to find the truth and he stays like that throughout the novels.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Bryan Higgs

    This is the 9th Robert Goddard book I've read in my quest to read all his books in chronological order. In this book we see the re-emergence of Harry Barnett, the protagonist from an earlier book, Into the Blue. Harry is a complete reprobate who has a barely functional job, drinks to excess, and smokes continuously. However, for the second time, Harry is thrust into a complex and dangerous situation through no fault of his own, except for his own stubbornness and unwillingness to give up on his s This is the 9th Robert Goddard book I've read in my quest to read all his books in chronological order. In this book we see the re-emergence of Harry Barnett, the protagonist from an earlier book, Into the Blue. Harry is a complete reprobate who has a barely functional job, drinks to excess, and smokes continuously. However, for the second time, Harry is thrust into a complex and dangerous situation through no fault of his own, except for his own stubbornness and unwillingness to give up on his search, despite being overweight, prone to becoming out of breath easily, and continuing to drink to excess. This book is different from the other Goddard books I've read in that the plot is centered around multiple dimensions, in the mathematical and physical sense. In fact, the author refers to advanced physical theories such as supersymmetry and string theory, which isn't bad for a non-scientific book published in 1996. I happen to be somewhat familiar with such theories, and the author doesn't go sufficiently into them to get into trouble, but he seems to have done his homework Another piece of evidence that suggests the author has done his homework is when he refers to Harry drinking a Shiner Bock, when he's in Dallas. It just so happens that we have some guests from Texas at the moment who had introduced us to Shiner Bock (just the name; we can't get Shiner Bock in our area). Goddard did his usual plot-twisting thing, but perhaps less unexpectedly as in earlier books. I did guess the final twist, revealed in the final two or three pages. However, even though his choice of multi-dimensions-based plot might have appealed to me as one with a physics background, I thought he had done much better with his previous more historically-based plots. It's interesting that the last two books I've read of this series have been less satisfactory than his earlier books. I hope this is not a trend.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Caroline

    A brilliant idea this book which I can't really tell you much about or it will spoil it. Harry Barnett finds he has a son and someone encourages him to find out more about why he is in a diabetic coma. He moves around the world and ends up discovering some fascinating modern dilemmas which sounded to be quite plausible and which his son was not only involved in but possibly masterminding. Although Barnett doesn't want his son to die and would like to get to know him, he realises the potential co A brilliant idea this book which I can't really tell you much about or it will spoil it. Harry Barnett finds he has a son and someone encourages him to find out more about why he is in a diabetic coma. He moves around the world and ends up discovering some fascinating modern dilemmas which sounded to be quite plausible and which his son was not only involved in but possibly masterminding. Although Barnett doesn't want his son to die and would like to get to know him, he realises the potential consequences of his research poses many moral dilemmas.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Gretta Vosper

    Another great Goddard story filled with his signature plot twists and suspensions. I love the way Goddard configures a sentence with a beautiful, lyric quality and a crisp clarity that hone his story. It was a perfect set - this and Into the Blue - for a vacation!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Steve Cripwell

    Probably not the best Robert Goddard book I've read but well written and good plot. It had a bit too much 'technical' speak for me, in fact, early on I almost put it down but persevered and, in the end, enjoyed it. Probably not the best Robert Goddard book I've read but well written and good plot. It had a bit too much 'technical' speak for me, in fact, early on I almost put it down but persevered and, in the end, enjoyed it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Deborah O'Regan

    Another excellent read by Robert Goodard

  17. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Robson

    Okay, so I’m doing things round the wrong way. I am reviewing the second book in the Harry Barnett trilogy before the first one so forgive me but I want to give the book to a friend and Into the Blue is on my kindle, so that review can wait. Let me start by saying, reading this book, I decided to go ahead and cast the lead in the Harry Barnett trilogy. You know, the shows they aren’t making of Robert Goddard books. I'm aware (as mentioned in a previous review) that they did make Into the Blue and Okay, so I’m doing things round the wrong way. I am reviewing the second book in the Harry Barnett trilogy before the first one so forgive me but I want to give the book to a friend and Into the Blue is on my kindle, so that review can wait. Let me start by saying, reading this book, I decided to go ahead and cast the lead in the Harry Barnett trilogy. You know, the shows they aren’t making of Robert Goddard books. I'm aware (as mentioned in a previous review) that they did make Into the Blue and Goddard hated it. Harry was played by John Thaw so (as a contrast) I believe David Haig from Killing Eve would be perfect as Harry. He could make him interesting enough for us to want follow him as the mysteries deepen; he could also portray the lack of ambition but on the other-hand the determination as well. And the drinking: “Beer was a lover who never tired of Harry’s attentions, a friend who never turned him away. The slurred damn-it-all indifference he could summon up under its influence was his for the rest of the day, expanding with each pub he visited on his erratic route home, until, at his last port of call, even the barman’s reluctance to serve him did not dent his sang-froid.” And this is where Goddard is very skilled. He picks up Harry Barnett several years after the events of Into the Blue but in Out of the Sun, Goddard doesn’t harp on them, as a lesser writer would, they are merely mentioned in passing. The premise in this novel is intriguing. Barnett suddenly discovers that he has a son who is not only a brilliant mathematician but in a coma as well. Quite a lot to take in. Goddard is also clever enough to manage the tricky situation of writing about a character that is smarter than you. No mean feat! Goddard touches on hyper-dimensional science and gives us just enough information to suggest his characters (and therefore himself) know more when of course neither is possible. I was also impressed by the character of Dr Athene Tilson, a very realised creation. This is another entertaining novel from Goddard. Highly recommended but I would suggest (despite my comment above) to read Into the Blue first. It is a great introduction to Harry Barnett and this is a very satisfactory follow-on.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sal

    Not one of Goddard's finest. The plot is ludicrous and makes less sense as it goes along. Harry is one of Goddard's more disreputable main characters. He is supposed to be a down on his luck, overweight bloke, who drinks too much, and works in a service station. Despite this he still manages to get the (much younger, beautiful and more intelligent) girl. Infact, his success with women is the books biggest mystery! Harry's relationship with a son he never knew he had could have been an interestin Not one of Goddard's finest. The plot is ludicrous and makes less sense as it goes along. Harry is one of Goddard's more disreputable main characters. He is supposed to be a down on his luck, overweight bloke, who drinks too much, and works in a service station. Despite this he still manages to get the (much younger, beautiful and more intelligent) girl. Infact, his success with women is the books biggest mystery! Harry's relationship with a son he never knew he had could have been an interesting central plotline, but that is never explored.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ian

    Middle aged hero!! As always well written and satisfying. Harry the unlikeliest of hero’s returns again although it’s not essential to have read his previous adventures. It’s a complicated plot and it would be best read in less rather than more sittings to keep the complexities manageable. It only dropped the single star because it was written some time ago and technology has moved on meaning some of Harry’s predicaments are now unrealistic.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nichole Beauchamp

    My first Robert Goddard and possibly not the best choice. Despite a likeable lead character and an interesting premise - son he didn't know he had in a coma, chance to figure out why - the book's gazillion twists and conclusion were unsatisfying. Might try another one when my disappointment fades, as Goddard can clearly write. My first Robert Goddard and possibly not the best choice. Despite a likeable lead character and an interesting premise - son he didn't know he had in a coma, chance to figure out why - the book's gazillion twists and conclusion were unsatisfying. Might try another one when my disappointment fades, as Goddard can clearly write.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    In this thriller Harry Barnett learnes he has a son - who is currently in a coma. The story unfolds as Harry starts finding out how he got there. The novel started out at a good pace and with an interesting story line. However, towards the end, it became somewhat contrived and ex machina.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Roger

    A real disappointment. Started so well, as his other books do, a protagonist who has to get public transport and worry about the pennies - refreshing. But then it all gets silly and we are off on international travels and resources suddenly become no object and coincidence piles upon coincidence.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Alison Young

    Standard Goddard, always an interesting premise and a good plot.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Harriet

    Probably a 3 1/2. Goddard writes very well and I like Harry very much. The plot has its twists and turns but I found myself skimming a lot .

  25. 5 out of 5

    Dave N'renee

    Harry Barnett is the sort of fellow I have made the mistake of getting involved with too many times in my life. Looking now to the next installment. I seem to be enthralled.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Woodruffe

    very good. I enjoyed this book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    C.J. Hill

    Another great read from Goddard, well-plotted and characterized, with several red herrings along the way.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Shelley

    Didn't like, very slow moving Didn't like, very slow moving

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sherry Stanton

    Goddard is a great storyteller, his novels are gripping, but in this one, the second Harry Barnett Book, the ending fell a bit flat.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Barry Thomas

    What an odd book. Why on earth did I want to finish it to see what happened? I thought we were building towards a big crescendo but it all seemed to fizzle out.

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