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The Fine Art of Invisible Detection

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The no. 1 ebook from the Sunday Times bestseller 'He's the high priest of plot ... deftly woven, but also beautifully written ... I loved it.' Mel Giedroyc 'One of the finest crime writers of any generation' Daily Mail Umiko Wada has recently had quite enough excitement in her life. With her husband recently murdered and a mother who seems to want her married again before h The no. 1 ebook from the Sunday Times bestseller 'He's the high priest of plot ... deftly woven, but also beautifully written ... I loved it.' Mel Giedroyc 'One of the finest crime writers of any generation' Daily Mail Umiko Wada has recently had quite enough excitement in her life. With her husband recently murdered and a mother who seems to want her married again before his body is cold, she just wants to keep her head down. As a secretary to a private detective, her life is pleasingly uncomplicated, filled with coffee runs, diary management and paperwork. That is, until her boss takes on a new case. A case which turns out to be dangerous enough to get him killed. A case which means Wada will have to leave Japan for the first time and travel to London. Following the only lead she has, Wada quickly realises that being a detective isn't as easy as the television makes out. And that there's a reason why secrets stay buried for a long time. Because people want them to stay secret. And they're prepared to do very bad things to keep them that way... What readers are saying: ***** 'Guaranteed and satisfying escapism' ***** 'Edge-of-the-seat stuff' ***** 'The master of twists and suspense ... sublime'


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The no. 1 ebook from the Sunday Times bestseller 'He's the high priest of plot ... deftly woven, but also beautifully written ... I loved it.' Mel Giedroyc 'One of the finest crime writers of any generation' Daily Mail Umiko Wada has recently had quite enough excitement in her life. With her husband recently murdered and a mother who seems to want her married again before h The no. 1 ebook from the Sunday Times bestseller 'He's the high priest of plot ... deftly woven, but also beautifully written ... I loved it.' Mel Giedroyc 'One of the finest crime writers of any generation' Daily Mail Umiko Wada has recently had quite enough excitement in her life. With her husband recently murdered and a mother who seems to want her married again before his body is cold, she just wants to keep her head down. As a secretary to a private detective, her life is pleasingly uncomplicated, filled with coffee runs, diary management and paperwork. That is, until her boss takes on a new case. A case which turns out to be dangerous enough to get him killed. A case which means Wada will have to leave Japan for the first time and travel to London. Following the only lead she has, Wada quickly realises that being a detective isn't as easy as the television makes out. And that there's a reason why secrets stay buried for a long time. Because people want them to stay secret. And they're prepared to do very bad things to keep them that way... What readers are saying: ***** 'Guaranteed and satisfying escapism' ***** 'Edge-of-the-seat stuff' ***** 'The master of twists and suspense ... sublime'

30 review for The Fine Art of Invisible Detection

  1. 5 out of 5

    Paromjit

    Robert Goddard's latest thriller is an intricate and complicated piece of fiction, set primarily in Japan, London, Cornwall and Iceland. Middle aged widow Umika Wada is PA to PI Kazuro Kodaka at his one man detective agency in Tokyo, her husband a victim of the notorious sarin attack in 1995. Wada is an unflappable and stoic woman, a woman that barely makes an impression on others, rendering her well nigh invisible. It is these qualities that are to make her a rather good detective when she is u Robert Goddard's latest thriller is an intricate and complicated piece of fiction, set primarily in Japan, London, Cornwall and Iceland. Middle aged widow Umika Wada is PA to PI Kazuro Kodaka at his one man detective agency in Tokyo, her husband a victim of the notorious sarin attack in 1995. Wada is an unflappable and stoic woman, a woman that barely makes an impression on others, rendering her well nigh invisible. It is these qualities that are to make her a rather good detective when she is unexpectedly sent to London by her boss on a case that turns out to be so dangerous that he is murdered in a hit and run incident. The agency had been hired by Mimori Takenaga to find out what really happened to her father who apparently committed suicide in London 27 years ago, Wada is to meet Martin Caldwell who claims to have information on this case, posing as their client. 41 year old Londoner Nick Miller is married to Kate, a private school art teacher whose mother, Caro, has recently died. Caldwell gets in touch with him, saying he has information on his father, the dead Geoff Nolan. Nick knows little of Nolan, other than Geoff never wanted to know anything about him, so he tries to find out more from his mother's partner, April. Nick's world is shattered when he finds out both his mother and April have lied to him about his parentage. When Caldwell fails to turn up to meet either Wada and Nick as agreed, both find themselves propelled into pursuing their inquiries, albeit separately, into a terrifying world where there is a rising tide of murdered people and gangsters. They find themselves going to Iceland to find Caldwell and look into the sinister Quartizon Corporation, and a strange auction that is to take place there, but will they survive? Goddard excels in writing suspenseful thrillers, full of twists and turns, as is the case here, this is action packed and full of thrills that culminate in an exciting finale on a Cornish beach. Wada is an inspired creation, and developed so well, finding herself in an unfamiliar world of threats and constant danger, where the normal thing to do after her boss is murdered would have been to return to her life in Tokyo. However, she has a thread of steel and determination in her personality, plus she has a personal stake in the case with the sarin attacks, although not knowing what she is up against naturally means she make mistakes. What is clear is that she has what it takes to be a capable and competent detective, even if she doesn't recognise this in herself. This is a wonderfully complex and entertaining thriller that is likely to appeal to fans of Goddard and other crime and thriller readers. Many thanks to Random House Transworld for an ARC.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ceecee

    Umiko Wada is employed at the Kodaka Detective Agency in Tokyo and is very adept at the ‘fine art of invisible detection ‘. The agency is hired by Mimori Takenaga to investigate her father’s apparent suicide in London twenty seven years ago. Her investigation leads Wada into personal danger as she tries to seek the truth. Meanwhile, in London Nick Miller is on a similar quest but for different reasons. This is a twisty, fast paced complex thriller and you really have to concentrate! However, it i Umiko Wada is employed at the Kodaka Detective Agency in Tokyo and is very adept at the ‘fine art of invisible detection ‘. The agency is hired by Mimori Takenaga to investigate her father’s apparent suicide in London twenty seven years ago. Her investigation leads Wada into personal danger as she tries to seek the truth. Meanwhile, in London Nick Miller is on a similar quest but for different reasons. This is a twisty, fast paced complex thriller and you really have to concentrate! However, it is extremely interesting and full of tension and suspense. It’s well written and takes the action to some good settings such as Tokyo, London, Devon and Cornwall, New York and Iceland. The storytelling is full of secrets and intrigue, deception, corruption, fraud and has menace and danger aplenty. Particularly intriguing is the connection between Tokyo and Cornwall with the link to Sarin which Wada has personal experience of as her husband died of the effects of sarin in the Tokyo attacks of 1995. There’s a high body count too as we progress through the past and events in the present day. Wada is a really good character. She can meld into the background, she has much inner strength and a sharp analytical mind which combined with the tenacity of a bloodhound makes her excellent at her job. The ending is very tense with all the plot elements falling into place. I like how it ultimately ends too - is there a follow up in the pipeline? I do hope so. My reservations of the book lie in the vast number of characters, Japanese names are tricky to get in your head and if you add Icelandic names into the mix, it makes your head spins at bit! There is some repetition too between Wada and Nick’s separate investigation. Overall though, it’s a good, intelligent thriller with plenty of meat on the bones of the plot. I’ve read a lot of books by Robert Goddard over the years and enjoyed them and this is no exception. With thanks to NetGalley and Random House UK Transworld:Bantam Press for the widget for an honest review

  3. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    Umiko Wada, a middle-aged assistant to a private Investigator ends up a long way from home in what will be her last case for him. Since her husband died after twelve years in a coma following the 1995 sarin attack on the Tokyo subway, Umiko has led a lonely life. By the time her husband died she was too old to have children so instead of looking to remarry she decided to dedicate her life to her career, assisting her boss Kazuto Kodaka. So, when he asks if she would travel to London to attend a Umiko Wada, a middle-aged assistant to a private Investigator ends up a long way from home in what will be her last case for him. Since her husband died after twelve years in a coma following the 1995 sarin attack on the Tokyo subway, Umiko has led a lonely life. By the time her husband died she was too old to have children so instead of looking to remarry she decided to dedicate her life to her career, assisting her boss Kazuto Kodaka. So, when he asks if she would travel to London to attend a meeting on behalf of a client, she packs her bag and gets on a plane. Once in London she is to meet with a man who has information regarding someone who worked as a translator for her client’s father before he was killed in 1977. However, when the man she is to meet doesn’t show up, instead of going back to Japan Wada (as she likes to be called) resolutely follows the case to wherever it takes her – Devon, New York, Iceland and finally to Cornwall. The case turns out to be more complex and much more dangerous than Wada and Kodaka could ever have imagined when they took it on. Unknown to her, someone else is on the same trail, Nick Miller, looking for information about the father he has never known. Missing since the 70s and presumed dead, the man Nick thinks might be his father was last seen on a beach in Cornwall, where one of his housemates was found drowned. Nick and Wada’s paths eventually collide in Iceland where the stakes will be raised for both of them as they uncover a plot of corruption, fraud and pure greed. This fast moving, smart and complex thriller is full of intrigue and suspense with twists at every turn. There are many pieces to keep track of, which eventually all slot together and culminate in a truly explosive ending. Wada is a delightful character. For someone used to an ordered and uneventful existence in Tokyo, she handles everything thrown her way with aplomb as she uses her clever brain and tenacity to evade danger. Quiet and resilient, Umiko Wada is the perfect invisible undercover detective who should never be underestimated. Robert Goddard has written another intelligent and stylish thriller with a smart and complex plot and a unique character you can’t fail to cheer for. With thanks to Random House UK and Netgalley for a copy to read. Expected publication 18th March. Review originally published in Mystery & Suspense Magazine.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Val Wheeler

    Thank you very much to the publishers Random House UK, Transworld Publishers and to Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this book for an honest opinion. I haven't read any other books by Robert Goddard but have seen the covers and The Fine Art of Invisible Detection looked a very different style to what I remember seeing in bookshops. I'll be honest I didn't know what to expect as didn't look it up prior to reading. My first impression was maybe it was a book for a younger audience Thank you very much to the publishers Random House UK, Transworld Publishers and to Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this book for an honest opinion. I haven't read any other books by Robert Goddard but have seen the covers and The Fine Art of Invisible Detection looked a very different style to what I remember seeing in bookshops. I'll be honest I didn't know what to expect as didn't look it up prior to reading. My first impression was maybe it was a book for a younger audience but that was based solely on the front cover. Now I've read the book I know its not and feel the cover design doesn't really match the book, so it was a bit misleading. It was however a really good page turner any very exciting. I loved the different locations the book took us to, from Tokyo to London, New York, Cornwall, Devon, Cornwall and Rekyjavik. It was very fast paced and had plot twists all over the place. Umiko Wada is a secretary to a private detective, based in Tokyo and has a fairly uninteresting life, that is, until her boss takes on a new case. A case which turns out to be dangerous enough to get him killed. A case which means Wada will have to leave Japan for and travel to London. Following the only lead she has, Wada quickly realises that being a detective isn't as easy as the television makes out. And that there's a reason why secrets stay buried for a long time. Because people want them to stay secret. And they're prepared to do very bad things to keep them that way... I loved the characters, Wada, was great. I was initially reminded of the Cormoran Strike books, for the first chapter or two, then it took on a life of its own. I enjoyed this a lot more due to the faster pace and the regular curveballs thrown in. I will definitely be looking to read other books by Robert Goddard in the future.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Paul Ataua

    Umiko Wada, whose husband was killed in a sarin gas subway attack, works as a secretary to Kazuto Kodaka, a private detective in Tokyo, and enjoys the uneventful routine life she leads. Suddenly, however, she is thrown into a dangerous adventure that takes her half way across the world to England and Iceland, an adventure that sees the bodies piling up. It’s a complicated yet entertaining thriller that does satisfy. If there is a negative side, it is that the writer fails to fully exploit the wo Umiko Wada, whose husband was killed in a sarin gas subway attack, works as a secretary to Kazuto Kodaka, a private detective in Tokyo, and enjoys the uneventful routine life she leads. Suddenly, however, she is thrown into a dangerous adventure that takes her half way across the world to England and Iceland, an adventure that sees the bodies piling up. It’s a complicated yet entertaining thriller that does satisfy. If there is a negative side, it is that the writer fails to fully exploit the wonderful potential of the Wada character, (something I am sure he will put right should there be a second novel in the series), and that he also creates a co-protagonist in Nick Millers that never manages to make it off the page. Good without being great!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lou (nonfiction fiend)

    The Fine Art of Invisible Detection is the latest standalone thriller from the talented Robert Goddard, set between Japan, England and Iceland. Umiko Wada is a personal assistant and secretary to prominent and well-respected Private Investigator Kazuto Kodaka at his own agency in central Tokyo, specialising in commercial casework. Umiko is middle-aged with no children and was sadly left a widow when her husband was caught up in the deadly Aum Shinrikyo sarin attack on the Tokyo underground in 19 The Fine Art of Invisible Detection is the latest standalone thriller from the talented Robert Goddard, set between Japan, England and Iceland. Umiko Wada is a personal assistant and secretary to prominent and well-respected Private Investigator Kazuto Kodaka at his own agency in central Tokyo, specialising in commercial casework. Umiko is middle-aged with no children and was sadly left a widow when her husband was caught up in the deadly Aum Shinrikyo sarin attack on the Tokyo underground in 1995. She's resourceful, unperturbable, pragmatic and her stubbornness - which is fundamentally what drives her pursuit of the truth - very endearing. But she is also very forgettable which makes her the perfect person to trail or follow a mark or meet certain clientele should that be needed in a particular case and it contributes to making her a superb detective. However, when Kazuto takes on a new client - Mimori Takenaga - he sends Umiko to London to find out what really happened to Mimori’s father. The official line is that he committed suicide twenty-seven years ago while in London, but she has always believed he was murdered in cold blood. Mimori informs Kazuto and Umiko that out of desperation she had placed advertisements in several UK newspapers to try to glean information on Peter Evans, who had been her father’s translator forty years ago, and received a response from a British guy named Martin Caldwell, but she was unable to travel to meet him. He claims to have information that could crack the case wide open. However, everything suddenly gets a whole lot more dangerous when Kazuto is murdered in a hit and run. It's clearly a warning shot to leave the death well alone. And when Umiko turns up to the arranged meet with her contact he never shows up. One thing is for sure, unassuming Umiko was not expecting to be caught between a rock and a hard place quite like this. Meanwhile, we meet forty-one-year-old Nick Miller, husband to Kate, a resident of The Big Smoke and a private school art teacher who was brought up in shared student accommodation in Exeter by his mother, Cora, who recently passed away, and her partner, April. Caldwell contacts Nick telling him he has information on his deceased father, Geoff Nolan. It's hard to accept that both his mother and April had lied to him regarding his biological father all his life. He had never known anything about him, though that was something he desperately wanted to change. But again Caldwell fails to show. As the two cases converge, Umiko, a woman used to staying calm and keeping her head down, finds herself in the middle of shady criminal underworld dealings, ripe with gangsters and an ever-increasing pile of bodies. With a slew of harmful secrets just waiting to unravel and leak out will Umiko, Nick and Martin survive this unfamiliar, perilous world? This is a scintillating read with a wickedly twisty plot and enough suspense to give you heart palpitations. Goddard is one hell of a writer and a vastly underrated talent; here, he has woven an action-packed, high-stakes cat and mouse game with twists, turns and misdirection in abundance. I love that this is an international thriller spanning continents and our protagonist, Wado, is so beautifully crafted that as a multilayered, nuanced character she comes alive on the page and her courage and desire to carry on her search for truth despite the threats is admirable. Alternating between Wado and Nick’s perspectives, there is enough to sink your teeth into throughout with murder, abduction, yakuza involvement and betrayal bringing an explosive and exhilarating thriller and a complete breath of fresh air in the genre. Highly recommended.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Daria Soroka

    It was a boring, poorly written crime novel which made me sad. It was full of stereotypes and inconsistencies. Starting from the cover and synopsis which promised a fun and modern witty read, but it turned out really basic. I can compare it to staying in a 3-star hotel that had good pictures and reviews but you ended up in a wore-down room with broken tiles and cigarette odours. I could not wait to check out from this book. (By the way, there were too many hotel names which I didn’t need to know It was a boring, poorly written crime novel which made me sad. It was full of stereotypes and inconsistencies. Starting from the cover and synopsis which promised a fun and modern witty read, but it turned out really basic. I can compare it to staying in a 3-star hotel that had good pictures and reviews but you ended up in a wore-down room with broken tiles and cigarette odours. I could not wait to check out from this book. (By the way, there were too many hotel names which I didn’t need to know to understand the plot: Envoy, Borg, Hilton, Arnarson, Sol, Claridge, Lamb, Jubilee Villa B&B). Forced plot with blank characters would not excite me even if it was my first ever crime novel. Chinese tea is “crap”, Mr. Goddard? Really? Is it supposed to be funny or should readers be amazed by the depth of research you did on the topic? As a tea enthusiast I was frustrated. Also, there are so many “Asian-looking guys” in this book that my eyes are sore. Same goes for the description of Icelanders. And somehow all international characters speak with perfect English idioms in a way only a native would speak. This is probably a result of lack of cultural knowledge and general narrow-mindness of the author. Also, drinking is a problem in this book. Almost all characters except Wada are casually drinking in the morning, at lunch, in the evening, when they talk on the phone, when they are nervous and so on. It is romanticizing alcoholism and it’s disgusting. Avoid this book if you value your time.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    This book surprised me.....I think it was the title that first attracted me, and I found it just that little bit different. It features a middle aged Japanese woman, a secretary for a modest private detective agency, widowed by a terrorist chemical attack on a subway, who is suddenly thrown into a dangerous, international conspiracy that sends her off on a quest to discover just what is going on. She finds herself jetting across the world, and up against people who will stop at nothing to keep the This book surprised me.....I think it was the title that first attracted me, and I found it just that little bit different. It features a middle aged Japanese woman, a secretary for a modest private detective agency, widowed by a terrorist chemical attack on a subway, who is suddenly thrown into a dangerous, international conspiracy that sends her off on a quest to discover just what is going on. She finds herself jetting across the world, and up against people who will stop at nothing to keep their shady secrets secret.....she’s followed, imprisoned, witnesses murder and much more in this interesting, fast paced adventure, where she must try to keep at least one step ahead of her powerful adversaries. It’s peopled by some great characters, with lots of twists and turns.....I enjoyed it

  9. 5 out of 5

    Louise Wilson

    Umiko Wada has recently had enough excitment in her life. With her husband recently murdered and a mother who seems to want her married again before his body is cold, she just wants to keep her head down. As a secretary to a private detective, her life is pleasingly uncomplicated.That is , until her boss takes on a new case. A case which is dangerous enough to get him killed. Now Wada will have to leave Japan for the first time and travel to London. A series of events sees Nick Miller, a teacher Umiko Wada has recently had enough excitment in her life. With her husband recently murdered and a mother who seems to want her married again before his body is cold, she just wants to keep her head down. As a secretary to a private detective, her life is pleasingly uncomplicated.That is , until her boss takes on a new case. A case which is dangerous enough to get him killed. Now Wada will have to leave Japan for the first time and travel to London. A series of events sees Nick Miller, a teacher living in London and Umiko Wada's paths cross. The story takes us around the country and Iceland. The book pulls you in from the beginning. A story of dirty deeds and gangsters. It's so descriptively written that it makes you feel that you had been there. The pace was a bit on the slow side. The plotline had been cleverly crafted. I would like to thank #NetGalley, #RandomHouseUK #TransworldPublishers and the author #RobertGoddardfor my ARC #TheFineArtOfInvisibleDetection in exchange for an honest review.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    a stand alone novel as the action takes us from Japan to uk/Iceland and many twists and turns as the plot goes along and a nice sting in the tail at the end

  11. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne Kentish

    Who doesn't love a good plot twist!!! 🕵🏻‍♀️ Slow to start but picked up pace this international mystery thriller was better than expected. I loved how, although the story was complex with multiple characters, the author found an (un-annoying) way of keeping you up to speed with the story line. I enjoyed that the characters and threads were not over-elaborated, keeping it simple and to the point. Who doesn't love a good plot twist!!! 🕵🏻‍♀️ Slow to start but picked up pace this international mystery thriller was better than expected. I loved how, although the story was complex with multiple characters, the author found an (un-annoying) way of keeping you up to speed with the story line. I enjoyed that the characters and threads were not over-elaborated, keeping it simple and to the point.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Hilary

    3.5 stars; When Umiko Wada's private detective boss takes on a new case exploring the suspicious circumstances around someone's supposed suicide 40 years ago, Wada finds herself in England, catapulted into the middle of a mystery that is bigger than it first appeared. Overall, I did enjoy this book. The pacing was good (although it started to drag towards the end) and the characters were very lovable. I liked the mix of countries and culture that the story showed, including the little titbits of J 3.5 stars; When Umiko Wada's private detective boss takes on a new case exploring the suspicious circumstances around someone's supposed suicide 40 years ago, Wada finds herself in England, catapulted into the middle of a mystery that is bigger than it first appeared. Overall, I did enjoy this book. The pacing was good (although it started to drag towards the end) and the characters were very lovable. I liked the mix of countries and culture that the story showed, including the little titbits of Japanese culture that were sprinkled throughout the book. I adored Umika Wada - her tenacity and drive were thrilling in this, and really propelled the story along. I can't say the same for Nick Miller (the other protagonist), he seemed washed out when compared to Wada. However, the book is confusing. There are a LOT of side characters that are only mentioned by name, and it becomes hard to remember who they are when they come up again. I also felt the plot was dragged out for the sake of leading the reader around the houses - it's great to have some misleading red herrings in a crime fiction, but for me the book could have achieved the same result in fewer pages, and then it would've skipped the bit in the middle where it felt like nothing happened! Overall good, but not the best book I've ever read!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    This book certainly sounded like something I would enjoy but I did not. The forced mysterious events, like following bread crumbs to discover what is behind old news articles, broken appointments, accidents, break-ins, deaths, missing files and computers...all with a little Japanese widow observing until the big whoosh explosive reveal whilst moving between Japan, London, Cornwall, Iceland? No thanks. Beginning to end, nothing believable for me. Thank goodness I had the French Open to watch.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Plum-crazy

    Having not read this author before I didn't know what to expect but from the cover thought it might be a gentler mystery though not a cosy as such. What I got was an intelligently written, gripping tale that's very readable despite the complications of the plot. In short, a woman walks into Kodaka's detective agency wanting answers to her father's apparent suicide some decades before. She has been contacted by a Martin Caldwell, who's requested she travels to London to meet him as he has informat Having not read this author before I didn't know what to expect but from the cover thought it might be a gentler mystery though not a cosy as such. What I got was an intelligently written, gripping tale that's very readable despite the complications of the plot. In short, a woman walks into Kodaka's detective agency wanting answers to her father's apparent suicide some decades before. She has been contacted by a Martin Caldwell, who's requested she travels to London to meet him as he has information useful to her. Unable to go herself, it's arranged Kodaka's secretary, the unassuming Umiko Wada will go in her place. At the same time, Nick Miller is also looking for Martin Caldwell for different reasons. Of course the path isn't straightforward for either of them, with things going wrong from the start in England for Wada & the investigation taking her on to Iceland (always a plus for me, I get quite excited when places I've been are mentioned!). Wada appears to be a meek & mild character, wouldn't say boo to a goose & this unobtrusive air works in her favour - but underestimate her at your peril - she can certainly channel her inner ninja when needed! She's such an endearing character you're willing her on all the way (even if, admittedly, some of her escapades may be a little if a stretch!) There's fair bit to keep track of throughout & plenty of twists & turns but the threads of the story all weave beautifully together to a satisfactory conclusion. My only complaint is that this is a stand alone novel, I'd like to read more featuring Umiko Wada. Still Goddard has lots of other books for me to discover....

  15. 5 out of 5

    Elvina Zafril

    I heard a lot of good things about Robert Goddard. This is my first book from him. In his latest book, The Fine Art of Invisible Detection tells a story of Umiko Wada who is a secretary to a private detective Kazuro Kodaka. She tries to find put the truth behind some tragic event happened in 1977. She was unexpectedly sent to London by her boss on a murder case. This book is totally a clever and kept me guessing from beginning to end. I needed to concentrate while reading this book because i didn I heard a lot of good things about Robert Goddard. This is my first book from him. In his latest book, The Fine Art of Invisible Detection tells a story of Umiko Wada who is a secretary to a private detective Kazuro Kodaka. She tries to find put the truth behind some tragic event happened in 1977. She was unexpectedly sent to London by her boss on a murder case. This book is totally a clever and kept me guessing from beginning to end. I needed to concentrate while reading this book because i didn't want to miss any important details. I must say that I rarely read a historical crime books, but this book is such a good one. The pace is quite fast. It is very exciting to travel to so many places. From Tokyo to London. From London to Iceland and lastly to Cornwall. I really love Umiko Wada. She has a strong personality. Umiko Wada is an incredible character. I felt more engaging with her. Chapter after chapter, her character developed became more interesting and resourceful. The ending is so good! All the questions have been answered with the final revelation. If you love reading about corruptions, fraud and secrets, this book is for you. Thank you Times Reads for sending me a copy of The Fine Art of Invisible Detection in return for an honest review. This book is available at all good bookstores.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ursula

    Got off to a slow start with this but once I got all the names sorted out, I really enjoyed it!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Kincaid

    Umiko Wada is a secretary to a private detective in Japan. She's happy in her life, not looking for any excitement or something truly out of the ordinary. But life has other plans. When her husband takes a new job, one he suspects might be too dangerous, he sends her to England to gather some information. But then he gets killed himself, presumably by a hit-and-run. In order to found out and why and in the process save her own life, she starts to investigate the case- the death of a man in 197o' Umiko Wada is a secretary to a private detective in Japan. She's happy in her life, not looking for any excitement or something truly out of the ordinary. But life has other plans. When her husband takes a new job, one he suspects might be too dangerous, he sends her to England to gather some information. But then he gets killed himself, presumably by a hit-and-run. In order to found out and why and in the process save her own life, she starts to investigate the case- the death of a man in 197o's that somehow connects to a the suspicious death of two students in England in the 70's as well, one of the only presumed dead as his body was never found. And how is all of this connected to a company that deals with selling land? And a deadly Japanese businessman, so ruthless, everyone that stand in his way disappears or dies? Wada discovers that being a private detective isn't easy, especially as the stakes rises and lives are at stake, and that there are good reasons why secrets are stayed buried, even for a long period of time. But in order to save lives and stop a deadly conspiracy she must unravel the past, no matter what the stakes are. An edge-of-your-seat thriller, a fun roller-coaster ride that never lets up for a second. Filled with twists and turns, break-neck pace, wonderful characters that are well fleshed out- flawed, human, and real, everyday people who are thrust into impossible situations- labyrinthine, complex plotting and excellent prose, as usual. There really is nothing more to be said. Robert Goddard promises, and delivers in spades, as always. Four and a half stars. If you're already familiar with Goddard's work, then this novel will not disappoint, as it's a wonderful adventure. If you're new, than hop on and join the joyride. You'd be glad you did.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    Umiko Wada lives in Tokyo, she wants to live an unassuming life, she doesn’t want excitement she just wants to get through the day without any hassle. She works for a private detective and as exciting as this may sound her days are anything but. However all this changes one day when a client comes in to the office, their case needs someone to go to London, someone who wont ring alarm bells and that someone is Wada. Wada is happy to go, her husband tragically lost his life after the Tokyo subway s Umiko Wada lives in Tokyo, she wants to live an unassuming life, she doesn’t want excitement she just wants to get through the day without any hassle. She works for a private detective and as exciting as this may sound her days are anything but. However all this changes one day when a client comes in to the office, their case needs someone to go to London, someone who wont ring alarm bells and that someone is Wada. Wada is happy to go, her husband tragically lost his life after the Tokyo subway sarin gas attack, she has nobody to go home to and prepares herself for travel making sure to pack her copy of The Makioka Sisters. She is to meet a man in London who has information their client requires, if she can pass herself off as the client it will be an nice easy job for her except we know things never go to plan. The man doesn’t turn up. Nick Miller lives in London, brought up by his mother and her partner, he never knew his father or really wanted to but an old acquaintance of his parents says he has information for him about his father and he will be coming to London so he can tell him in person. Except he doesn’t turn up. Could it be the same man?! Well yes and this is where the book starts putting on the mileage as separately Wada and Nick travel to Devon to see if they can find their mysterious contact, missing each other they then end up in Iceland. The tale then takes a violent turn as people start turning up dead, a mysterious company is buying tracts of land in the country, a sinister Japanese businessman is part of it and it turns out Nick’s father may been embroiled in the midst of all of this along with the case Wada was working on. It is a great mix of energy, with Wada’s Japanese sensibilities against the craziness of what is going on plus her and Nick always seem to miss one another. The story twists and turns and twists again. You need to keep up with it and I really enjoyed doing so. It is a great thriller that doesn’t always take it self too seriously but entertains and thrills at the same time. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Toast

    I have never read a book by this writer before. True confession - I'd never heard of him before. But I throughly enjoyed this page turner that took me from Japan to Exeter to Iceland to Cornwall in the company of a plain secretary turned private detective called Wada. It was clever, funny, surprising and totally enjoyable. Brilliantly plotted and excellent pacing brought out the best in Wada, whose character really stole the show. Not many other characters got to develop but hey it was whistle-s I have never read a book by this writer before. True confession - I'd never heard of him before. But I throughly enjoyed this page turner that took me from Japan to Exeter to Iceland to Cornwall in the company of a plain secretary turned private detective called Wada. It was clever, funny, surprising and totally enjoyable. Brilliantly plotted and excellent pacing brought out the best in Wada, whose character really stole the show. Not many other characters got to develop but hey it was whistle-stop. Well worth the read. Toast

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kath B

    Another thrilling adventure by one of my favourite writers. This one is set in Tokyo, Reykjavik, Cambridge and London and introduces the marvellous Umiko Wada, assistant to a Tokyo based private detective, who becomes embroiled in a complex mystery which she has to sort out when her boss is tragically killed. In her quest to find out who killed him and who was also behind the death of her husband, Wada has to travel across the globe, make links with dangerous mobsters and steer clear of 3 or 4 ev Another thrilling adventure by one of my favourite writers. This one is set in Tokyo, Reykjavik, Cambridge and London and introduces the marvellous Umiko Wada, assistant to a Tokyo based private detective, who becomes embroiled in a complex mystery which she has to sort out when her boss is tragically killed. In her quest to find out who killed him and who was also behind the death of her husband, Wada has to travel across the globe, make links with dangerous mobsters and steer clear of 3 or 4 even more dangerous people who would like to see her stopped in her tracks. I loved the way in which Wada kept a clear head and her nerve when the chips were down. Great character. The plot too was Goddard at his best - chase scenes, unlikely alliances forged in order to survive against the odds and an interesting ending. Masterful storytelling.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    If you want to read a well written mystery with twists and turns galore, that have multiple gripping plots, fascinating locations and an assortment of different characters each one complementing the other, look no further..this is the book for you. Goddard is also building his plot on the sarin attacks in Japan. The pain and suffering from these barbaric acts comes through the pages and for sure will touch your heart. Who knew there was a Japanese woman inside Robert Goddard’s brain. Again, bravo If you want to read a well written mystery with twists and turns galore, that have multiple gripping plots, fascinating locations and an assortment of different characters each one complementing the other, look no further..this is the book for you. Goddard is also building his plot on the sarin attacks in Japan. The pain and suffering from these barbaric acts comes through the pages and for sure will touch your heart. Who knew there was a Japanese woman inside Robert Goddard’s brain. Again, bravo for this engaging book. Now it is time to give Wanda-san a series, this character is too good to stay in only one book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jodie

    A strong 3.5 that I’ve rounded up - enjoyed

  23. 5 out of 5

    Julia

    3.5 stars. Cleverly written and complicated at times, this mystery thriller certainly kept you on your toes. Lots of Japanese and Icelandic names to try and get your head around which confused me somewhat; it certainly was never boring! So many twists, in which ended on the best one.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Christine Beswick

    Interesting and enjoyable - full of twists and turns. The main protagonist, Umiko Wada, a middle aged Japanese woman who has adopted the role of private detective after the death in a hit and run of her boss, is the epitome of inscrutable and composed and turns out to be perfect for the job imposed on her.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    Another rattling good read from RG, he never lets you down.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jane Watson

    Another good one from Robert Goddard. Lots of moving around from Japan to London to New York and then to Iceland which was interesting and as always the story moved quickly and raced along. The story seemed a bit confusing at the start but settled down eventually. The main character Wada somehow for me remained a shadowy figure, but perhaps that was meant as one of her best attributes was her ability to appear almost invisible.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alethea

    Elementary writing at its worst. This book is boring, over generalised, predictable, and often walks a thin line of “that’s just how we used to say things in my day” and racism. It took me a LONG time to finish this; do not recommend wasting your time.

  28. 4 out of 5

    jeff popple

    I always look forward to the novels by Robert Goddard and his latest book, The Fine Art Of Invisible Detection, is another clever, twisty tale that kept me engrossed and surprised from beginning to end. The plots of Goddard’s books are always difficult to explain because they move in such unexpected directions that it is hard to describe them without ruining the joy of the many surprises. Suffice to say, The Fine Art Of Invisible Detection opens in Tokyo, but quickly moves Europe as Umiko Wada, a I always look forward to the novels by Robert Goddard and his latest book, The Fine Art Of Invisible Detection, is another clever, twisty tale that kept me engrossed and surprised from beginning to end. The plots of Goddard’s books are always difficult to explain because they move in such unexpected directions that it is hard to describe them without ruining the joy of the many surprises. Suffice to say, The Fine Art Of Invisible Detection opens in Tokyo, but quickly moves Europe as Umiko Wada, a secretary to a private detective, and Englishman Nick Miller try to find out the truth behind some tragic events back in 1977. In recent years Goddard seems to have moved away from his complex, intriguing historical crime novels into the thriller arena, with faster moving and often more violent tales about conspiracies and desperate characters. The Fine Art Of Invisible Detection is certainly more in the thriller field and is a pacey, exciting novel that races from Tokyo to London to the English countryside and Iceland, before returning for a tense climax on a beach in Cornwall. The storyline is interesting, and involves some very up-to-date ideas, and the characters are well crafted and engaging. Wada in particular is a very interesting and credible character, who turns out to be more resourceful than she first appears. It is a fine piece of characterisation by Goddard. The end result is a very enjoyable thriller that kept me guessing all the way to the terrific conclusion and the final reveal. My only reservations are the cover and the odd title, which makes it sound like some sort of Sherlock Holmes pastiche, which it is not! See my full review at: https://murdermayhemandlongdogs.com/f...

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer (JC-S)

    ‘The world went on its way. It was business as usual. Until it wasn’t.’ Umiko Wada, widowed, works as a secretary to Kazuto Kodaka, a private detective in Tokyo. Her mother wants her to remarry, but Wada is comfortable with the current orderliness of her life: managing her boss’s diary and keeping his paperwork under control. But then Kodaka takes on a case which changes everything. He is approached by a woman, Mimori Takenaga, who believes that her father was murdered in London in 1977. As part o ‘The world went on its way. It was business as usual. Until it wasn’t.’ Umiko Wada, widowed, works as a secretary to Kazuto Kodaka, a private detective in Tokyo. Her mother wants her to remarry, but Wada is comfortable with the current orderliness of her life: managing her boss’s diary and keeping his paperwork under control. But then Kodaka takes on a case which changes everything. He is approached by a woman, Mimori Takenaga, who believes that her father was murdered in London in 1977. As part of the investigation, Wada leaves Tokyo for London. She is to meet an Englishman, Martin Caldwell who may have some information. And from here, the action escalates. Kodaka is killed, Wada’s contact in London goes missing. Wada is resourceful and follows leads to Devon and then to Iceland. There is more than one secret being hidden, and more than one person who will kill to make sure that those secrets remain hidden. This is a complex thriller with several well-developed characters, some interesting plot twists, and plenty of action. Will Wada find the answers she is seeking? A dramatic, tense climax on a beach in Cornwall brings much of the story to a conclusion. But Wada has a taste for investigating now, and there are a couple of loose ends… I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I hope that Wada finally finished her reread of ‘The Makioka Sisters’. Note: My thanks to NetGalley and Random House, UK for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes. Jennifer Cameron-Smith

  30. 5 out of 5

    Frances Canning

    This mystery thriller didn't mystify or thrill me. The start was mildly interesting - Wada, an independent woman, indispensable PA to a Tokyo detective, is asked to pose as a client in England. From there, unlikely turned into far-fetched. The action moved to Iceland and briefly the US, and I began to wonder if the writer had screen rights in mind and was building up Wada to be the protagonist in a series. From the moment she fortuitously found the keys to an empty house in someone's kitchen, pi This mystery thriller didn't mystify or thrill me. The start was mildly interesting - Wada, an independent woman, indispensable PA to a Tokyo detective, is asked to pose as a client in England. From there, unlikely turned into far-fetched. The action moved to Iceland and briefly the US, and I began to wonder if the writer had screen rights in mind and was building up Wada to be the protagonist in a series. From the moment she fortuitously found the keys to an empty house in someone's kitchen, pinched them and used them, strokes of luck carried her through the convoluted plot. (A coachload of Japanese tourists? Of course there was. One turn and she was free? Of course she was. Almost Enid Blyton!) Speaking of which, this plot was so complex that I couldn't have said what was going on, nor did I care. There were huge chunks of boring exposition. New characters were introduced and discarded almost to the end. The writer had little faith in the reader's powers of deduction and spoon fed our conclusions. (For example: "the file...what he'd gone back to the office for on Saturday morning. Which meant it was central to the case".) Clunk. Not for me.

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