First things first – Robert Goddard’s “The Ways of the World” is a good read. It has a well-drawn historical setting in England and France just after the end of World War I, a likeable, daring young hero in ex RAF pilot James Maxted, and an intricate plot. Those are the good things about this book, and also its faults, to my taste.
Except for the interesting period background, the attractive aspects of the book were too much of a good thing. The daring nature of the hero is stressed to the point that he seems to be not so much brave as hyperactive. The plot speeds through many twists and turns but after 525 (!) pages didn’t have the decency to tie up the loose ends. In order to find out what happens, I would have to read part two, “The Corners of the Globe”, which is likely to be equally long and convoluted. Even that might not answer all the dangling questions, since there seems to also be a part three. I don’t know if I can face it.