NOT A PENNY LESS
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I picked this book off my shelf one sunny Sunday afternoon to read and got about 3 pages in before deciding to abandon it in favour of starting The Hunger Games. But luckily I did return to it, as it was quite an enjoyable book. The main character in the book is a man by the name of Harvey Metcalfe, an extremely wealthy business man who has made the majority of his fortune through schemes and dodgy deals. His latest strategy has gained him a large amount of money, but unfortunately for him, the 4 men he conned are not so willing to forgive and forget, and club together to formulate a plan to win back their money.
To me, this felt very much like an Ocean’s Eleven type of book, the four men have very different backgrounds and therefore very different skill sets. Each one must come up with an individual plan to gain their money back with the help of the other three. I really enjoyed the way each plot was described and enacted and the atmosphere of suspense he creates as the plans encounter pitfalls along the way. The actions takes us from Oxford university to Monte Carlo, and the protaganists impersonate everything from art dealers to doctors in an effort to make Harvey with his ill-gotten gains.
I really enjoyed this book, although at the start I didn’t think I would. The explanation of how Harvey managed to con these men through selling fake oil shares was drawn out and overly-complicated in my opinion, and it very nearly turned me off reading it. But luckily I persevered because once the revenge starts and the action picks up, I found it very hard to put down.
Previously I had only ever read a collection of short stories by Archer, and to be honest, I don’t have much recollection of their contents. In saying that, if his other novels are as good as this one, I would be tempted to pick them up. The book didn’t blow my mind or anything close but not a bad read once the story got going.