Jeffrey Archers latest novel features a character previously introduced in the Clifton Chronicles series. The twist here is that William Warwick, was the lead in a series of books written by Harry Clifton, who was himself the protagonist of the series. Try saying that three times quickly and you’ll quickly decide it doesn’t matter how William Warwick came into being. I don’t know if Jeffrey Archer intended to use the characters when he created them, but I’m glad he did.
We follow the recently promoted William as he continues his quest to nail his newly acquired nemesis Miles Faulkner. Along the way there’s a marriage, some hard won victories and a punch to the gut. Archer has been writing for over 45 years and it shows in the cleverly structured plot and character development. My only criticism is that Grace, Williams sister, doesn’t get as much story time as she deserves. Hopefully in his next spin-off he can write a series about her exploits as a barrister in the 1980s, where it was presumably not an easy time for woman.
My favourite book is Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less, Archers debut novel, which features a tremendous twist at the end and I can happily re-read the book over and over even knowing what will happen in the end. The same can be applied here, as I know I will be re-reading this book for years to come, even if I can remember the end.
Unlike my recently reviewed Lee Child novel, which I appreciate as I can’t remember the plot ten minutes after finishing it, here and with his other novels, it’s the familiarity of the plot that brings me back. Getting to relive the triumphs and the failures of the good guys makes them far more relatable, and I can’t be the only one who enjoys the bad guy getting away with a well thought out plan.
There is a new book coming out this spring that follows these characters and I have already pre-ordered it to ensure that I can get my teeth into it as soon as possible. While this book can stand alone, you’d be better off starting with Nothing Ventured, as this book picks up the same plots and characters and refers back to them, and that allows you to meet our hero as the unformed PC rather than the slightly more experienced DS he is here. It also gives you more insight into Miles Faulkner, who while as bit of a git, is very good at getting away with things!