Jeffrey Archer is Britain's top-selling novelist. He is a
former member of Parliament and Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party. He was created a Life Peer in the Queen's Birthday Honours of 1992. He lives in London and Cambridge.
Thrillmeister Archer cuts to the chase: a new collection of short stories. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
`A storyteller in the class of Alexandre Dumas'
`Archer has a gift for plot that can only be described as
`The man's a genius'
Fay Weldon, Evening Standard
`Few are more famous than Archer for keeping the pages
Peter Stothard, The Times
Archer (Twelve Red Herrings; The Fourth Estate) maintains his obsession with surprise endings, producing a collection of 14 cleverly twisting tales, nine of which are "based on true incidents." If most of the stories fail to produce a lasting effect, they are characteristically fluid and occasionally satisfying. Among the most successful is "Something for Nothing," inspired by a real story. Jake, a New York City father making a routine telephone call to his elderly mother, overhears another conversation in which instructions are given to pick up an envelope containing $100,000. Jake dashes out of his apartment and intercepts the loot before the intended recipient, but discovers that nothing is ever as foolproof as it sounds. In "A Change of Heart," another fact-based tale, a white bigot in South Africa gets a heart transplantÄand discovers the heart belonged to an African man he killed in a car accident. The incident inspires the bigot and others to reconsider their narrow views. "The Endgame" has a smart premiseÄa multimillionaire widower tests his family's loyalty by declaring himself bankruptÄyet the characters move as predictably as the chess pieces on the valuable set that is the focal point of the tale. "A Weekend to Remember" features bachelor-hotel owner Tony Romanelli and a sexy arts writer named Susie. Tony prides himself on being able to read if a woman is "interested" by the feel of her greeting or parting hug, but he reads the wrong story in Susie's enthusiastic squeeze. Perhaps cutting these fictions short was a mistake, their complex premises demanding lengthier elaboration. However, Archer's following is legion and the collection will doubtless find its readership. (Jan. 7) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.