A Twist in the Tale

A jealous businessman with blood on his hands, an African finance minister with a reputation for reform, a wealthy, arrogant British couple on the prowl in Turkey for a bargain-priced Oriental carpet, a wine expert putting his knowledge to the test, an Allied commander at odds with his superior on a Japanese war tribunal, a young man who marries his high school sweetheart despite family opposition--in spite of their differences, these characters, and their stories, all benefit from Jeffrey Archer’s ability to catch the heedless reader unawares. Like his earlier works--including NOT A PENNY MORE, NOT A PENNY LESS; KANE AND ABEL; THE PRODIGAL DAUGHTER; and A MANNER OF HONOR--this collection upholds Archer’s well-deserved reputation for entertaining plot-twisters.

Archer claims that most of the stories in A TWIST OF THE TALE were based on “known incidents,” although he admits that they were “embellished with considerable license.” Life is often odder than fiction, and coincidence is no stranger to history; Archer’s prose rings true even when the fantastic has intruded, skewering the reader’s half-formed conclusions. This best-selling author deftly creates lively, appealing fiction in which the dupe controls the scam and the identity of the true victim changes bewitchingly, in the turning of a page.