Author: Jeffrey Archer
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Genre: Crime, Mystery Thriller
First Publication: 1976
Major Characters: Jean-Pierre Lamanns, Harvey Metcalfe, Stephen Bradley, Dr. Robin Oakley, Anne Summerton, David Kesler, Lord James Brigsley
Setting place: Monte Carlo (Monaco); Boston, Massachusetts (United States); Oxford, England (United Kingdom); London, England
Narration: Third Person
Book Summary: Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less by Jeffrey Archer
The conned: an Oxford don, a revered society physician, a chic French art dealer, and a charming English lord. They have one thing in common. Overnight, each novice investor lost his life’s fortune to one man. The con: Harvey Metcalfe. A brilliant, self-made guru of deceit. A very dangerous individual. And now, a hunted man.
With nothing left to lose four strangers are about to come together-each expert in their own field. Their plan: find Harvey, shadow him, trap him, and penny-for-penny, destroy him.
From the luxurious casinos of Monte Carlo to the high-stakes windows at Ascot to the bustling streets of Wall Street to fashionable London galleries, their own ingenious game has begun. It’s called revenge-and they were taught by a master.
Book Review: Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less by Jeffrey Archer
Harvey Metcalfe, a self-made man who has made himself a fortune through deceit and shady deals, has done it again. He has made a million dollars by running a scam of an oil company which is likely to strike rich in the future. Four of the major investors in the company are now penniless; an Oxford Don, a Harley Street doctor, a Bond Street art dealer and a young English Lord.
All four men are brilliant in their own special fields of work and make a pact to get their money back, Not A Penny More, Not A Penny less. Each person has to make their own plan and together they will practice it to perfection enact it, when the time is right. The person who cheated them is not an easy man to bring down, though he does not know it…the four men who he cheated will be back to reclaim their hard-earned money, and they will do what ever it takes to get it all back whilst being undercover.
“Making a million legally has always been difficult. Making a million illegally has always been a little easier. Keeping a million when you have made it is perhaps the most difficult of all.”
The story is rather slow to start but it becomes intense after the mid-point of the book with an action set pace. Jeffrey Archer does an excellent job with truly explaining the characters of the book along with their professions and how they think. Some of the descriptions were so specific that one would assume that he personally met that character.
Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less by Jeffrey Archer was very well written and had two amazing plot twists near the end. Readers should be prepared for anything or else be sucked into the insane world of plot twists. Some of the less redeeming traits of the book was how some explanations of places that were used as settings were rather meagre. Sometimes the reader may have to break away from the text and imagine the scene themselves.
“One of the advantages of real worth is that menial tasks can always be left to someone else.”
Among the various things I liked about Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less by Jeffrey Archer is the way the plot unfolds; the author gives the reader just a brief picture of the plans before each of the them are carried out. And when the plans actually unfold they are simply brilliant! It keeps the reader intrigued and in anticipation. The plans are so meticulous and perfectly timed that it seems like a scene from a thrilling movie!
The other thing I liked about the book is that all the characters in it are richly described. All the main characters have a background story to them and all of them seem very real and interesting. We also see how the Four come up with different plans; each with a plan suited to his character and ability.
Overall the book is a very good read with a brilliant plot and rich and interesting characters, with a bit of humour and romance added in.