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Book Review: Nothing Ventured by Jeffrey Archer

William Warwick Series Book #1

Book Review: Nothing Ventured by Jeffrey Archer

Title: Nothing Ventured

Author: Jeffrey Archer

Series: William Warwick

Publisher: Pan MacMillan

Genre: Crime, Mystery Thriller

First Publication: 2019

Language: English

Major Characters: William Warwick, Sir Julian Warwick QC, Grace, Constable Fred Yates, Beth Rainsford, Miles Faulkner, Christina

Narration: Third Person


Book Summary: Nothing Ventured by Jeffrey Archer

William Warwick has always wanted to be a detective, and decides, much to his father’s dismay, that rather than become a barrister like his father, Sir Julian Warwick QC, and his sister Grace, he will join London’s Metropolitan Police Force.

After graduating from university, William begins a career that will define his life: from his early months on the beat under the watchful eye of his first mentor, Constable Fred Yates, to his first high-stakes case as a fledgling detective in Scotland Yard’s Art and Antiques squad. Investigating the theft of a priceless Rembrandt painting from the Fitzmolean Museum, he meets Beth Rainsford, a research assistant at the gallery who he falls hopelessly in love with, even as Beth guards a secret of her own that she’s terrified will come to light.

“Accept nothing, Believe no one, Challenge everything.

While William follows the trail of the missing masterpiece, he comes up against suave art collector Miles Faulkner and his brilliant lawyer, Booth Watson QC, who are willing to bend the law to breaking point to stay one step ahead of William. Meanwhile, Miles Faulkner’s wife, Christina, befriends William, but whose side is she really on?

Nothing Ventured heralds the start of a brand new series in the style of Jeffrey Archer’s number one Sunday Times bestselling The Clifton Chronicles: telling the story of the life of William Warwick – as a family man and a detective who will battle throughout his career against a powerful criminal nemesis. Through twists, triumph and tragedy, this series will show that William Warwick is destined to become one of Jeffrey Archer’s most enduring legacies.

Book Review: Nothing Ventured by Jeffrey Archer

Book Review: Nothing Ventured by Jeffrey Archer

I’m a little nervous that Jeffrey Archer is starting a new series. I really enjoyed Nothing Ventured, but Jeffrey Archer says in a note to the reader that he’s working on the second, and the progress of the series will depend on his longevity. Archer is 79. The first book, Nothing Ventured, of new series is set in the 1980s. Archer says it’s a story of a detective, not a detective story. Nothing Ventured is the first book in the William Warwick series by Jeffery Archer.

Despite his father’s objections, William Warwick eschews reading law at Oxford [as his father had done] and earns a degree in art history at King’s College London. Then he attends Hendon Police College and joins London’s Metropolitan Police Force after graduation. As a probationer at Lambeth Station, William works a beat with Constable Fred Yates, a twenty-eight-year veteran who would become his mentor.

“A police uniform could change a person’s personality, and not always for the better.”

After some eighteen months on the beat, William becomes a neophyte detective in Scotland Yard’s Arts and Antiquities squad where one of his cases involves the hunt for a Rembrandt painting stolen some seven years earlier from the Fitzmoleon Museum. His career, both with the Met and with Scotland Yard, will define his life.

Serving as the inaugural book for a new series, “Nothing Ventured” is a genial introduction to William Warwick. With likable characters and some interesting twists in the plot, the narrative keeps the reader’s interest. Throughout the telling of the tale, William grows, both in his career and in his personal life.

And then there’s the ending that, while certainly designed to serve as a lead-in to the next book in the series, is sure to leave readers wondering why, given the circumstances, Miles Faulkner would ever voluntarily make such a comment to William. It seems completely out of character for a suave, clever, resourceful man.

Any reader of The Clifton Chronicles will remember Harry Clifton’s work as an author and creator of William Warwick, now Archer has brought Warwick and those books to life by writing them. I was so excited to start reading this and intrigued by Archer writing fiction about fiction, a great literary twist.

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