' A Dangerous Fortune' tells the story of Hugh Pilaster and his family - bankers and influential people-from his days as a schoolboy and the mysterious death of Peter Middleton, a schoolfellow- a death in which Hugh's cousin Edward might well be implicated- to the family bank's collapse some twenty years later.It is full of intrigue, love, murder, plots, blood... It is highly nonsensical most of the time. All the characters are either villains of the deepest hue or near saintly goodies. Implausible turns and twists abound and credibility is stretched to the maximum , so stretched in fact you can hear it snap quite a few times. But it is nonetheless entertaining. I've been so disappointed in what I've read lately that ' A Dangerous Fortune', in spite of all its flaws, was like a bit of unpretentious fresh air. It amused me a lot and I kept reading because I wanted to know what would happen next rather than because I wanted to throw the book away. I must say that Ken Follett didn't waste any subtlety on this one. Aunt Augusta for example, who manages to manipulate everybody, doesn't have too difficult a time plotting and planning. A few well chosen sentences and everybody does her bidding. You don't believe in it one moment but funnily enough it never annoyed me. And it is exactly the same with all the other characters. Even the main protagonist Hugh, shrewd and talented man of business with impeccable flair for arranging profitable mergers, goes and marries a feckless fortune hunter when it is obvious that alarm bells should have been ringing in his head and creating quite a cacophony.You have to admire the sheer nerve it took to write so much nonsense with great aplomb. But I did enjoy it and it doesn't bother me to admit it!