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4.5 out of 5 stars167
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 1 November 2005
If you want a story of pure revenge, of people who get back at their deceiver, no matter what it takes, then this novel is for you. There are other novels in the same genre, but when the master story teller sets forth on the same theme, you get a novel like this. It stands apart from the rest in terms of the scenes, pace (or its variation), balance etc. There is no doubt about it.
Harvey Metcalfe, whose business acumen (irrespective of the moral connotations) had been sharpened on the streets, cons four unsuspecting investors (who are strangers to each other, but who had been baited by Harvey for carrying out his plans), with prospects of huge oil money. And they are not common folk - each of them is a notable person in his right - Stephen is an Oxford professor, Robin is a high profile physician, Jean-Pierre, a famous art dealer, and James Brigsley, an heir to earldom. They have one aspect in common - they have all been ripped off by Harvey - for a huge sum of money (million dollars).
How they join hands and get back at Harvey forms the rest of the story, in this thriller saga of revenge, with cunning and deceit. The pace never wanes any time, and I never wanted to keep the book down. If you liked the Payback movie, you are going to love this novel more, since it has 4 people wanting revenge - not a penny more, not a penny less... that is their motto, and they stand by it.
I expected a page-turner, and got one in this. It has the intelligence, pace, language, plot, characters - all that makes this a great novel, which is expected from a novelist of such acclaim as Archer. I read this after finishing Kane and Abel and The Prodigal Daughter, and should say that this novel is devoid of any unnecessary digressions, in spite of handling at least four players.
Do they finally succeed in their enterprise? The way Archer has written the ending of the novel is worth noticing. You have to read it till the end to get the thrill (and the fun)
Must buy for long weekends, long journeys, or simply anytime you want to spend your time with a good novel. I would recommend this book to all my friends.
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on 31 January 2012
Harvey Metcalfe is a rags to riches personality who grew up in the States in the early twentieth century to become a multi-millionaire by the mid 1960s through a series of deceitful transactions. A real chancer he first got on his way to wealth through, "Borrowing," an investor's $50,000 investment subscription and through inside information buying shares in an oil company.

(As a side note I have just recently started his novel : "Kane and Abel," and it appears Mr Archer is keenly interested in self made men. No doubt as he concerns himself to be one too).

Mr Metcalfe launches a company called Prospecta Oil which is paper company which has taken a cheap licence to drill for oil in the North Sea off the coast of Great Britain. He lures four investors onboard and sells his stake out in stages at the top of the market causing these four large investors to be sitting on large paper losses.

I enjoyed this novel because it is racy, and is a real page turner, (Archer seems to be the master at this). The four disgruntled investors get in touch with one another and determine to recoup their collective losses from Harvey for not a penny more, not a penny less. (Presumably this rule is due to the pedantry of the investor who is a scholar from Oxford University!)

I won't ruin it by revealing the spoiler but that is another reason why I enjoyed the read. I love a good twist in the tail!
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on 22 March 2007
I really enjoyed this book. I won't write what it's about since everyone else has covered it quite thoroughly. However, I returned to it many times to read again passages that I found particularly enjoyable. I can pick it up, open it at a random page and instantly be engrossed once more. As a matter of fact I find that with many of Archer's books.

Certainly that's the kind of thing that makes him a bestselling writer, but does bestselling mean `great'?

I don't know. What does `great' mean? I tried reading One Hundred Years of Solitude (which is supposed to be a great book) a few years ago, and gave up after 300 pages when I couldn't remember who was related to whom any more. On the other hand, I have loved Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird since I was a teenager. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Is Archer a great writer? Who cares? For me, `Not a penny...' is a great read, and that's what counts.
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on 19 August 2009
A story of great interest to people that are subject being "Conned".
Archer writes the story as if you are the person that has been duped!!
Brilliant read and fast paced!
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on 2 November 2011
Jeffrey Archer has a very creative mind and this novel lives up to his usual standards. This story is written in an autobiographical style and is about a quartet of exceptional people who were conned out of their money and club together to get their own back on their common trickster. A fast-paced and enjoyable thriller.
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on 1 January 2012
my mother gave me this from her shelf as i was looking for something new to read. I was not dissapointed! this book is exceptionally well executed and the storyline is great - unputdownable! very clever and very funny too!!! - i have become an archer fan because of this book - the first one i have read from J.A.
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on 15 October 2012
A well written novel with a great plot. The first 2/3 of the book is very good but the final third is when the story -line comes to life! A suprising ending that works really well. Overall, this is a typical Archer novel. I would certainly reccommend purchasing this item.
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on 25 August 2012
This was an enjoyable read,but not the best ja has written.It didn't leave me desparate for my next free moment to continue reading,though saying that the twist in the tail on this book was pure genius and worth reading for that alone......overall good but not great
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on 31 December 2012
A gift for my mother-in-law who is not tech savvy. Having not found this in the library or on the store shelves, she thought she would never get to read it. As if by magic (Amazon magic), I produced one for a very happy in-law. Many Thanks.
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on 11 April 2013
This was a re-buy, since I had this same book on tape, years ago, and lost it. I re-bought it on CD and love the twists and turns.
Well Done Sir Jeffrey, a masterpiece, up there with Night Over Water, and Deception Point.
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