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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 22 April 2009
When you read this book, do it on a weekend or on holiday. That is, if you need your sleep before a working day. Because this fantastic tale will keep you spellbound from the moment you start the first chapter until you finish the last page.

The story about CIA secret agent Connor Fitzgerald, a totally brave and honourable man, and his last assignment, is truly captivating. From Colombia to Washington and Moscow, via Finland, Switzerland, South Africa to Australia. The CIA, The Oval Office, The Kremlin, the Russian mafia. Even bits from Viet Nam thrown in.

Reviewers have found it unlikely that the CIA would spend such time and resources in order to try and assassinate a top world leader. Probably quite true. But this is fiction, and a tale so expertly woven and told that it does not matter. It all sounds actually plausible, the twists and turns and surprises around every bend of that winding road.

I have always found stories taking place in Russia tending to be a bit drab. Very wrong of me, I know. And anyway, here I'm getting thoroughly and rightly converted. What takes place in Russia is among the most breathtaking and captivating in the whole story.

A masterpiece of a book, which has got it all. A great story about politics, suspense, desception, greed, heroism, love. Told by the greatest storyteller of our times.
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on 1 May 2008
This book, the sequel to the incredible saga Kane and Abel, follows the life of Florentyna Rosnovski - daughter of self made multi-millionaire and entrepreneur Abel.

The book spans over 60 years, from her early school life then charting her marriage and career. We follow the clearly gifted Florentyna through her numerous academic achievements and her involvement with local politics. Following the death of her father, Florentyna becomes head of the Baron Group of hotels, steering it to achieve greater success year on year before returning to the political arena, something she is clearly destined to do. What is there left to do for the woman who has achieved such dizzying heights of achievement and success? Why, Leader of the Free World of course! In a world traditionally dominated by men, Florentyna faces a constant battle in this cut throat world. Can she survive and become America's first female president?

This is yet another page turner from the talented Mr Archer. Not quite as gripping as Kane and Abel, it still however keeps the reader entertained and provides fascinating insights into the world of American Politics, particularly the post Vietnam politics of the late 70s and early 80s. It also introduces the reader to the baffling electoral system and the process for selecting candidates.

Archer wrote The Prodigal Daughter at a time when Margaret Thatcher was in her first term as PM in the UK, so a woman governing a western superpower was not beyond the realms of possibility and therefore makes the book a little more feasible. Yet, as we know, this is yet to be realised in the States...we will have to wait until November to find out of fiction could become reality...

They say a week is a long time in politics...well, over 25 is a lifetime ago and it is interesting to see Archer's political predictions and how near or far from the mark they were. There is one particularly poignant speech which Senator Florentyna makes to the Defence Appropriations Committee about the need to build the States' defences to ensure that no more US lives are lost in pointless wars like Vietnam...

The Prodigal Daughter is a great compulsive read. Archer gets you involved with the characters and plot skilfully as ever; and he clearly writes with a great depth of knowledge, being "in the game" himself. My only criticism would be that it appears to be written for an American audience, and Archer's obvious admiration for the country becomes a little mawkish at times.

Despite this I would still not hesitate in recommending this book as an excellent sequel to a contemporary masterpiece.
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on 17 November 2002
I read this book in three days and could hardly put it down. I have become interested lately in CIA and spy novels, and this book did not disappoint me in any way, in spite of what a couple reviewers below have said about it. What I loved MOST about this book is that you don't expect a CIA assassin to be a truly honorable man, as was this main character. It was really interesting how the author immediately pulls you into the assasin's mind and gets you right on his side.
The reviewers below comment on the plot being implausible--that the CIA would not go around like this assasinating world leaders. I don't think this comment is important. In any novel, we must "suspend our disbelief," and this novel is no different. The more pertinent question in this novel is "What if?" I personally thought it was one of the best plots I have ever read, and I really enjoyed how the characters were one-upping each other. I was really surprised by the twists and turns of the plot as it progressed. And I liked being surprised. An EXCELLENT read.
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on 21 August 2012
I've never read a book by Jeffrey Archer until I read this one and it was 'unputdownable'. His style of writing was gripping and he brought the story to life really well. I read a lot and see good and bad books - this one had me glued to my Kindle. I will most certainly be purchasing more from this author - he was wasted as an MP and a prisioner.
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on 17 November 2002
The only reason I have rated this book four stars instead of five is that the second half of the book gets really extensively into politics, to the point where it bored me. If you enjoy politics you will certainly rate this book five stars. It follows the life of Abel Rosnofski's daughter from her birth until the epitome of her success, in her 60's. I don't want to give away the ending, but will say that the ending was EXTREMELY satisfying, in spite of my having gotten a bit bogged down in the politics.
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on 14 May 2009
One of the best Jeffrey Archer books I have read.Always the twist in the tale and this had more than one
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on 5 June 1999
An all action thriller that demands so little input from the reader that it makes excellent end of day reading. Super heros, cold war style communist leaders and a thinly disguised US President - no surprises here. Lots of action, a host of colourful characters and plenty to reinforce all those preconceived ideas about the CIA. The pace is fast enough to take the reader skimming blissfully over the holes in the plot. Deep this is not, entertaining - yes. Shame about the ending though - just too trite to be believable, even in Archerland.
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on 12 August 2001
This is one of those books that when you start one of the short stories, you simply cannot go on until you have finished it. The classic example of this is Endgame which is a thoroughly fascinating story and keeps you interested all the way through. Chalk and Cheese is also highly entertaining.
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on 24 April 2001
On offer is another full plate of delectable short stories. Some of them are based on true events. This is yet another excellent example of Archer at his best.
From the very start you have a fine short story which took all of 30 seconds to read. How did he do that?
May we ask Jeffrey to keep rolling them out.
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on 26 March 2015
Brilliant, brilliant. Jeffrey archer strikes again! after reading sons of fortune and prisoner of birth I did not think it would be possilbe to find a better jeffrey archer read, however this exceeeded all expectations great story from start to finish .
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