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4.5 out of 5 stars
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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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I first read this years ago and thought I would give it another try. All I can say is that after reading this I wanted to read more Jeffrey Archer.

He really is an excellent writer and tells a great story. The characters are strong and the story page turning.
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on 27 June 2013
What a wonderful story - I'd recommend it to anyone. It is gripping and has a vein of humour running through it. I came to Jeffrey Archer quite late in my life although I knew he'd written 'some' books but somehow thought I wouldn't like them. How wrong I was; now I can't get enough of them. This one in particular is so well written that you feel you know the characters, and what a collection they are, especially the one who keeps them on the straight and narrow. It's better for you to read the synopsis than for me to tell you what the story's about, but I don't think you'll be disappointed if you buy this..
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on 29 January 2014
I wouldn't have picked a Jeffrey Archer book but a good friend recommended him as an excellent storyteller. I figured millions of others had made him a bestseller so I should give one a try. I'm glad did. Archer spins an excellent yarn, it's the kind of book I wanted to get back to. I've also now read Kane & Abel. I will read others, I'm sure.
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on 1 December 2014
This is a great book by Jeffery Archer, well worth buying and re-reading again. I remember buying the paperback edition when it first came out and was interesting in reading all his books since then. Have bought a few of his ebooks and will get round to reading them all soon.
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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 9 June 2014
In his usual magnificent style, Jeffrey Archer has captivated me yet again with his ability to write a great story.
His intelligent and creative storyline never lets you down; the twist at the end is clever and his characters original and credible.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to all ages and stages of readers as his writing is easy to read, engaging to the end and beautifully crafted.
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on 12 June 2013
What a brilliant story. The characters are believable as is the story. I just could not put this book down and just kept reading as I wanted to end what happened in the end. I was quite sad when I had finished however as I felt that I had lost some friends.
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on 30 July 2016
Quite another extremely well written and constructed novel by Jeffrey Archer. Had read this book quite a number of years ago and at the time I was really impressed by its plot. Saw it again for sale and decided to read it again since I had forgotten the complex plot. Certainly not disappointed second time around and my husband is currently reading the book again. Would certainly recommend it to anyone who still hasn't come across it.
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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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