Jeffrey Archer: Something for Nothing

May 20, 2009

A modern story by a well-known author that may be classified under “Suspense” or “Thriller”. This week I read his latest book “Paths of Glory” – okay, readable, but true story or biography is not his métier and he has said that he won’t do it again.

Today’s selection is in “To Cut a Long Story Short”   (HarperCollinsPublishers,  2000).

I have ticked it in the Contents page  – that means I read it when I bought the book some nine years ago. But things tend to fade in memory. Halfway through the story, I thought I guessed how it would go, but these thriller writers can always give a twist to a twist!

While talking to his mother on the telephone, a man gets “crossed lines” and happens to overhear a rendezvous for passing of some ransom money. He makes a dash for the venue and manages to get hold of it. He also gets away! But getting ‘something for nothing’ is fraught with danger.

The story is well-written – the incidents are plausible because the clever author prepares the reader for any twist that he might give. (And the  kind of things he describes is not strange at all because the typical day’s paper has stories of similar happenings right here in Madras.)

But the twists? If only we have a chance to encounter such dramatic turns in our life, which usually runs on such predictable lines: well-oiled even keel.

The  type size  is so small in the book that I don’t think I will return to any other story in it.