-by Jeffrey Archer
-review by Muskan Kansal
A New York banker receives a woman’ left ear in the morning post.
A top-notch lawyer works for only one client.. but never charges a fee,
A professional young woman steals a Van Gogh…but she isn’t a thief
An Olympic gymnast is paid a million dollars… but has no bank account.
The story sets off on a mysterious note about it giving the reader an eerie intuition that a lot more is going on than what is being let on.
Anna Petrescu is a talented young girl who is smart, sincere and has always been the first in her class. Her life takes a turn when she is fired from Feston Finance without a legitimate reason. After barely escaping the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. Anna sets about to take things in her own hand, only to find herself in a race against time with little people to trust. Then there is Jack, an investigating FBI officer trying to make out connections between all the sparring individuals none of whom seems innocent and are equally skilled for the crime in question. And he in turn ends up following Anna halfway through the world to find out he is not the only one on her chase. Feston is another interesting character who thinks that the only thing more important than him in the world in money and with the right price anybody can be bought. Feston thinks that firing Anna is the end of his troubles but little does he know that that’s where his troubles begins. In a tale of cat mouse this story has a lot of turns like an intricate set of mazes with the story changing at each turning point. And Jeffrey Archer has beautifully portrayed the world of art collectors, taken us into the households of English aristocrats and drawn the contrast between the Romanian countryside and the hustle bustle of New York city with this story. And not to forget the magnificence of the master artist Van Gogh and people’s fascination with his work specially the ‘Bandaged Ear’.
Characterization – 9
Plot development – 7
Imagery – 7.5
Overall – 8