BOOK REVIEW: A Twist In The Tale – by Jeffrey Archer

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Title: A Twist In The Tale
Author: Jeffrey Archer
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Short Stories
First published: 1988
Finished reading: May 1st 2015
Pages: 320
Rating 1,5

“I shall never forget your reply. She is, you said, far better than us, if the only way you can prove your superiority is to punch her friend in the face.”

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True, I didn’t realize this was actually a collection of short stories when I started reading A Twist In The Tale. I confess I mostly picked this read because I needed to read a book that was written in the year I was born (1988). I normally don’t mind reading short stories as long as they are interesting, but in this case they were just so… Bland. Uninteresting characters, weak plot and a ‘twist’ that you can guess as soon as you started reading them. The only reason I’ve given this collection a rating higher than one star is the very last story ‘Christina Rosenthal’. Only with that story that is in fact a letter written by a Jewish guy to his father, Jeffrey Archer was able to convince me. The rest of the stories mostly left me bored or even frustrated. Basically, what I mean is that I wouldn’t recommend reading this collection, unless you skip straight to the last story. If you ask me, the rest of them aren’t worth your time.

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Jeffrey Archer introduces us to a bunch of short stories where things turn out to be different than you originally think when you start reading them. Every short story has a twist in the end that is supposed to surprise you or teach you a lesson… The stories are set all over the world and have different characters. An African finance minister trying to defend his government, a husband who thinks he committed the perfect murder, a chess champion who thinks he can play his way into a woman’s heart, a Jewish man telling his father the story of his life… All form part of this collection.

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I’m not sure if I would call A Twist Of The Tale a waste of a time, but I cannot exactly say it’s worth reading either. The characters are flat, cliche and boring in general, with the one exception of the last story. The ‘twists’ were quite easy to guess early on in the stories, and all in all it was almost a struggle to get through this collection of short stories. Only the last story, ‘Christina Rosenthal’, was interesting enough to catch my eye, but the rest I definitely wouldn’t recommend reading.

WWW Wednesdays #37 – April 29th

wwwwednesdaysOriginally featured at Should Be Reading and now hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words, WWW WEDNESDAYS is still about answering the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?

harrypotterandthedeathlyhallowsdorothymustdieI have been reading Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige since yesterday and I’m absolutely loving it so far. I’m definitely going to try and finish it before the end of this month! Same goes for Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows; I’m about 70% into the story and it’s incredible how many new details I’m discovering while I’m rereading this last book in the HP series!

  • What did you recently finish reading?

themetamorphosisIvampireacademy finished Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead the other day and I cannot say I enjoyed reading it. I guess cheesy vampire stories are just not for me, especially if the main character is such an arrogant pain in the ***… I also finished The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka for my TBR Pile challenge, a novel that was ok in general but not the influential classic I thought it would be. Luckily my current reads are better!

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

atwistinthetalemrpenumbras24hourbookstoreUsing my TBR jar a while back got me A Twist In The Tale by Jeffrey Archer, a book I can conveniently use for my Bookish Bingo Girly Geek challenge… It was written in 1988, the year I was born. 😀 I’m also looking forward to be finally reading Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan… I’ve heard mixed things about it, but it sounds like an interesting read.

BOOK REVIEW: A Matter Of Honour – by Jeffrey Archer

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Title: A Matter Of Honour
Author: Jeffrey Archer
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Spy Thriller
First published: December 31st 1985
Finished reading: October 21st 2014
Pages: 439
Rating 3

“Adam took one hand off the handlebars and fingered the envelope in his inside pocket like a schoolboy the day before his birthday feeling the shape of a present in the hope of discovering some clue as to its contents.”

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This book was recommended to me by a friend who knows I like historical fiction and the thriller/mystery genre. And he was right: I always enjoy reading books set in the Europe of the last century, especially when they are related to WWI, WWII or the Cold War. In this case, A Matter of Honour is set during the Cold War and tells us about a lost Soviet treasure that can possibly give the Soviets the right to claim back one of the US states. Jeffrey Archer takes us on a journey through various European countries where the Soviets chase the man that supposedly is in the possession of the painting that holds the document. An interesting read and recommended to those who enjoy historical fiction and spy thrillers in general.

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When the Soviets find out the original painting wasn’t destroyed in a plane crash, all hell breaks loose. The document that is hidden inside that painting can force the Americans to sell one of their states, but the document is only valid for one more month… And they start a frantic search in order to find the painting that has been considered ‘lost’ since the Revolution. In the mean time in the UK, Adam Scott inherited an old envelope from his father. Inside, he finds a letter from the German Goering, promising his father something that has been deposited in a Swiss bank for him to pick up. As you can guess, it involves the exact same painting the Russians are looking for. As soon as he picks up his package, the KGB murder his girlfriend and start a manhunt to catch Adam… And soon everybody is looking for him in order to obtain the precious painting. Will Adam be able to escape death and finally restore his father’s honor?

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Even though it was an interesting read, I felt there was something missing to consider it as a pageturner. It was hard to stay focused at some points in the story and not every plot detail was as convincing as I would have hoped… The fact that Adam was able to continue the way he did, and that he had a lot of ‘luck’ in meeting just the right people seemed a bit unbelievable to me. Still, it is a nice read and I will try to read more of Archer‘s work in the future.

WWW Wednesdays #15 – October 22nd

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Originally featured at Should Be Reading… WWW WEDNESDAYS is all about answering the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?

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7020181I’ve started reading The Dead Zone by Stephen King last weekend, but then realized I needed to finish reading some other books I promised to lend out first. I’m crossing my fingers I will be finishing One Day by David Nicholls later today or tomorrow, because I promised to give it this Friday… It’s an interesting read so far and I definitely want to finish it before I lend it out.

  • What did you recently finish reading?

hopesrebellionamatterofhonourI finished Hope’s Rebellion, an ARC written by Jade Varden, last week, and I’m in the process of writing a full review. I’ve also finishing A Matter Of Honour by Jeffrey Archer the other day, which I will post a review of before the end of the week… It seems like I have been reading quite a mix of genres lately.

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

21964071To be honest, I have no idea. Did you ever had that feeling you have too many books you want to read at the same time? I guess that’s the problem I’m having at the moment…  I will probably settle for some pending ARC’s first, and read Elemental Rancor: A Chronicle Of Consequence by Charles Lominec… To be followed by something creepy to celebrate Halloween.

WWW Wednesdays #14 – October 15th

wwwwednesdays

Originally featured at Should Be Reading… WWW WEDNESDAYS is all about answering the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?

hopesrebellionamatterofhonourI have started Hope’s Rebellion and since it doesn’t have that many pages and it’s good, I will probably finish it soon. It’s an ARC written by Jade Varden. I’m also reading A Matter Of Honour by Jeffrey Archer, mostly because I have to finish it before next week…

 

  • What did you recently finish reading?

divinefallblackrosesOf Divine Fall I have already uploaded my review. Like I said before, this novel by Kathryn Knight is surely an entertaining read and definitely worth it if you like paranormal/fantasy romance novels. I’ve also finished Black Roses by Jane Thynne yesterday, and it was a huge disappointment. A full rant/review will be posted tommorrow.

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

11573479309Probably The Dead Zone by Stephen King or Naked In Death by J.D. Robb… I’m in need of a good horror/thriller/mystery story, and either of the two seem a good choice. I will probably go with The Dead Zone though, just because I know Stephen King mostly delivers with his stories.

WWW Wednesdays #13 – October 8th

wwwwednesdays Originally featured at Should Be Reading… WWW WEDNESDAYS is all about answering the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?

blackIdivinefall still haven’t finished Black Roses by Jane Thynne, which is mostly due to the fact that I find the main characters VERY boring and flat. I will still finish reading this one in the hope it becomes better, because I do like the fact that it takes place in the Berlin of the 1930s. I’ve started Divine Fall by Kathryn Knight in the mean time, an ARC I’m highly enjoying so far.

  • What did you recently finish reading?

thelegendofsleepyhollowAfter finishing Mr. Mercedes and not really enjoying it, I wanted to read a real horror story. Making the mistake that The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving fits that description, I decided to read this novel before finishing Black Roses. I probably would have enjoyed The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow way better if I just would have read it at a different time; I wasn’t in the mood for dense prose and long descriptions when I picked up my copy of this classic.

 

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

hopesrebellion

Either Hope’s Rebellion by Jade Varden, another ARC and part of the Guest Reviewers Program at Ethereal Book Reviews, or one of the books mentioned in last week’s WWW Wednesdays. ( A Matter Of Honour by Jeffrey Archer or Flood Tide by Clive Cussler) I should read either of the last two since I have to give back the copies in about two weeks…

WWW Wednesdays #12 – October 1st

wwwwednesdays

Originally featured at Should Be Reading… WWW WEDNESDAYS is all about answering the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?

blackrosesI just started reading Black Roses yesterday, and I’m not that far into the story at all yet. But until now I like this novel set in the thirties of Germany and written by Jane Thynne. I’m having high hopes for this one! It’s also my first actual book after various ebooks, so I’m enjoying every minute of having a real book in my hands again. Although I have to admit it feels strange after reading so many ebooks.

  • What did you recently finish reading?

mrmercedesI finished Mr. Mercedes yesterday, and I still have to write a full review. What I can say for now that Stephen King definitely didn’t deliver with his newest novel. I just couldn’t like it, and I kept wondering if he really did write this one… Too bad; I had high hopes with this book as I normally enjoy his work. Back to the King‘s oldies it is! (I have The Dead Zone and Joyland still lined up for reading.)

 

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

amatterofhonour

Ifloodtide have to return some books to a friend before the 21st, so I have moved A Matter Of Honour by Jeffrey Archer and Flood Tide by Clive Cussler up my TBR list and made them into my next reads. They are not books I normally choose, but I’m going to give them a go anyway. Anyone read any of these two titles?