Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less by Jeffrey Archer (review by Andrew R. ’17)

Not a Penny More, Not a Penny LessNot a Penny More, Not a Penny Less by Jeffrey Archer
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

When a millionaire pulls off an elaborate scheme to steal money from other millionaires, it’s up to the conned millionaires to chase the criminal millionaire around to all his high-society haunts so that they can surreptitiously extract their fortunes from him and become millionaires once more. As a non-millionaire, it’s hard to sympathize with all these fabulously wealthy characters whose most important traits are their holdings in African gold and their prize-winning orchid collections. Archer is wedded to elaborate scene descriptions, from the exact years of every expensive bottle of wine the characters enjoy to the brand and tailor of each of their suits. To provide these details, Archer often draws a little too far on his narrative omniscience. By the fifth chapter, he’s revealed all but one plot twist in the entire novel, leaving the reader to tag along on the protagonists’ journeys to Wimbledon and Monte Carlo without caring too much who will succeed and who will fail. Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less is a good fit for readers who share the author’s penchant for finances, but at 300 pages, the novel isn’t prepared to offer much else. – Andrew R. ’17

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