Book Review – Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less by Jeffrey Archer
A very extraordinary plot that will keep you glued to the edge of your seat and an exciting experience to accompany the author and the characters as if you were one of them. Jeffrey Archer is one of those authors who would take you with him from the beginning by introducing the characters in such a way that by the end of the story, you would really know these characters and be a part of this well-planned and beautifully woven story. . It is worth the time you dedicate to reading this novel, the best I have read in a long time. I would recommend it to anyone and it will surely be on his favorites list.
The story begins with the introduction of the main character Harvey Metcalfe as a 16-year-old messenger on the Stock Exchange. In a matter of time, he quickly understands the ups and downs in the stock market and jumps into his first successful venture. At 19 he earns his first million and Harvey Metcalfe, the super mind, doesn’t stop.
The plot begins with Harvey making money from the innocent and honest men who try their hand at stocks. Harvey puts some shares in a Prospecta Oil company of which his friend is the director and, with the help of his friends, spreads the word to the market that they have found an oil hole somewhere in the sea. from North. David Kesler, an innocent Harvard graduate, is drawn to this job which markets Prospecta oil well. David brings in money from Stephen, Robin, Jean-Pierre and Lord James Brigsley, who are the scapegoats at Prospecta Oil. Little do they know about the stock market and, believing David, they fall into the trap of Harvey’s plans, who sweeps them up without leaving any clues.
The four led by Stephen come together to plan a revenge against Harvey and get back the money they lost without Harvey’s knowledge. Stephen does in-depth research on the history of Harvey Metcalfe, his work, routine, vacations, family, etc. and prepare 4 copies of dossier.
The four agree to meet in 14 days, with a plan of their own befitting their caliber and profession to recoup the million dollars plus interest and expenses spent in the imminent future, ‘Not one cent less, not one cent. Further.’ They also make a pact to maintain confidentiality and each character is included to fulfill the other’s plan.
The first step is led by Jean Pierre who is an artist by profession and has several painting exhibitions. Harvey’s fondness for a Van Gogh painting is the springboard for his plan. The four arrange to turn Harvey’s vacation into a well thought out plan to take him to a Van Gogh painting which is of course a replica of the original, but very convincingly they sell it to him for £1,70,000.
The second investigation is carried out by Robin, who is a doctor by profession. He has full training prearranged for the other three to meet the requirements of his plan, from meeting medical needs, playing blackjack and casino games, and marking time to avoid traffic. They all excel in the roles of him again beating Harvey into believing that he has a gallbladder stone and that he needs an emergency operation, saving his life for the whopping sum of $1,50,000.
Then comes the mastermind Stephen, who is a mathematics professor and his calculations take Harvey to Oxford University to meet with the Chancellor and Vice Chancellor and honor him with the Doctorate of Letters, he charges another sum of $2,50,000.
Meanwhile, Lord James Brigsley, who doesn’t consider himself good at any profession, is dating a girl, Anne Summerton, and tells her of their secret mission to avenge Harvey Metcalfe. To his full disclosure, he discovers that Anne Summerton is Harvey’s daughter, who goes by the name Anne Rosalie Metcalfe. He is stunned when he finds out that Harvey couldn’t recognize James because he was in disguise on all three missions. James invites Stephen, Robin and Jean Pierre to his wedding, ahead of the final mission that he has yet to reveal. At the wedding, they are surprised when Harvey steps aside to deliver his daughter in the church to Lord James Brigsley. They go unnoticed by Harvey and he eventually presents his daughter with a wedding gift, a check for $2,50,000 that she signs to Stephen from the fourth mission.
The author has booked so many climactic situations and presented each and every event in such a way that the reader can feel goosebumps and will surely forget everything around them to know what happens next! Jeffrey Archer has every detail and setting laid out in a unique style, giving importance to planning that really is the winner in mastermind narrative.
Everyone is happy with their achievements when they come across the news that Prospecta Oil has hit an oil hole and the stock appears to have hit $12.75.
Jeffrey Archer is an extraordinary mind who has shown the importance of planning and has told such a great story that the reader is bound to be a part of it. He will surely pay you back for every penny you spent on the book and the time you wasted reading this wonderful tale. He now he has become one of my favorites.