A Twist in the Tale

Jeffrey Archer, Author
Jeffrey Archer, Author Simon & Schuster $17.45 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-67148-8
Reviewed on: 09/02/1991
Release date: 09/01/1991
Archer's ( Kane and Abel ) talent as a raconteur is evident in these 12 distinctive short stories, all of which have surprise endings. Many center on human failings such as jealousy, obstinacy, pettiness or prejudice; 10 are based on ``known incidents'' that Archer has ``embellished.'' An almost reportorial, straightforward style actually enhances each concluding jolt. In ``The Perfect Murder,'' a married man kills his mistress, cunningly implicates someone else, and ensures that hapless person's conviction. ``A La Carte'' concerns Mark Hapgood, who grudgingly works as a lowly hotel porter to please his father, then unexpectedly becomes a celebrated hotel chef. The amorous, contented female narrator of ``Just Good Friends'' turns out to be a cat. The stunning ``Christinia Rosenthal'' shows the needless tragedy that results when a girl's anti-Semitic parents oppose her marriage to a rabbi's son. Though the plots are rather slight, Archer's understanding of human nature, and his talent for surprise endings, make this volume a must for his fans. First serial to Penthouse and New Woman; Literary Guild alternate; major ad/promo; author tour. (Jan.)
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