I seriously love the people in my life who precisely know what I want as a gift and I feel all the more delighted when they ask me a right question like my darling Sister in law asked me last week while coming over for a little summer break as she called me I guess from a book store. She knew that I had wrapped up seven Jeffrey Archer books back to back hence it will be perfect to pick up one more and called to ask whether I had read it or not :) - this is how I got this superb thriller and another Archer book got checked out from my ever long TBR. Also, I needed a break after finishing the last emotional ride with a Jodi Picoult book before going ahead with two more of her works which I presume will be no less than the previous one. This was a perfect thriller unfortunately I wanted it to last long as this was the last Archer book from my collection but as the fate had it - its just an unstoppable thriller that end up ending in flat 48 hours.
If you have read this one I am sure you will agree with me that Archer actually tried writing one in Dan Brown's style. I just couldn't not compare it with usual Dan Brown thriller, where there is always some classic old painting in the background, the whole story revolves around it. There may be some codes or hints hidden behind or inside the Art work and will always require a professional decoding, it even takes us briefly to Dan Brown's favorite Louvre in Paris too. With couple of groups (Countries in here) are chasing after the same stuff. One good guy who owns or it belongs to him with one equally good (read fantastic) enemy behind him throughout on killing spree left right and center. A total free hand to go to any extent to extract the Art work that too in a limited time frame as a lot depends on it. This time its none other but America against its arch enemy Russia in picture with Germans, Brits, French and Swiss thrown in between for a good measure. Imagine the travel, running around, KGB, CIA, Swiss police and it all starts with opening a simple "Will" of an almost unknown army man who leaves his son a mere 500 pounds and a letter directing him to something he himself doesn't know the real value off. The cat and mouse game between the protagonist an Ex Army Captain and a Russian KGB operative is so damn nice that they almost get neck to neck before the fantastic finale which makes the reader breathless by the way they keep coming close to each other again and again.
Jeffrey Archer is a class story teller - no doubts on that as not only the main track, even the parallel tracks and characters do make a lasting impression on the reader. I was totally impressed by the way he carved out so many of them in this 400 page book which again felt too short to me as it finished itself so fast, wanted to keep going for more but as all good things come to an end this one had too.