Jeffrey Archer is a name that needs no introduction. An English novelist with so many of his books turned into movies, he established himself as a very talented writer and storyteller with his very first novel. Whether you are an avid reader or an amateur one, you ought to be familiar with this name if you have visited a few bookstores in your lifetime. Every bookstore has at least three to four different titles at any time among the best Jeffrey Archer books because of the wide readership of the author. Till today, he has published over 34 titles that have been distributed worldwide across 97 countries. His work is available in 33 languages as translated for the wide range of readership. The success of this writer is unquestionable. Here is our set of 10 best Jeffrey Archer books that you should definitely read once in your lifetime:
Kane and Abel
One of the best Jeffrey Archer books, Kane and Abel is an internationally acclaimed book. As per the bible, Cane and Abel were the first case of sibling rivalry on earth. The book revolves around a similar story of William Lowell Kane and Abel Rosnovski, who were born at the far ends of the world on the same day. It is the story of these two powerful men with opposite fates who end up destroying each other in a battle of hatred that consumes them completely. Abel is a poor penniless man born in war-struck Poland, and ends up being an immigrant in Boston and Kane is born to a millionnaire father in Boston itself.
The only thing you can say about this book after reading it is that you will not be able to put it down once you start reading it. The storyline is so intense that you may even feel like you are reading multiple books at once. The characters have been given a very adequate and compelling background story, that gets you really invested in them. It makes you think how to two people who belong to two very different backgrounds can still be almost the same at heart. Some of the subjects discussed in the book are very unique and it is most likely that you wouldn’t have read them anywhere else before.
Only Time Will Tell
This book is the first one in the series of Clifton Chronicles, which is a complete set of 7 books. The story in the book revolves around the character of Harry Clifton, who never knew his father because he was told that he died in a war. An unexpected scholarship later, his life turns around as he enters a new school. Eventually, as the story progresses, he learns the real reason his father died. This new fact leads to an interesting turn in the story where Harry wonders whether his father really was his father. Later, Harry is forced to make another choice that will decide his fate.
The book covers generations worth of stories within one single story, which is a commendable talent that Archer has. The intense plotline of the story will keep you engaged and at the edge of your seat the whole time as you read this ambitious story of Harry Clifton. Values, friendships, love, hard-work, many of these elements are very well reflected in the characters of this novel. If this book gets you hooked and leaves you wanting for more from the story, don’t worry, as this is only the first one in a series of 7 books that you can always count on.
The reason why most of the best Jeffrey Archer books are bestsellers is that they are filled with thrill and excitement, which many readers love. This novel is no exception. The story revolved around a character named William Warwick, who had always dreamed of becoming a detective. But the surprise was that he neither ended up becoming barrister, much like his father nor did he become a detective. He ends up joining the Police Force in London. This decision shapes his career and his life ahead as he goes on investigating some cases where the people involved are ready to bend the law in their favour.
The main character of the Clifton Chronicles, Harry Clifton, is the author of a series and writes about William Warwick in the story. In this book, Jeffrey Archer has brought to life the same character and called it the first book in the series on William Warwick. It will be interesting to find out what is next in store for this character in the coming parts of the series. In the book, Archer’s ability to keep the story simple to understand yet exciting and enthralling is very well reflected in the writing style. The length of the chapters is a good mix of long and short chapters, making it comfortable for the readers.
The Sins of The Father
In this sequel to Harry Clifton’s story, he joins the merchant navy and is rescued alongwith some other people by an American cruise liner in a drowning incident, where many of his crew members drown. As the story progresses, Harry’s past catches up with him, despite his efforts to escape from it by assuming a different identity, and it does so in worse ways than he could have ever imagined. The story also includes an incident that derails Harry’s wedding with Emma Barrington, his great grand love. You will be helpless and forced to get the next book in the series as the story catches up with you.
The second book in the series of Clifton Chronicles, and yet another bestseller by Jeffrey Archer, ‘The Sins Of The Father’ is yet another testament to the master storytelling skills possessed by the writer. Even if you haven’t read the first book in the series, you can start reading the series with this book itself. You might miss out on some context but this book makes for an independent interesting read in itself. Similar to the prequel ‘Only Time Will Tell’, this book leaves you at a cliffhanger and makes you curious to read the next one in the series. That is the mark of every good writer.
Best Kept Secret
The third book in the series of Clifton Chronicles, ‘Best Kept Secret’ has been received positively by readers and critics alike. The story in the series progresses after the book ‘The Sins Of The Father’ as Harry Clifton gets married in this one. The Barriston family fortune is the centre of the plot of this novel and the big question is who gets the fortune. Harry and Emma have a son Sebastian Clifton, who determines the fate of Giles Barrington, the man who stood against Harry Clifton in the fight for the Barriston family fortune. The story later develops around Sebastian, his career, and his life.
The storyline of the book is fascinating and engages the reader in a way that they look forward to what happens next. Like every other Jeffrey Archer book, this one too ends with a lot of unanswered questions. This particular novel is full of drama as new elements are introduced to the story in continuation of the previous one. Some pieces of the puzzle start to come together while new puzzles are built in perfect synchronization.
The momentum of the writing is paced perfectly as it shifts between the Cliftons and the Barringtons. The plot that the novel leaves us with is a cliffhanger about Sabastian that makes you curious and almost desperate to know what happens next. The next books in the series are ‘Be careful what you wish for’, ‘Mightier Than The Sword’, ‘Cometh The Hour’, and ‘This Was A Man’ and they are equally enticing and have taken the series forward with brilliant writing.
Heads You Win
As a child, Alexander was destined to be a leader of the countrymen in Russia. But the murder of his father at the hands of KGB makes it difficult for him and his mother to survive in Russia. The story in the book continues with Alexander Karpenko and his mother decide to leave Russia in the hope for survival as they cannot stay in Russia anymore. They can’t decide whether to go to London or New York and leave it up to the fate of a coin toss. The story then follows to reveal where they end up going and what becomes of Alexander and his alter ego Sascha, who is in London.
Many critics have said that through this particular novel, Jeffrey Archer returned to his original form of an amazing storyteller after his earlier books. This novel has some amazing twist and turns that drive the story to unexpected conclusions. The story touches the elements of destiny, acceptance of the past, and that of triumphs and failures. The end of the story makes you wonder how you tend to miss the most obvious and important observations that should have been so easy to make. Without a doubt, his seamless writing has made this book to enter our list of the best Jeffrey Archer books.
A Prisoner Of Birth
‘A Prisoner Of Birth’ is the story of a guy named Danny Cartwright who is framed by four people and charged with the murder of his best friend to be sentenced to prison for twenty-two years. The prison is not an ordinary one. It is the one that has the highest security where no one can escape from. The story is then about Danny’s journey in the prison, alongwith his cellmates and about the way he escapes from the prison pretending to be one of the cellmates. Once out, he is caught up in the life of the cellmate whose name he used to get out of the prison. The story that follows is how he gets his things in order to finally clear his name.
This is the novel that helped Archer regain his place on the list of bestselling books worldwide, and that’s why it had to make it to our list of the 8 best Jeffrey Archer books. Quotes like “I have discovered with advancing years that few things are entirely black or white, but more often different shades of grey” or “We all suffer in our different ways from being prisoners of birth” are a reflection of the depth of the various concepts that Archer has explored in the book. It is said to be a retelling of ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ in contemporary times.
Not A Penny More, Not A Penny Less
What’s better than a novel inspired by real life? ‘Not A Penny More, Not A Penny Less’ is the first novel to be written by Jeffrey Archer and it is believed that it was inspired by a real-life incident from his life when he went almost bankrupt. It is the story of four strangers who come together when they lose all their wealth to a con man Harvey Metcalfe. Harvey Metcalfe is a self-made man of deceit but brilliantly intelligent. As the four men go on to take revenge from Harvey, the story proceeds into a revenge thriller. Will they get their money back?
A series have also been produced on the book. It is an ultimate story of revenge and getting a lost fortune back. It is a story of how teamwork combined with extreme intelligence can do wonders. The reason why this is among the best Jeffrey Archer Books is that as a first novel, this book established him as a writer. The central theme of the book of revenge and the type of punishment given for a crime is something that we all need to think about, together as a society. The book does a good job of introducing the theme in that way.
This was our list of the 10 best Jeffrey Archer books that you should definitely read. A well-built major plot, intricately drawn characters, and a simple writing style is what characterizes most of the best Jeffrey Archer books. If you have ever experienced the joy of reading a thriller drama in the form of a book, you can understand how intense and exciting the experience can be. And if you haven’t experienced it yet, it’s time you try one of these Jeffrey Archer books and check it out for yourself. You can also read some of the short stories written by him once you start enjoying these novels. Grab one of these exciting books and surely you will not be able to stop yourself from reading all of these! You can also read some great books by Indian authors here.