A Matter of Honor

( 58 )

Overview

It seems innocent enough. A disgraced British colonel bequeaths a mysterious letter to his only son. But the moment Adam Scott opens the yellowing envelope, he sets into motion a deadly chain of events that threatens to shake the very foundations of the free world.

Within days, Adam's lover is brutally murdered and he's running for his life through the great cities of Europe, pursued not only by the KGB, but by the CIA and his own countrymen as well. Their common intent is to ...

See more details below
Paperback (Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)
$8.99
BN.com price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (32) from $1.99   
  • New (5) from $5.06   
  • Used (27) from $1.99   
A Matter of Honor

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook - First Edition)
$5.99
BN.com price
Marketplace
BN.com

All Available Formats & Editions

Overview

It seems innocent enough. A disgraced British colonel bequeaths a mysterious letter to his only son. But the moment Adam Scott opens the yellowing envelope, he sets into motion a deadly chain of events that threatens to shake the very foundations of the free world.

Within days, Adam's lover is brutally murdered and he's running for his life through the great cities of Europe, pursued not only by the KGB, but by the CIA and his own countrymen as well. Their common intent is to kill him before the truth comes out. While powerful men in smoke-filled rooms plot ever more ingenious means of destroying him, Adam finds himself betrayed and abandoned even by those he holds most dear.

When at last he comes to understand what he is in possession of, he's even more determined to protect it, for it's more than a matter of life and death-it's a matter of honor.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In 1966, Adam Scott, an unemployed British ex-army officer with an uncertain future, attends the reading of his disgraced father's will. Part of his inheritance is a letter detailing the events of Hermann Goering's suicide and two unopened letters from the Nazi general giving him access to a Swiss bank vault and the valuable Russian icon it contains. However, a veritable state secret is concealed in the painting and the KGB and the CIA both want it before the expiry of a crucial deadline. Scott's perilous journey across Europe to the questionable safety of England is by plane, car, foot, bus, ambulance, van, and ferry as he stays one step ahead of death with the assistance of farmers, salesmen, racing cyclists, hoodlums, and an entire orchestra. An epic chase thriller tidily concluded with a series of neat twists. Highly recommended. Literary Guild main selection. John North, L.R.C., Ryerson Polytechnical Inst., Toronto
From the Publisher
"Sizzles along at a pace that would peel the paint off a spaceship." —The New York Times Book Review

"Jeffrey Archer has written the equivalent of an Alfred Hitchcock movie." —Baltimore Sun

"A wild, no-hold-barred slam-bang, pell-mell international thriller." —Buffalo News

 

 

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312933548
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2004
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 202,652
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.64 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeffrey Archer

Jeffrey Archer was educated at Oxford University. He has served five years in Britain’s House of Commons and fourteen years in the House of Lords. All of his novels and short story collections—including And Thereby Hangs a Tale, Kane and Abel, Paths of Glory and False Impression—have been international bestselling books. Archer is married with two sons and lives in London and Cambridge.

Biography

Few contemporary writers can lay claim to as many career highs and lows as Jeffrey Archer -- bestselling novelist, disgraced politician, British peer, convicted perjurer, and former jailbird. And whether you view his misfortunes as bad luck or well-deserved comeuppance depends largely on how you feel about this gregarious, fast-talking force of nature.

Born in London and raised in Somerset, Archer attended Wellington School and worked at a succession of jobs before being hired to teach Physical Education at Dover College. He gained admission to Brasenose College at Oxford, where he distinguished himself as a first-class sprinter and a tireless promoter, famously inveigling the Beatles into supporting a fundraising drive he spearheaded on behalf of the then-obscure charity Oxfam.

After leaving Oxford, Archer continued work as a fundraiser and ran successfully for political office. He was elected to the House of Commons in 1969 but was forced to step down in 1974 when he lost his fortune in a fraudulent investment scheme. He turned to writing in order to stave off bankruptcy. His first novel, Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less, was published in 1976 and became an instant hit. It was followed, in quick succession, by a string of bestsellers, including his most famous novel, Kane and Abel (1979), which was subsequently turned into a blockbuster CBS-TV miniseries.

On the strength of his literary celebrity, Archer revived his political career in 1985, serving as Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party under Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The following year he was forced to resign over a scandal involving payment to a London prostitute. (He admitted paying the money, but denied vehemently that it was for sex.) In 1987, he sued a British tabloid for libel and was awarded damages in the amount of 500,000 pounds.

Despite the adverse publicity, Queen Elizabeth (acting on the advice of Prime Minister John Major) awarded Archer a life peerage in 1992. The Conservative Party selected him to run for Mayor of London in the 2000 election, but he withdrew from the race when perjury charges were brought against him in the matter of the 1987 libel trial. In 2001, he was convicted and served half of a four-year prison term. (He turned the experience into three bestselling volumes of memoir!) Since his release, Lord Archer has expressed no interest in returning to public office, choosing instead to concentrate on charity work and on his writing career.

Controversy has dogged Archer most of his adult life. Claims still circulate that he falsified his paperwork to gain entrance to Oxford; and, at various other times, he has been accused of shoplifting, padding expenses, insider trading, misappropriation of funds, and financing a failed coup d'état against a foreign government. Needless to say, all this has kept him squarely in the sights of the British tabloids.

Yet, for all the salacious headlines and in spite of lukewarm reviews, Archer remains one of Britain's most popular novelists. His books will never be classified as great literature, but his writing is workmanlike and he has never lost his flair for storytelling. In addition to his novels, he has also written short stories and plays. Clearly, in "art," as in life, Jeffrey Archer has proved himself an affable survivor.

Good To Know

Archer was once a competitive runner and represented Great Britain in international competition.

Regarding the sex scandal that ultimately landed her husband in prison, Lady Mary Archer, the author's wife of 35 years, told reporters that she was "cross" with her husband but that "we are all human and Jeffrey manages to be more human than most. I believe his virtues and talents are also on a larger scale."

The prison where Archer was transferred for carrying out his perjury sentence in October 2001 is a "low security" jail on the Lincolnshire coast, a facility known for raising high-quality pork. According to one authority, "It is considered to be a cushy little place."

After his "fall from grace," Archer counted former Conservative PMs Margaret Thatcher and John Major among his many loyal supporters.

In the 1980s, Archer and his wife, Mary, purchased the Old Vicarage, Grantchester, a house associated with the poet Rupert Brooke.
Read More Show Less
    1. Hometown:
      London and the Old Vicarage, Grantchester
    1. Date of Birth:
      April 15, 1940
    1. Education:
      Attended Brasenose College, Oxford, 1963-66. Received a diploma in sports education from Oxford Institute

Read an Excerpt

A Matter of Honor

PART I

THE KREMLIN

MOSCOW May 19, 1966

CHAPTER ONE

THE KREMLIN MAY 19, 1966

"IT'S A FAKE," said the Russian leader, staring down at the small exquisite painting he held in his hands.

"That can't be possible," replied his Politburo colleague. "The Czar's icon of Saint George and the dragon has been in the Winter Palace at Leningrad under heavy guard for over fifty years."

"True, Comrade Zaborski," said the old man, "but for fifty years we've been guarding a fake. The Czar must have removed the original sometime before the Red Army entered Petrograd and overran the Winter Palace."

The head of state security moved restlessly in his chair as the cat-and-mouse game continued. Yuri Zaborski knew after years of running the KGB who had been cast as the mouse the moment his phone had rung at four that morning to say that the General Secretary required him to report to the Kremlin office—immediately.

"How can you be so sure it's a fake, Leonid Ilyich?" the diminutive figure inquired.

"Because, my dear Zaborski, during the past eighteen months the age of all the treasures in the Winter Palace has been tested by carbon dating, the modern scientific process that does not call for a second opinion," said Brezhnev, displaying his newfound knowledge. "And what we have always thought to be one of the nation's masterpieces," he continued, "turns out to have been painted five hundred years after Rublev's original."

"But by whom and for what purpose?" asked the Chairman of the Committee for State Security, his voice incredulous.

"The experts tell me it was probably a court painter," replied the Russian leader,"who must have been commissioned to execute the copy only months before the Revolution took place. It has always worried the curator at the Winter Palace that the Czar's traditional silver crown was not attached to the back of the frame, as it was to all his other masterpieces," added Brezhnev.

"But I always thought that the silver crown had been removed by a souvenir hunter even before we had entered Petrograd."

"No," said the General Secretary dryly, his bushy eyebrows rising every time he completed a statement. "It wasn't the Czar's silver crown that had been removed, but the painting itself."

"Then what can the Czar have done with the original?" the Chairman said, almost as if he were asking himself the question.

"That is exactly what I want to know, Comrade," said Brezhnev, resting his hands on the desk and dwarfing the little painting that remained in front of him. "And you are the one who has been chosen to come up with the answer," he added.

For the first time the Chairman of the KGB looked unsure of himself.

"Do you have anything for me to go on?"

"Very little," admitted the General Secretary, flickingopen a file that he removed from the top drawer of his desk. He stared down at the closely typed notes headed, "The Significance of the Icon in Russian History." Someone had been up all through the night preparing a ten-page report that the leader had only found time to scan. Brezhnev's real interest began on page four. He quickly turned over the first three pages before reading aloud: "'At the time of the Revolution, Czar Nikolai II obviously saw Rublev's masterpiece as his passport to freedom in the West. He must have had a copy made, which he then left on his study wall, where the original had previously hung.'" The Russian leader looked up."Beyond that we have little to go on."

The head of the KGB looked perplexed. He remained puzzled as to why his leader should want state security involved in the theft of a minor masterpiece. "And how important is it that we find the original?" he asked, trying to pick up a further clue.

Leonid Brezhnev stared down at his Kremlin colleague.

"Nothing could be more important, Comrade," came back the reply. "And I shall grant you any resources you may consider necessary in terms of people and finance in your quest to discover the whereabouts of the Czar's icon."

"But if I were to take you at your word, Comrade General Secretary," said the head of the KGB, trying to disguise his disbelief, "I could so easily end up spending far more than the painting is worth."

"That would not be possible," said Brezhnev, pausing for effect, "because it's not the icon itself that I'm after." He turned his back on the Chairman for State Security and stared out of the window. He had always disliked not being able to see over the Kremlin wall and into Red Square. He waited for some moments before he proclaimed, "The money the Czar might have raised from selling such a masterpiece would only have kept Nikolai in his accustomed life-style for a matter of months, perhaps a year at the most. No, it's what we feel certain that the Czar had secreted inside the icon that would have guaranteed security for himself and his family for the rest of their days."

A little circle of condensation formed on the windowpane in front of the General Secretary.

"What could possibly be that valuable?" asked the Chairman.

"Do you remember, Comrade, what the Czar promised Lenin in exchange for his life?"

"Yes, but it turned out to be a bluff because no such document was hidden ... ." He stopped himself just before saying "in the icon."

Zaborski stood silently, unable to witness Brezhnev's triumphant smile.

"You have caught up with me at last, Comrade. You see, the document was hidden in the icon all the time. We just had the wrong icon."

The Russian leader waited for some time before he turned back and passed over to his colleague a single sheet of paper. "This is the Czar's testimony indicating what we would find in the icon of Saint George and the dragon. At the time, nothing was discovered in the icon, which only convinced Lenin that it had been a pathetic bluff by the Czar to save his family from execution."

Yuri Efimovich Zaborski slowly read the hand-written testimony that had been signed by the Czar hours before his execution. Zaborski's hands began to tremble, and a bead of sweat appeared on his forehead long before he had reached the last paragraph. He looked across at the tiny painting, no larger than a book, which remained in the center of the Chairman's desk.

"Not since the death of Lenin," continued Brezhnev, "has anyone believed the Czar's claim, but now there can be little doubt that if we are able to locate the genuine masterpiece, we will undoubtedly also be in possession of the promised document."

"And with the authority of those who signed that document no one could question our legal claim," said Zaborski.

"That would undoubtedly prove to be the case, Comrade Chairman," replied the Russian leader, "and I also feel confident that we would receive the backing of the United Nationsand the World Court if the Americans tried to deny us our right. But I fear time is now against us."

"Why?"

"Look at the completion date on the Czar's testimony, and you will see how much time we have left to honor our part of the agreement," said Brezhnev.

Zaborski stared down at the date, June 20, 1966. He handed back the testimony as he considered the enormity of the task with which his leader had entrusted him. Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev continued his monologue.

"So you can see, Comrade Zaborski, we have one month before the deadline, but if you can discover the whereabouts of the original icon, President Johnson's defense strategy would be rendered virtually useless, and the United States would then become a pawn on the Russian chessboard."

Copyright © 1986 by Jeffrey Archer.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 58 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(26)

4 Star

(19)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(5)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 58 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Wonders never cease. Another triumphant book by Jeffrey Archer.

    Wonderful and stunning is the only way to describe this New York Times bestseller. The characters hold you spellbound as they go through much espionage and intrigue. This book is definitely a thriller as secret agents from different nations try to chase down an icon of great importance.
    The plot is fast paced and the suspense keeps you wanting to read this tale to the end.
    Through this exciting suspense, there is always time for a little loving.
    Women play an important part to the success of the outcome of this story.
    Deciding who is evil and who is good sends the reader into a roller coaster ride. The mystery is first rate and I recommend this book to anyone out there who wants to bask in a great thriller.

    Cherry Blossom

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2005

    Fantastic read

    This is by far one of the best books i've read... aside from Kane and Abel and As the crow flies (both from the same author). Exciting, full of thrills, and not badly written like the Da Vinci code

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2012

    A matter of honor

    A great read, but it would have been even better if it had been checked for spelling errors.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 1999

    A Real Page-Turner!!!!

    It's like having a tour in Europe from Switzerland to Germany to the Louvre in Paris. After you read the book, you will definitely wonder what will happen to Alaska it this is true. Amazing story!!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2005

    Slow starter, like a snowball.

    I found this book to be some what of a slow starter and almost but it down, then it grabbed me and I couldn't but it down, I'm not a fast reader, but I finished this book in three days. I am now reading it for the third time. The ending will knock your socks off.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 27, 2012

    HIGHLY RECOMMEND

    As always Jeffrey Archer shows us what good writing is about. While this starts off slowly, the book continues to weave you in as the plot unfolds.The concept is intriguing and exciting.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2012

    Good read

    This book was slow to take off but overall a good read. Funny and suspenseful.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 18, 2009

    Implausable, but fun

    This is a romp. In a genre with dark, tortured characters, this is a welcome relief. Yes, there are killings and evil and sinister types, but overall it is refreshing. Great story with the twists and turns one would expect from Jeffrey Archer.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2003

    I think you've lost it!

    This is a valliant effort of story tellin and im bitterly disappointed wi' it. In one word 'Rubbish'

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2003

    An Exciting Thriller!

    Jeffrey Archer writes an unputdownable thriller. I've read a few of his books, and I think I liked this one the best. It's about the cold war, so a bit outdated, but that does not lessen the thrill. Archer turned me on to espionage books, and I'm a real fan now.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2002

    007 & The Swiss Miss...

    If you're into writing, this was a good example of how to take a character on a secret mission and give him help along the way without it being too "convenient". The story was suspensful all the way through with plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2000

    SUPERB!!

    It is undoubtedly one of the most exciting and entertaining books that I have ever read. It has enough twists and turns to even keep an avid reader of thriller novels guessing!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2013

    hhgggjhhggg

    Jfghccihjjhhhbhjcncxxxxxghsfjdxjxxmcncnnc

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2013

    Disappointing

    Usually love Mr. Archer but found this book to be slow and at times confusing. Not his best.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2013

    May 12, 2012

    To: may 12, 2012.....IT IS NOT THE NOVEL THAT IS MISSING BIG CHUNKS OF TEXT.....IT IS YOUR NOOK E-BOOK.....HOLD THE POWER BUTTON DOWN UNTIL NOOK ASK IF YOU WANT TO TURN NOOK OFF COMPLETELY.....TURN IT OFF THEN TURN IT BACK ON.....SAME AS A HARDBOOT.....RADAR.....

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 14, 2012

    Great find!

    I'm not sure how after working in bookstores for over 30 years, I managed to skip reading Jeffery Archer. This was the first one of his that I read, and thoroughly enjoyed it, and will read more. I'm a huge fan of Robert Ludlum, Lee Child, David Baldacci, etc. If the rest of Jeffrey Archers books are as good, I'll be a new fan.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2012

    Wheeler

    Posie

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2012

    Riveting!!

    Could not put book down.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 4, 2012

    Great Book

    Archer is one of the best writers around. Good plot well defined characters well written. I simply cannot say enough good things about this author. Not sure if this will be one of my "read this again " books but it's close

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2012

    Entertaining, fast, engaging

    The action is fast, and the character development is good. The plot and story depend on coincidence and uncommon luck, but that isn't unusual in this genre. On the whole this was quite entertaining and a good read, but I prefer something with more depth.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 58 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)