A Twist in the Taleby Jeffrey Archer
Meet the philandering husband who thinks he's committed the perfect murder; the
No one can weave a web of suspense, deliver a jolt of surprise, or teach a lesson in living like bestselling author Jeffrey Archer. From Africa to the Middle East, and from London to Beijing, Archer takes us to places we've never seen and introduces us to people we will never forget.
Meet the philandering husband who thinks he's committed the perfect murder; the self-assured chess champion who plays a beautiful woman for stakes far higher than cash; and the finance minister who needs to crack the secrets of a Swiss bank. Jeffrey Archer's collection of twelve spellbinding stories will sweep you on a journey of thwarted ambition, undying passion, and unswerving honor that you'll never forget.
“Cunning plots, silken style...Archer plays a cat-and-mouse game with the reader.” The New York Times
“A storyteller in the class of Alexander Dumas...Unsurpassed skill...making the reader wonder intensely what will happen next.” Washington Post
Read an Excerpt
The Perfect Murder
If I hadn't changed my mind that night I would never have found out the truth.
I couldn't believe that Carla had slept with another man, that she had lied about her love for me -- and that I might be second or even third in her estimation.
Carla had phoned me at the office during the day, something I had told her not to do, but since I also warned her never to call me at home she hadn't been left with a lot of choice. As it turned out, all she had wanted to let me know was that she wouldn't be able to make it for what the French so decorously call a "cinq à sept." She had to visit her sister in Fulham who had been taken ill, she explained.
I was disappointed. It had been another depressing day, and now I was being asked to forgo the one thing that would have made it bearable.
"I thought you didn't get on well with your sister," I said tartly.
There was no immediate reply from the other end. Eventually Carla asked, "Shall we make it next Tuesday, the usual time?"
"I don't know if that's convenient," I said. "I'll call you on Monday when I know what my plans are." I put down the receiver.
Wearily, I phoned my wife to let her know I was on the way home -- something I usually did from the phone box outside Carla's flat. It was a trick I often used to make Elizabeth feel she knew where I was every moment of the day.
Most of the office staff had already left for the night so I gathered together some papers I could work on at home. Since the new company had taken us over six months ago, the management had not only sacked my Number Two in the accounts department but expected me to coverhis work as well as my own. I was hardly in a position to complain, since my new boss made it abundantly clear that if I didn't like the arrangement I should feel free to seek employment elsewhere. I might have, too, but I couldn't think of many firms that would readily take on a man who had reached that magic age somewhere between the sought after and the available.
As I drove out of the office car park and joined the evening rush hour I began to regret having been so sharp with Carla. After all, the role of the other woman was hardly one she delighted in. I began to feel guilty, so when I reached the corner of Sloane Square, I jumped out of my car and ran across the road.
"A dozen roses," I said, fumbling with my wallet.
A man who must have made his profit from lovers selected twelve unopened buds without comment. My choice didn't show a great deal of imagination but at least Carla would know I'd tried.
I drove on toward her flat, hoping she had not yet left for her sister's and that perhaps we might even find time for a quick drink. Then I remembered that I had already told my wife I was on the way home. A few minutes' delay could be explained by a traffic jam, but that lame excuse could hardly cover my staying on for a drink.
When I arrived outside Carla's home I had the usual trouble finding a parking space, until I spotted a gap that would just take a Rover opposite the paper shop. I stopped and would have backed into the space had I not noticed a man coming out of the entrance to her block of flats. I wouldn't have given it a second thought if Carla hadn't followed him a moment later. She stood there in the doorway, wearing a loose blue housecoat. She leaned forward to give her departing visitor a kiss that could hardly have been described as sisterly. As she closed the door I drove my car round the corner and double-parked.
I watched the man in my rearview mirror as he crossed the road, went into the newsagent's and a few moments later reappeared with an evening paper and what looked like a packet of cigarettes. He walked to his car, a blue BMW, appeared to curse, and then removed a parking ticket from his windscreen. How long had the BMW been there? I even began to wonder if he had been with Carla when she phoned to tell me not to come round.
The man climbed into the BMW, fastened his seat belt and lit a cigarette before driving off. I took his parking meter space in part-payment for my woman. I didn't consider it a fair exchange. I checked up and down the street, as I always did, before getting out and walking over to the block of flats. It was already dark and no one gave me a second glance. I pressed the bell marked "Moorland."
When Carla opened the front door I was greeted with a huge smile which quickly turned into a frown, then just as quickly back to a smile. The first smile must have been meant for the BMW man. I often wondered why she wouldn't give me a front door key. I stared into those blue eyes that had first captivated me so many months ago. Despite her smile, those eyes now revealed a coldness I had never seen before.
She turned to reopen the door and let me into her groundfloor flat. I noticed that under her housecoat she was wearing the wine-red negligee I had given her for Christmas. Once inside the flat I found myself checking round the room I knew so well. On the glass table in the center of the room stood the "Snoopy" coffee mug I usually drank from, empty ...A Twist in the Tale. Copyright © by Jeffrey Archer. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Meet the Author
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.
- London and the Old Vicarage, Grantchester
- Date of Birth:
- April 15, 1940
- Attended Brasenose College, Oxford, 1963-66. Received a diploma in sports education from Oxford Institute
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Normally one to stick with something EVERYONE is reading--you know the ones I'm talking about--- Brown's DA VINCI CODE or McCrae's KATZENJAMMER, I instead opted for this great book. With Archer's usual display of panache, humour and tremendous imaginative strength, each story is tightly packed with more richness and humanness than many good writers manage to achieve in a single novel. His observation of human quirks and eccentricities is acute, and some of his insights are unusually penetrating. His storytelling flows with ingenious fluidity so that the tales and the characters that people the landscape of his vivid imagination seem to sparkle and come alive, all of which makes this collection consistently entertaining.
A TWIST IN THE TALE is the most exciting of Archer's collection of short storiesbook. The stories simply grip you from the start and you wouldn't guess it right how they would end no matter how hard you try to. They get particularly interesting towards the end. The plots are all too unpredictable and the writing is fast-paced, smooth and rich.. It's simply vintage Archer
'A' is for Archer. 'A' is also what readers give to the political thrillers flowing from the pen (always felt tipped, we're told) of this popular British author. He's often been found at the top of the New York Times best-selling list. Also top listed is Martin Jarvis, talented stage and film performer who gives voice to these tales of duplicity, cupidity, and suspense. (Jarvis also reads Archer's 'A Matter Of Honor,' another Audio Renaissance edition.) Archer is so skillful that it seems he almost teases the listener by dropping clues that allow us to think we've figured the matter out when we haven't at all. 'A Twist In The Tale' is a bit of a departure for the author as it is a collection of 12 short stories all plot and character driven, all intriguing listening. We find an unfaithful husband who does a great deal more than cheat on his wife , and in another story discover that chess is not just a game. Knowing Archer, we must have a corrupt diplomat, and in another yarn a controlling father learns a sad lesson. Someone once said that a first-rate short story is much harder to write than a full length novel. Jeffrey Archer has mastered both genres. - Gail Cooke
Great collection of stories by a master story teller.
Waste of time reading this book. U must well read some other book. The critical and crucial part was kind of interesting but not exciting.
Great read! Fun, interesting 'twists' in each 'tale.'