I must admit to a bit of a grumbling before I started the book, the reason being that Archer was supposed to finish the series in five books, but has now stretched it to seven! And since I have read the others, I would have to finish this. Add to this that it’s been a while since I read Book 4, I had to do a bit of online reading to catch up on the various plot lines. But all of that, I realised, is similar to a friend who irritates you by being habitually late, but once you start talking, all is forgiven.
The story of the Clifton extended family and enemies continues predictably with the existing narratives – Emma’s board room battles, Harry’s literary success, Giles’ politics, and Sebastian’s career progression. Arch enemies Virginia Fenwick and Alex Fisher also continue to be a thorns on collective sides. The narratives are furthered by the introduction of a new set of adversaries for Emma, Sebastian’s challenges on personal and professional fronts, and complications in Harry’s life largely owing to his support of a Russian author.
As always, there is no lethargy in the writing, the pace is absolutely great and there are enough of the classic Archer twists to keep you hooked.
Potential spoiler: The one nuance I did like was Archer’s treatment of a younger set of characters according to the era they live in. Specifically, while one of the endearing qualities of Archer’s characters has been their moral unambiguity, Sebastian shows a few hues beyond black and white. I hope the author continues this as the series progresses in time.