This book has the distinction of being the first ebook that I purchased and read on my Sony e-reader (PRS 650, 6 inch touch screen if you haven’t read my gushing reviews). The first thing I noticed was that the e-reader must condense the pages as there were less screens than the book copy of A Dangerous Fortune– a good thing in my opinion as Mr Follett tends to write chunky pageturners.
A Dangerous Fortune is another one of those page turners, focusing on an English banking family, the Pilasters, in the late 1800s. There is Edward, the rich banking heir and Hugh, who has been disgraced due to the bankruptcy and suicide of his father. We meet these cousins at their boarding school, where a schoolmate has mysteriously drowned. Enter Edward’s friend, Cordovan Micky Miranda and fellow Cordovian and Hugh’s friend, Tonio. This event will plague them for the rest of their lives.
The rest of the book is played out as a gripping family saga. There’s the domineering mother, Augusta, who will stop at virtually nothing to see that Edward becomes senior partner of the bank and that Hugh’s position is weakened. There’s the villain in Micky (some of his exploits will blow you away) but there’s the good friend of Hugh in Solly and Tonio. Maisie, whose life was changed when Hugh’s father went bankrupt, will also have you cheering at her rags to riches story.
Although this book is about banking, it’s never boring. The Pilasters and friends never cease to be thinking about plotting the rise or fall of someone. The possible exception to this is Hugh, who is honest (sometimes too much) and hardworking. He is a central character as a lot of the plotting revolves around his success and failure.
There is less focus on the history and more on the plot, which moves at a speedy pace. A great book to start ereading with!
9 out of 10.