Review: Twelve Red Herrings (Jeffrey Archer)

Twelve Red Herrings is a collection of twelve short stories by Jeffrey Archer. Each of the stories ends with a twist and hidden within each story is a red herring that Archer challenges his readers to uncover.

I liked the first story in the collection, Trial and Error which is almost like a murder mystery. Then there is Do Not Pass Go, a story of an escaped Iraqi whose plane ends up landing in his homeland. An Eye for an Eye was another story with an ingenious twist at the ending.

The most interesting story in the collection, however, was the story One Man's Meat in which Archer gives us a choice of four endings and we are allowed to choose which ending we want to read, or else read all endings in the correct order. This story shows us how a plot can end in so many different ways.

In short stories it is rather difficult to develop interesting characters because the story ends too quickly, but Archer almost always manages to create such characters with ease. I like his novels very much, and always find the plots twists entertaining. But I feel that his real genius shows up when he is writing short stories. Apart from O'Henry, there aren't many authors I would rate as highly as Archer when it comes to short stories.

I have read two other short story collections by Jeffrey Archer -- A Twist in the Tale and To Cut a Long Story Short -- and liked both of those better than Twelve Red Herrings. But this book is definitely worth reading if you like short stories.

Rating. 7/10.


Review on My Own Little Reading Room



Aravind said...

I love short stories and me too a O'Henry fan... He's the best... Would love to read this book.

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