The Luck of the Irish: A Year of Short Stories, by Jeffrey Archer

Eight stars

Master storyteller Lord Jeffrey Archer has chosen to please his fans with a new venture; a short story released each month. Those familiar with Archer’s work will know that he can not only spin long and involved pieces, but also the short story that compacts adventure into a handful of pages. I just received the November selection, another short read packed full of interesting tidbits that Archer weaves together effortlessly. Liam Casey grew up in County Cork, sure that he could master life at every turn. Refusing to accept the sage advice of his father, Liam makes his way through a few menial jobs before finding his niche in property sales. On a holiday in Majorca, Liam stumbles upon a fellow Irishman whose company is thriving. They soon join forces and have much success as the market booms. When Liam eventually takes on the business for himself and acquires his own partner, they turned their eye towards a lucrative business opportunity. With backing from an Irish bank, Liam can see his riches growing. However, local Majorcan elections prove to be highly troublesome for this latest property development. Facing complete obliteration of his finances, Liam will need to use all his Irish luck to pull out a miracle. Might he have a spare clover in his back pocket? An interesting Archer piece, sure to pique the attention of those who have long enjoyed his writing.

Lord Jeffrey Archer’s work is always full of unique perspectives, be they complete novels or shorter story such as this one. I am so pleased to have come across this collection and have reviewed each story based on its own merits. Now I await each instalment on a monthly basis, I can hope to find gems amidst all the reading I undertake each year. This was another decent piece, though its brevity makes it harder to become fully engaged or connected with the characters. Liam Casey seems to be quite in tune with what he wants and stops at nothing to get it, even if it means cutting some corners. He has a determined way about his, though does not suffer fools (or disinterested women) and keeps impediments out of his way. Archer pushes Casey to his limits in this piece, showing how his Irish upbringing may be both a blessing and downfall in one breath. There are others who pepper the pages of this short piece, though they seem only vessels to get through to the end of the piece swiftly. The narrative of this piece was decent, pushing things along effectively and it left the reader able to devour the story in a single sitting. The plot is similar to many of Archer’s stories, where money rules and all else fades into the background. Fans of the author’s work will likely enjoy this piece, though I would not call it one of his sensational pieces of writing.

Kudos, Lord Archer, for a masterful new story collection. How you find so many effective ideas that produce high quality publications I will never know.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: