Nothing Ventured – Jeffrey Archer

Life imitates art – or in the case of actor’s latest novel, art imitates art. His new hero was originally created by the fictional hero of previous Archer novels.

Archer and his millions of readers followed that first hero Harry Clifton through the seven novels of the engrossing Clifton Chronicles from birth to old age.

Along the way the fictional character became a bestselling novelist himself, achieving fame for a series of stories featuring detective William Warwick.

So, in a weird but welcome twist equal to anything Jeffrey Archer has previously streamed up, the real-life author is now writing a series of novels about the fictional detective.

Warwick is not a million miles from the likeable Clifton – in fact at times it feels like we’re reunited with old friends from the entertaining Clifton saga, thoroughly decent people who fall in love, fight wrongs and occasionally feud between themselves.

Warwick is the son of a titled barrister who, while remaining close to his parents, does not use is aristocratic family background to progress in his crime-fighting career.

He begins as a lowly police constable on the beat in London, but his talent soon shows through.

Within a few dozen pages the novel Warwick has been recruited to the Metropolitan Police’s art fraud department and is helping solve a complex case.

Then we’re in very familiar Archer territory: heartwarming romance, courtroom battles and complex plotting and counter-plotting by the heroes and bad guys.

As with any saga by Jeffrey Archer you don’t want it to end – so it’s a good job he plans to carry on writing more about Warwick, following the copper’s rise through the ranks to commissioner of the Met.

David Knights