Read the first chapter of Over My Dead Body, the new book by international number one bestseller Jeffrey Archer
Jeffrey Archer has shared an excerpt from his new book Over My Dead Body – an unputdownable story of murder, revenge and betrayal.
Archer, the international number one bestseller, has penned a rollercoaster thriller that takes detective William Warwick to the cold case unit, where he chases someone who thinks they’ve got away with murder.
Read the excerpt:
‘Are you a detective, sir?’
William looked up at the young man who’d asked the question.
‘No, I’m the assistant manager of the Midland Bank in Shoreham, Kent.’
‘In that case,’ continued the young man, not looking convinced, ‘you’ll be able to tell me what the exchange rate was between the dollar and the pound when the currency market opened this morning.’
William tried to recall how much he’d received when he changed a hundred pounds into dollars just before he joined the ship the previous evening, but he hesitated for too long.
‘One dollar and fifty-four cents to the pound,’ said the young man, before he could reply. ‘So, forgive me for asking, sir, why aren’t you willing to admit you’re a detective?’
William put the book he was reading on the table in front of him and took a closer look at the earnest young American, who seemed desperate not to be thought of as a child, although he hadn’t started shaving. The word ‘preppy’ immediately came to mind.
‘Can you keep a secret?’ he whispered.
‘Yes, of course,’ the young man said, sounding offended. ‘Then have a seat,’ said William, pointing to the comfortable chair opposite him. He waited for the young man to settle. ‘I’m on holiday and I promised my wife that for the next ten days, I wouldn’t tell anyone I was a detective, because it’s always followed by a stream of questions that turn it into a busman’s holiday.’
‘But why choose a banker as your cover?’ asked the young man. ‘Because I have a feeling you wouldn’t know the difference between a spreadsheet and a balance sheet.’
‘My wife and I gave that question some considerable thought before we settled on a banker. I grew up in Shoreham, a small town in England, in the sixties, and the local bank manager was a friend of my father’s. So I thought I’d get away with it for a couple of weeks.’
‘What else was on the shortlist?’
‘Estate agent, car salesman and funeral director, all of which we were fairly confident wouldn’t be followed by never-ending questions.’
The young man laughed.
‘Which job would you have chosen?’ asked William, trying to regain the initiative.
‘Hitman. That way no one would have bothered me with any followup questions.’