08 October 2015
Ken Follett: A Dangerous Fortune
Most of us think of Ken Follett for his medieval Pillars of the Earth sagas and the recently finished Century Trilogy. We forget that Follett is also a prolific author and master storyteller who has written some excellent spy thrillers and historical family sagas.
While A Dangerous Fortune is a family saga it is also a murder story and a peek into the almost unregulated world of banking in the late 19th century. The saga starts in 1866 on a day when a schoolboy drowns in a strange accident. Present at the accident was Hugh Pilaster and his older cousin Edward, members of a banking family and Micky Miranda, son of a brutal South American landowner.
There were other tragedies that day as Hugh's father committed suicide when his bank collapsed. Hugh gets taken in by his uncle Joseph Pilaster who is head of another more successful bank. His wife Augusta treats him badly. She is the scheming matriarch of the family who will do anything to advance her son Edward to get control of the Pilaster bank. She is a real villain who is domineering and unscrupulous - a fantastic character.
Mickey Miranda befriends Augusta and inveigles himself into the world of the Pilaster family and affects their personal and business lives.
Ken Follett has written a great family saga that will keep you entertained as you follow the webs if complicity, and the ups and downs of the Pilaster family. Highly recommended to discerning readers who want to read a good family sage and thriller with a historical background.