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A Dangerous Fortune | [Ken Follett]

A Dangerous Fortune

In 1866 tragedy strikes at the exclusive Windfield School when a mysterious accident takes the life of a student. Among the student's circle of friends are Hugh Pilaster; Hugh's older cousin Edward, dissolute heir to the Pilaster banking fortune; and Micky Miranda, the handsome son of a brutal South American oligarchy. The death and its aftermath begin the spiraling circle of treachery that will span three decades and entwine many lives.
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Publisher's Summary

In 1866 tragedy strikes at the exclusive Windfield School when a mysterious accident takes the life of a student. Among the student's circle of friends are Hugh Pilaster; Hugh's older cousin Edward, dissolute heir to the Pilaster banking fortune; and Micky Miranda, the handsome son of a brutal South American oligarchy. The death and its aftermath begin the spiraling circle of treachery that will span three decades and entwine many lives.

From the exclusive men's clubs that cater to every dark desire of England's upper classes to the luxurious ballrooms of the manipulators of the world's wealth, Follett conjures up a stunning panorama of intrigue. A Dangerous Fortune brings us characters swept toward a perilous climax in which greed, fed by the shocking truth of a young man's death, must be stopped - or the dreams of a nation will die.

©1993 Ken Follett; (P)1994 Brilliance Audio

What the Critics Say

"Breathlessly plotted...relentlessly suspenseful." (The New York Times)
"Ken Follett is a matchless storyteller, and this story is tailor-made for audio....With Follett teamed up with Page, you can't stop listening." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (2345 )
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4.1 (1074 )
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4.2 (1057 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Eva Gannon Chicago, Illinois, US 08-20-08
    Eva Gannon Chicago, Illinois, US 08-20-08 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    497
    ratings
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    5
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    "Satisfying Read"

    This book was thoroughly enjoyable. The characters are brought to life in a believable, historical context, read by a fine narrator.

    I highly recommend this book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer austin, TX, United States 01-23-09
    Jennifer austin, TX, United States 01-23-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    257
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    62
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    "Disappointing"

    I hardly have the words... this novel was not what it appeared from the publisher's summary. There was a murder mystery set among the upper eschelons of Victorian London, but there was also the seemy underside not mentioned in it. Brothels abound, and the scenes set in them, and in facct all of the scenes involving sex, were grotesque, off-putting, and faintly disturbing. I must assume that this was the desired effect, because it was done so consistantly, but still... The rest of the story was all right, but in no way particularly engaging. The characters weren't deep, the plot was not especially clever, and over everything was the twisted, grotesque sex, even in the simplest things. The only good thing I can find to say is that the narrator is quite enjoyable.

    22 of 27 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Oakland, CA, United States 05-19-12
    Michael Oakland, CA, United States 05-19-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Well-Plotted Melodrama. Fun to Hear."

    Ken Follett can craft plot twists and evolutions with the best of them, and he creates characters you care about to follow the plot. Appealing protagonists, evil villains, dire straits, appalling treachery, and satisfying revenge. I was drawn in, and looked forward every day to my commute to hear what happened next. I enjoyed Michael Page's narration, and have added him to my list of search parameters.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melissa Austin, TX, United States 01-05-12
    Melissa Austin, TX, United States 01-05-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I see a pattern"

    I have read a lot of Ken Follett's books and some are really good. Fall of Giants is probably on my top 10, but he has developed characters that he uses in every story. He has strong willed women and misunderstood geniuses. There are things larger than the two main characters and their unrequited love at play. There is manipulation but through it all, the good guys develop more and more character while the bad guys degenerate.
    If you like Ken Follett this is what you should expect. If you've never read anything of his, start with his larger books. They were worth every minute I stayed up late, hurting myself trying to finish them.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Polly Philadelphia, PA, United States 12-20-11
    Polly Philadelphia, PA, United States 12-20-11 Member Since 2010

    An avid reader, demanding of the story, characters and narrator. Mysteries and historical fiction are my favorites.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Great Wealth, History, Great Characters & Conflict"

    Having just watched Follett's "The Pillars of the Earth" on TV, I have to admit that his stories are somewhat formulaic, but they are so well written that I love them anyway. The bad guys are all bad, and the good guys so good that - in another writer's hands - the book could be dull and predictable. But Follett manages to engage the reader from the first page to the last. Loved this book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolyn jackson, WY, United States 02-05-10
    Carolyn jackson, WY, United States 02-05-10 Member Since 2005

    Avid Listener of Audible

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Worth reading, but...."

    This is a good book; however, there is a lot of plotting by the "evil doers." It begins to get a bit tiresome. All in all, it is entertaining and the characters are well written. I loved the accents the narrator gave some of the characters.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John M Lafayette, CA USA 09-21-09
    John M Lafayette, CA USA 09-21-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "Enjoyable, solid work by Follett"

    This book was certainly no "Pillars" or "World's End" but it was a good read that I was always eager to resume on my daily commute. I did appreciate that, unlike many works of historical fiction, I was not confronted by characters were modern figures transported into the past. The characters in this book generally behaved as one would expect for the time period.

    In addition, this book had one of the better "coup de grace" moments toward the end of the book. Usually I feel the villain gets off too easily (or too quickly). Not this time.

    Overall a very good read that will not disappoint.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M Burlingame, CA, United States 05-27-09
    M Burlingame, CA, United States 05-27-09 Member Since 2006
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    "Entertaining but flawed historical fiction"

    Many authors write historical fiction set in and around the Victorian age that is entertaining and not particularly profound. Fun books in this category include James Clavell's "Noble House" and "Gai-Jin," and Michael Crichton's "The Great Train Robbery." Ken Follett has written two of my favorite historical entertainments, "Pillars of the Earth," and "World Without End." (Set in medieval, not Victorian, England.) But none of these books resorts to inventing a fictional South American country that is central to the plot nor does any stray as far from the actual events of the time as "A Dangerous Fortune." I don't think even Sidney Sheldon fabricated a country in his potboilers. One likes to think that the history in these books has at least a reasonable semblance to reality. For me, this was a fatal flaw.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra Coppell, TX, USA 04-30-09
    Sandra Coppell, TX, USA 04-30-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "i like a mystery"

    and as usual, ken f writes good ones. i will listen to this one again.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sam MORRISVILLE, NC, United States 01-30-09
    Sam MORRISVILLE, NC, United States 01-30-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent!"

    I loved this book. As a constant listener of Audible, I found this to be one of my favorites! I enjoyed all of the characters and could not stop listening to it.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
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