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United in their rivalry, Sons of Fortune is the classic tale of two brothers engaged in a power struggle, from international bestselling author Jeffrey Archer.
In the late 1940s in Hartford, Connecticut a set of twins is parted at birth. Nat Cartwright goes home with his parents, a schoolteacher and an insurance salesman. But his twin brother is to begin his days as Fletcher Andrew Davenport, the only son of a multi-millionaire and his society wife.
During the years that follow, the two brothers grow up unaware of each other's existence. Nat leaves college at the University of Connecticut to serve in Vietnam. He returns a war hero, he finishes school and becomes a successful banker. Fletcher, meanwhile, has graduated from Yale University and distinguishes himself as a criminal defence lawyer before he is elected to the Senate.
Even when Nat and Fletcher fall in love with the same girl they still don't meet. They continue on their separate paths until one has to defend the other for a murder he did not commit. But the final confrontation comes when Nat and Fletcher are selected to stand against each other for governor of the state.
Veteran novelist and British politician Archer (Kane and Abel) is currently serving a prison sentence for perjury, so readers can perhaps forgive him if this latest effort falls short of his usual standard. The implausibly plotted novel follows fraternal twin boys separated at birth by a bizarre set of circumstances. Nat Cartwright and Fletcher Davenport are born in Hartford, Conn., in the early 1950s. A meddlesome nurse sends them home with different families. Nat is raised in a lower-middle-class household, attends the University of Connecticut, serves heroically in Vietnam and goes into banking. Fletcher, the wealthy Yalie, becomes a lawyer and a politician. The men are repeatedly thrown into competition with each other, whether for admission to college or in their professional lives, their rivalry culminating when they both run for governor of their home state. The characters are too thin, and their respective worlds too littered with clich s, to offer a satisfying portrait of the baby boomer generation. Contrived plot twists offer little distraction, while the dialogue sometimes reads like a set of photo captions information without emotion. "When you think about it, they are the obvious predator," says Nat about a takeover threat. "Fairchild's is the largest bank in the state; seventy-one branches with almost no serious rivals." Archer is usually a skillful storyteller, but he drops the ball here.