11 Best Jeffrey Archer Books Of All Time

English author Jeffrey Archer has sold more than 275 million copies of his books worldwide. Here, we’ve compiled some of the best Jeffrey Archer books.

While fans of Jeffrey Archer’s books are most familiar with his fiction works, he’s also known for writing non-fiction and collecting short stories. Archer also has a storied political career. The former Mayor of London and Member of Parliament turned to writing in 1974 when he released his first book, Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less.

Fans of Archer know that the author’s life has not been easy. From time in prison to near bankruptcy, he has been able to impart much of his experience with the complex world of politics and business into his books. Readers love Archer’s realistic attention to detail, paired with character development that helps them feel like they know each participant in Archer’s stories on a deep level.

Popular Jeffrey Archer Books

Best Jeffrey Archer Books

To date, Archer has become one of the bestselling authors in the world. He’s published in 97 countries, and his work has been translated into over 33 languages. Archer is the only author to become a bestseller in non-fiction, fiction, and short stories.

Here, we’ll look at Archer’s top books, helping you find the perfect Jeffrey Archer book to check out next.

1. Kane and Abel

In this 1979 thriller novel, Archer brings two unlikely foes together: William Lowell Kane, a Boston-born man set to inherit a fortune from his millionaire father, and Abel Rosnovski, a poor Polish-American immigrant. The two men share a birthday, but not much else.

Kane and Abel tell how Kane and Rosnovski have been brought together over 60 years, fighting against one another in an unlikely story of triumph and success. This book is the first in the Kane and Abel trilogy. Archer fans love seeing how Kane and Rosnovski will square up against each other every time they face.

Kane and Abel
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Jeffrey Archer (Author) - Jason Culp (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 11/03/2009 (Publication Date) - Macmillan Audio (Publisher)

2. Only Time Will Tell

This 2011 novel tells the story of Harry Clifton, a Bristol dock worker born in 1920. Fatherless, Clifton spends much of his time with his uncle on the docks but receives a surprising gift that provides him with the means to attend a private boys’ school. As a child, Clifton was told that his father died at war, but as he moves through life, issues arise that make him wonder if he’s been told the truth about his heritage.

The novel takes readers on a journey from Bristol to New York City. Archer’s attention to historical detail makes readers feel like they’re next to Clifton, along with the ride of discovering his family secrets.

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Only Time Will Tell: The Clifton Chronicles, Book 1
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Jeffrey Archer (Author) - Roger Allam, Emilia Fox (Narrators)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 08/30/2011 (Publication Date) - Macmillan Audio (Publisher)

3. The Sins of the Father

A follow-up novel to Only Time Will Tell, 2012’s The Sins of the Father continues The Clifton Chronicles as Clifton discovers where he truly comes from. This part of the series picks up just before World War II. Clifton joins the navy in the midst of dealing with a broken heart.

A battle at sea provides Clifton with the chance to assume the identity of an American sailor, and he leaps at the chance. The Sins of the Father details Clifton’s attempt to fit into American society—despite lacking a way to prove his newly-assumed identity.

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The Sins of the Father: Clifton Chronicles, Book 2
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Jeffrey Archer (Author) - Alex Jennings, Emilia Fox (Narrators)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 05/08/2012 (Publication Date) - Macmillan Audio (Publisher)

4. Best Kept Secret

The third book in The Clifton Chronicles, 2013’s Best Kept Secret, details the marriage of Harry Clifton and the longtime object of his affection, Elizabeth Barrington. Clifton is working as a writer while working with Barrington to raise their children while dealing with the intricacies of family relationships.

The story invokes the tales of Clifton’s past when he’s faced with bullies from his childhood and a fellow soldier who took credit for his brother-in-law’s heroic efforts during World War II. Readers love the novel’s 1960s setting and feel transported into times past.

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Best Kept Secret: The Clifton Chronicles, Book 3
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Jeffrey Archer (Author) - Alex Jennings (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 04/30/2013 (Publication Date) - Macmillan Audio (Publisher)

5. Be Careful What You Wish For

This 2014 installment of The Clifton Chronicles delves into the story of Clifton’s in-laws and his children. The Barrington family’s shipping business is threatened, and Harry and Emma’s daughter falls in love while away at art school.

She gets engaged to Clive Bingham, and Clive’s mother imparts some difficult twists and turns into the Cliftons’ tight family unit. The family isn’t sure whether inviting a newcomer into their crew is smart. A new member of the board for Barrington’s firm wreaks havoc on the family.

Be Careful What You Wish For: The Clifton Chronicles, Book 4
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Jeffrey Archer (Author) - Alex Jennings (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 03/11/2014 (Publication Date) - Macmillan Audio (Publisher)

6. Cometh the Hour

Cometh the Hour, released in 2016, provides all of the thrilling drama that Archer fans love—Clifton and crew find themselves dealing with potential espionage, bankruptcy, and a Siberian gulag (a mid-century labor camp). Cometh the Hour is the second-to-last book in The Clifton Chronicles, and the novel sets readers up for a satisfying end to the Clifton family drama.

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Cometh the Hour
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Jeffrey Archer (Author) - Alex Jennings (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 02/16/2016 (Publication Date) - Macmillan Audio (Publisher)

7. This Was a Man

The seventh and final novel in The Clifton Chronicles, 2016’s This Was a Man, opens with gunshots and keeps the energy and suspense high from beginning to end. Successful author Clifton is working on his masterpiece, while his wife gets a sudden, unexpected job offer from Margaret Thatcher. The family deals with their child’s expulsion from school, a chance to get rid of debt, and a complex medical diagnosis that rocks the family to its core.

Fans of The Clifton Chronicles will love seeing where each family member finally lands.

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This Was a Man: The Clifton Chronicles, Book 7
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Jeffrey Archer (Author) - Alex Jennings (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 11/08/2016 (Publication Date) - Macmillan Audio (Publisher)

8. Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less

Archer’s 1976 novel, Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less, describes the lives of four remarkably different Europeans who have all been tricked by the same criminal—Harvey Metcalfe. The furious quartet works together to get their money back—and nothing more, hence the book’s title. This revenge tale gives readers a detailed account of how an unlikely group of sudden friends can unite to work toward a common goal.

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Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Jeffrey Archer (Author) - John Lee (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 07/01/2014 (Publication Date) - Macmillan Audio (Publisher)

9. A Prisoner of Birth

In this 2008 novel, London residents Spencer Craig and Danny Cartwright unexpectedly cross paths. Cartwright, a mechanic, is blamed for a murder—and Craig, an attorney, is the primary witness. Cartwright is innocent, and while he spends years in prison, he plots his revenge.

Readers get to see the twists and turns of Cartwright’s plans, all while identifying the universal themes of frustration, deception, and hatred. 

A Prisoner of Birth
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Jeffrey Archer (Author) - Roger Allam (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 03/04/2008 (Publication Date) - Macmillan Audio (Publisher)

10. Shall We Tell the President

The final installment of the Kane and Abel trilogy, 1977’s Shall We Tell the President is a politically-charged thriller that explores the twists and turns of American democracy. The book follows the story of Florentyna Kane, who has risen to power and become the first female president of the United States.

On the day Kane is to be sworn into office, her security team learns of an assassination threat. The informant and nearly everyone involved in the case are murdered within the hour. The one surviving member of the investigation team—Special Agent Mark Andrews—must work alone to save himself and the newly-appointed Madam President.

Shall We Tell the President?: Kane & Abel, Book 3
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Jeffrey Archer (Author) - Lorelei King (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 06/25/2013 (Publication Date) - Macmillan Audio (Publisher)

11. Sons of Fortune

Set in the mid-1900s in Connecticut, this 2002 Archer novel follows the lives of a set of twins who were purposefully separated at birth. Nat and his brother Fletcher live vastly different lives, with Nat living the standard American existence. At the same time, Fletcher enjoys his days as a member of high society, ready to inherit millions one day.

The brothers follow vastly different paths throughout life but eventually find themselves running against one another in a fight to run for governor. Archer uses his trademark twists and turns to keep readers engaged from page one until the tale’s end.

Sons of Fortune
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Jeffrey Archer (Author) - Paul Michael (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 05/09/2003 (Publication Date) - Macmillan Audio (Publisher)

The Final Word On The Best Jeffrey Archer Books

There’s no doubt about it—from A Matter of Honour to Twelve Red Herrings to A Prisoner of Birth, Archer creates political, high-society stories that constantly have an unexpected twist just around the bend. The author’s 150,000 five-star reviews on Amazon speak for themselves—Archer knows how to draw his readers in and keep them wanting more. 

FAQs On The Best Jeffery Archer Books

What Jeffrey Archer Book Has Sold The Most Copies?

1979’s Kane and Abel is Archer’s highest-grossing book. The novel hit number one on the New York Times bestseller list.

What Are Jeffrey Archer’s Non-Fiction Works?

Jeffrey Archer has written three non-fiction books based on his time in prison, serving a sentence for perjury and perverting the course of justice. Archer’s memoirs are entitled Hell — Belmarsh, Purgatory — Wayland, and Heaven — North Sea Camp based on his time in prison.

Further Reading

If you liked this guide on the best Jeffrey Archer books, you might enjoy works by the best suspense authors.

You can also check out our guide on the best literary realism authors

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