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A Dangerous Fortune
Cover of A Dangerous Fortune
A Dangerous Fortune
A Novel
A breathtaking thriller featuring "political and amorous intrigues, cold-blooded murder, and financial crises" (San Francisco Chronicle), from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Column of Fire

In 1866, tragedy strikes the exclusive Windfield School when a young student drowns in a mysterious accident. His death and its aftermath initiate a spiraling circle of treachery that will span three decades and entwine many lives.
 
From the exclusive men’s clubs and brothels that cater to every dark desire of London’s upper class to the dazzling ballrooms and mahogany-paneled suites of the manipulators of the world’s wealth, one family is splintered by a shared legacy. But greed, fed by the shocking truth of a boy’s death, must be stopped, or the dreams of a nation will die.
 
Praise for A Dangerous Fortune

 “A terrific page-turner.”Los Angeles Times 

“Political and amorous intrigues, cold-blooded murder, and financial crises . . . old-fashioned entertainment.”San Francisco Chronicle
 
“Breathlessly plotted . . . relentlessly suspenseful.”The New York Times
 
“Gripping, complex plot . . . sexual intrigue . . . fascinating characters . . . You won’t be able to put down this exciting page-turner.”Lexington Herald-Leader

“Follett [builds] to a dramatic climax with the same masterful control that guided Eye of the Needle and The Pillars of the Earth.”—Playboy

“I don’t usually enjoy historical thrillers but admit to being totally captivated by Ken Follett’s A Dangerous Fortune.”—Chicago Tribune

“Highly entertaining . . . Follett’s characters are drawn with broad, realistic strokes . . . this story of greed and retribution should win Follett new fans.”—Publishers Weekly 

“Rich, complex, thrilling, suspenseful, well plotted . . . A Dangerous Fortune is dangerous reading. You won’t be able to put it down.”—Authors and Critics 
A breathtaking thriller featuring "political and amorous intrigues, cold-blooded murder, and financial crises" (San Francisco Chronicle), from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Column of Fire

In 1866, tragedy strikes the exclusive Windfield School when a young student drowns in a mysterious accident. His death and its aftermath initiate a spiraling circle of treachery that will span three decades and entwine many lives.
 
From the exclusive men’s clubs and brothels that cater to every dark desire of London’s upper class to the dazzling ballrooms and mahogany-paneled suites of the manipulators of the world’s wealth, one family is splintered by a shared legacy. But greed, fed by the shocking truth of a boy’s death, must be stopped, or the dreams of a nation will die.
 
Praise for A Dangerous Fortune

 “A terrific page-turner.”Los Angeles Times 

“Political and amorous intrigues, cold-blooded murder, and financial crises . . . old-fashioned entertainment.”San Francisco Chronicle
 
“Breathlessly plotted . . . relentlessly suspenseful.”The New York Times
 
“Gripping, complex plot . . . sexual intrigue . . . fascinating characters . . . You won’t be able to put down this exciting page-turner.”Lexington Herald-Leader

“Follett [builds] to a dramatic climax with the same masterful control that guided Eye of the Needle and The Pillars of the Earth.”—Playboy

“I don’t usually enjoy historical thrillers but admit to being totally captivated by Ken Follett’s A Dangerous Fortune.”—Chicago Tribune

“Highly entertaining . . . Follett’s characters are drawn with broad, realistic strokes . . . this story of greed and retribution should win Follett new fans.”—Publishers Weekly 

“Rich, complex, thrilling, suspenseful, well plotted . . . A Dangerous Fortune is dangerous reading. You won’t be able to put it down.”—Authors and Critics 
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  • From the book CHAPTER ONE
     
    MAY  
     
    1
     
    WHEN MICKY MIRANDA WAS TWENTY-THREE his father came to London to buy rifles.
    Señor Carlos Raul Xavier Miranda, known always as Papa, was a short man with massive shoulders. His tanned face was carved in lines of aggression and brutality. In leather chaps and a broad-brimmed hat, seated on a chestnut stallion, he could make a graceful, commanding figure; but here in Hyde Park, wearing a frock coat and a top hat, he felt foolish, and that made him dangerously bad-tempered.
     
    They were not alike. Micky was tall and slim, with regular features, and he got his way by smiling rather than frowning. He was deeply attached to the refinements of London life: beautiful clothes, polite manners, linen sheets and indoor plumbing. His great fear was that Papa would want to take him back to Cordova. He could not bear to return to days in the saddle and nights sleeping on the hard ground. Even worse was the prospect of being under the thumb of his older brother Paulo, who was a replica of Papa. Perhaps Micky would go home one day, but it would be as an important man in his own right, not as the younger son of Papa Miranda. Meanwhile he had to persuade his father that he was more useful here in London than he would be at home in Cordova.
     
    They were walking along South Carriage Drive on a sunny Saturday afternoon. The park was thronged with well-dressed Londoners on foot, on horseback or in open carriages, enjoying the warm weather. But Papa was not enjoying himself. “I must have those rifles!” he muttered to himself in Spanish. He said it twice.
     
    Micky spoke in the same language. “You could buy them back home,” he said tentatively.
    “Two thousand of them?” Papa said. “Perhaps I could. But it would be such a big purchase that everyone would know about it.”
     
    So he wanted to keep it secret. Micky had no idea what Papa was up to. Paying for two thousand guns, and the ammunition to go with them, would probably take all the family’s reserves of cash. Why did Papa suddenly need so much ordnance? There had been no war in Cordova since the now legendary March of the Cowboys, when Papa had led his men across the Andes to liberate Santamaria Province from its Spanish overlords. Who were the guns for? If you added up Papa’s cowboys, relatives, placemen and hangers-on it would come to fewer than a thousand men. Papa had to be planning to recruit more. Whom would they be fighting? Papa had not volunteered the information and Micky was afraid to ask.
     
    Instead he said: “Anyway, you probably couldn’t get such high-quality weapons at home.”
     
    “That’s true,” said Papa. “The Westley-Richards is the finest rifle I’ve ever seen.”
     
    Micky had been able to help Papa with his choice of rifles. Micky had always been fascinated by weapons of all kinds, and he kept up with the latest technical developments. Papa needed short-barreled rifles that would not be too cumbersome for men on horseback. Micky had taken Papa to a factory in Birmingham and shown him the Westley-Richards carbine with the breech-loading action, nicknamed the Monkeytail because of its curly lever.
     
    “And they make them so fast,” Micky said.
     
    “I expected to wait six months for the guns to be manufactured. But they can do it in a few days!”
     
    “It’s the American machinery they use.” In the old days, when guns had been made by blacksmiths who fitted the parts together by trial and...
About the Author-
  • Ken Follett is one of the world’s best-loved authors, selling more than 160 million copies of his thirty books. Follett’s first bestseller was Eye of the Needle, a spy story set in the Second World War. 
     
    In 1989 The Pillars of the Earth was published and has since become Follett’s most popular novel. It reached number one on bestseller lists around the world and was an Oprah’s Book Club pick.
     
    Its sequel, World Without End, proved equally popular and the Kingsbridge series has sold 38 million copies worldwide.
     
    Follett lives in Hertfordshire, England, with his wife Barbara. Between them they have five children, six grandchildren, and three Labradors.
Reviews-
  • Playboy "Follett [builds] to a dramatic climax with the same masterful control that guided Eye of the Needle and The Pillars of the Earth."
  • Chicago Tribune "I don't usually enjoy historical thrillers but admit to being totally captivated by Ken Follett's A Dangerous Fortune."
  • Publishers Weekly "Highly entertaining . . . Follett's characters are drawn with broad, realistic strokes . . . this story of greed and retribution should win Follett new fans."
  • Authors and Critics "Rich, complex, thrilling, suspenseful, well plotted . . . A Dangerous Fortune is dangerous reading. You won't be able to put it down."
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    Random House Publishing Group
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  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

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A Dangerous Fortune
A Novel
Ken Follett
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