The Pequod Review:
Jeffrey Archer rebounded from the embarrassing Shall We Tell the President? (1977) with by far his best book, Kane and Abel. The novel is the story of two men born on the same day in 1906: one (William Kane) a privileged son of a wealthy Boston banking family, and the other (Abel Rosnovski) a poor and illegitimate Polish child who eventually finds his way to America. The book traces both men’s histories through the two world wars, the financial crash of 1929, and eventually a growing business rivalry that culminates in a bitter fight for control of Kane’s bank. Despite a slow start and a few obvious plot developments, the book has some of Archer’s best characters — especially Abel, who was likely based on a real life Polish immigrant (Rick Kwiatkowski).