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Summary

Heads You Win is the incredible and thrilling novel by the master storyteller and bestselling author of the Clifton Chronicles and Kane and Abel, Jeffrey Archer.

Leningrad, Russia, 1968.

From an early age it is clear that Alexander Karpenko is destined to lead his countrymen. But when his father is assassinated by the KGB for defying the state, Alexander and his mother will have to escape Russia if they hope to survive. At the docks, they have an irreversible choice: board a container ship bound for America or one bound for Great Britain. Alexander leaves the choice to a toss of a coin...

In a single moment, a double twist decides Alexander’s future. During an epic tale, spanning two continents and thirty years, we follow Alexander through triumph and defeat as he sets out on parallel lives, as Alex in New York and Sasha in London. As this unique story unfolds, both come to realize that to find their destiny they must face the past they left behind as Alexander in Russia.

With a final twist that will shock even his most ardent fans, this is international number one bestseller Jeffrey Archer’s most ambitious and creative work since Kane and Abel.

©2018 Macmillan Publishers International Ltd (P)2018 Macmillan Digital Audio

Critic reviews

"The master storyteller returns with a nail-biter every bit as good as Kane and Abel – utterly enthralling." (Joanna Lumley)

What listeners say about Heads You Win

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Ridiculous story beautifully read

The only reason I gave this 3 stars is because of Richard Armitage's performance which was flawless. The story itself starts off well but soon deteriorates. It's so far fetched as to be idiotic and the last great "reveal" was blindingly obvious almost from the beginning. The story flows poorly with great jumps, underdeveloped stories and characters. Mostly it was ok and filled the time but the ending was truly rubbish.

13 people found this helpful

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Excellent

Another well written thriller that deserves a sequel! Gripping, realistic and very believable. I must listen to it again.

13 people found this helpful

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Disapointing

I'm so disappointed. I have Listened to all of Jeffrey Archers Books and I have loved them all, til now. Without spoiling the plot, except to say you need to realise that, quite near the beginning, the story splits into two different realities, which is absolutely fine and then it all trundles along very nicely but just nicely. So you just keep waiting for the big ending, you know it will be good, it's Jeffrey Archer, of course it'll be good but NO, the ending was so incredibly weak. I felt like it was a Bobby Ewing in the shower kind of ending and I felt let down by this author who I really am a huge fan of. Maybe if it was a book by someone I'd never read or heard of I wouldn't have had such a strong reaction but it's definitely not up to Mr Archer's usual standard , by a long way.Sorry

10 people found this helpful

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Great story. You’ll need a note book.

They’ll be much scrolling backwards and forwards in this great little story. I rewound the ‘sliding doors’ moment [not a spoiler, it’s on the cover of the book] to see what I’d missed... turns out I hadn’t and it is just a little confusing (it was googling the cover of the book that helped me understand it). This then isn’t helped by Sasha, Alex, Alexander and determining which one is which. So if you have a notebook to jot down the names (& what the nicknames are and how they appear to be interchangeable) it will be a great story! Or maybe it’s just me and everyone else will be able to follow just fine? ;-)

16 people found this helpful

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Wonderful - as usual!

Jeffrey Archer always writes about things he has knowledge about and this is no exception, drawing from his time in politics. The characters are very real if somewhat devious in some cases, and I don't want to give anything away but the ending is not what I thought it would be, but maybe the only ending it could be.

This is the story of what happened to one person and the choice they made and how the alternative choice would have affected their life so is in fact the story of two people in parallel worlds, one in America and the other in England. It is read as superbly as it is written and grips the reader from beginning to the very end. A wonderful book again Jeffrey Archer!

5 people found this helpful

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Excellent

Fast moving, gripping book within classic archer style. You have to concentrate though as lots of characters. I did really enjoy it but did struggle at times with the two parallel story lines. Great read

5 people found this helpful

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not his best

same story as his previous books boring plots, it's just a regurgitated mix of the older books

4 people found this helpful

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Tails - Archer looses

In my humble opinion ... the book is not up to Archer's standard. shades of situations I seem to have seen before. Not really bad but certainly not as good as his previous books.

2 people found this helpful

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Very Jeffrey

So it's very JF! same old base line including a bank a rise in politics. A good sliding doors concept but not really followed through. A strange ending that didn't really combine or tie up loose ends.

2 people found this helpful

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OK but lacked the old Archer substance

A few chapters in I wondered whether to rewind to establish how the single family was split 2 ways. I did but then slightly irritated, decided it was intentionally vague. I expected clarity as the plot thickened but actually it never came. I am an ardent Jeffrey Archer fan and must admit to being quite disappointed with his latest offering.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Prince Gaurav Karan
  • 17-11-18

Gripping narrative. Shocking end!

As with any Jeffery Archer book, the story writing is witty and clever that it keeps you hooked despite somewhat confusing plot. Due to the uniqueness of the plot you feel like reading two novels in one. Although it's not comedy at any rate, the situational humour in the story is a pleasant bonus. And the end ....it just leaves you in a shock. Leaves you thinking about what you just read, questioning yourself if it was complete fiction or if some of it was real. You also feel somewhat cheated at the abrupt ending but the shock that the last word of the novel delivers you leaves you so curious that you easily ignore the abruptness. The shock at the end stays with you for days. And last word about the narrator, he has done amazing work, you feel like you indeed listening to the characters speaking. All in all, a very satisfying yet mystifying read!!!!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Penny Lambert
  • 06-07-19

ONLY 4 🌟 !!! NO Ending!!!

Great Story, Great Narration, Well Written!!
But, OMG! Jeffrey Archer what were you thinking 💭??? There is NO ENDING!!!

1 person found this helpful

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  • TheKasper
  • 06-02-22

Really good.

In my opinion Archer's best one to date. Good one to read before getting into the Chronicles.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 18-01-22

Amazing Story

Brilliant. Entertaining. Suspenseful.
As always, one of the best reads, holding reader captive in snowball fashion right down to the last page, with sadness and happiness and much surprise

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  • brenda f.
  • 25-06-21

Excellent listening. Thorough enjoyable

The story was well written. The reading was very well done. Definitely worth a listen

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  • charlie
  • 12-10-20

Disappointing

The narrator was so monotone, it was dull and I had to fight to stay awake, through his nauseating voices and lack of expression. It was very disappointing after having just read all of the Harry Clifton Chronicles where the narrator is extremely good, so good your not aware it a single person. So this was hard work, but the story as always was gripping with JA, and then the end, I thought perhaps I had fallen asleep and missed a large part of the story, but no, it was just a pathetic ending. Sorry Jeffery you can do much better.

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  • MAJ Gorfin
  • 12-05-19

confusing

whilst I love the usual Jeffery archer books I found this highly confusing and hard to listen to probably better in a paperback. its plot about two exiles was quite clever but you really had to concentrate on the different plots

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  • Elzannevdw
  • 29-03-19

Frustrating

Had me gripped all the way through... and then the ending... how absolutely frustrating to be left with no hint of an explanation

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  • Priya S
  • 24-02-19

Amazing beyond words!

A book that’s confusing in the beginning to say the least, and then becomes so gripping as the reader accepts that there are two parallel lives being lived, realising fully that one of them isn’t real, finding it difficult to decide which one, and then comes the slap on the face when one hears the last sentence!!!

Awesome story, great narration! Jeffrey Archer’s fans cannot ask for more!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-12-18

poor

expected a lot , but a pastiche of kane and able, prisoner of birth repackaged cant help feeling you have heard it before.