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By Any Means

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"Was this really his future?" In the Northern English town of Motbridge, men work until they die. John Williams is determined not to be one of those men. When Harry Heard gives him a fake sword to sell to aristocrat Sir Albert Blackwood, his life changes forever. He meets and deals with industrialists, daughters of dukes, and knights of the realm. But all the while a mys "Was this really his future?" In the Northern English town of Motbridge, men work until they die. John Williams is determined not to be one of those men. When Harry Heard gives him a fake sword to sell to aristocrat Sir Albert Blackwood, his life changes forever. He meets and deals with industrialists, daughters of dukes, and knights of the realm. But all the while a mysterious serial killer, known only as the Breaker, is picking people off at will. When he makes Sir Albert Blackwood his target, John is forced to put the Breaker's brutal work to an end. Not only his future but his very life hinges on his success. As class and murder collide, can John leave his humble beginnings behind him?


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"Was this really his future?" In the Northern English town of Motbridge, men work until they die. John Williams is determined not to be one of those men. When Harry Heard gives him a fake sword to sell to aristocrat Sir Albert Blackwood, his life changes forever. He meets and deals with industrialists, daughters of dukes, and knights of the realm. But all the while a mys "Was this really his future?" In the Northern English town of Motbridge, men work until they die. John Williams is determined not to be one of those men. When Harry Heard gives him a fake sword to sell to aristocrat Sir Albert Blackwood, his life changes forever. He meets and deals with industrialists, daughters of dukes, and knights of the realm. But all the while a mysterious serial killer, known only as the Breaker, is picking people off at will. When he makes Sir Albert Blackwood his target, John is forced to put the Breaker's brutal work to an end. Not only his future but his very life hinges on his success. As class and murder collide, can John leave his humble beginnings behind him?

30 review for By Any Means

  1. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Woods

    Excellent historical fiction This story of a man making his way in 1902 England as a working man in a ship building company is enthralling as he sets about trying to find and capture a serial killer. He yearns to be more than he is and using his witt becomes employed by an aristocrat in this dangerous endeavor. I was glued to the pages as John struggles with his conscience while trying to better himself. The characters are all interesting and the various situations John is confronted with as he at Excellent historical fiction This story of a man making his way in 1902 England as a working man in a ship building company is enthralling as he sets about trying to find and capture a serial killer. He yearns to be more than he is and using his witt becomes employed by an aristocrat in this dangerous endeavor. I was glued to the pages as John struggles with his conscience while trying to better himself. The characters are all interesting and the various situations John is confronted with as he attempts to maintain his values makes for a great plot. I believe readers of historical fiction would enjoy this story and will definitely recommend this book. I plan to read the next in the series.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Deitch

    Please read this I grew up in the socialist Yorkshire of the 1960s and 70s. Life was similar to that of the early part of the twentieth century when this story takes place. The class struggle is still running today but with many parallels with its previous incarnations. Read this story and remember the strikes of the sixties and seventies which, like the ones in this book from the earlier part of the century,deepened the divide between rich and poor while giving rise to a new class of gentry who Please read this I grew up in the socialist Yorkshire of the 1960s and 70s. Life was similar to that of the early part of the twentieth century when this story takes place. The class struggle is still running today but with many parallels with its previous incarnations. Read this story and remember the strikes of the sixties and seventies which, like the ones in this book from the earlier part of the century,deepened the divide between rich and poor while giving rise to a new class of gentry who took advantage and created vast personal wealth from the failures of the moneyed classes.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Dean McIntyre

    BY ANY MEANS by James Farner is the first of series. Classified as historical fiction, it is long on fiction and short on historical, nevertheless an enjoyable read. It is the tale of John Williams, a British commoner, and his rise to power through his associations with laborers, management, those in authority, and the aristocracy. He is driven by ambition but threatened by a serial killer who perceives those in authority as exploiting the working class for their own great benefit. There is Brit BY ANY MEANS by James Farner is the first of series. Classified as historical fiction, it is long on fiction and short on historical, nevertheless an enjoyable read. It is the tale of John Williams, a British commoner, and his rise to power through his associations with laborers, management, those in authority, and the aristocracy. He is driven by ambition but threatened by a serial killer who perceives those in authority as exploiting the working class for their own great benefit. There is British class structure and tension, politics, intrigue. It's a quick, easy read. Three stars.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Bettye McKee

    An interesting storyline This is a story about the common men who work in the coal mines and shipyards in the north of England. And a man known only as the Breaker. Sometimes he breaks windows. Sometimes he breaks limbs. And sometimes he breaks heads, leaving dead men behind. John Williams works at the shipyard. Some of his friends and neighbors work at the colliery. Both places suffer when workers go on strike. Who is controlling the unions? Who is the Breaker and what is he trying to accomplish An interesting storyline This is a story about the common men who work in the coal mines and shipyards in the north of England. And a man known only as the Breaker. Sometimes he breaks windows. Sometimes he breaks limbs. And sometimes he breaks heads, leaving dead men behind. John Williams works at the shipyard. Some of his friends and neighbors work at the colliery. Both places suffer when workers go on strike. Who is controlling the unions? Who is the Breaker and what is he trying to accomplish? On what basis is he choosing his victims? 19

  5. 4 out of 5

    Allen Witt

    This was my first book by James Farner, and I am quite likely to read more. It was an entertaining yarn about the rise of a self confident young businessman-- rags to riches. At times I was reminded of Jeffrey Archer, who is as always good for a page turner. The characters were were were generally believable, if somewhat two dimensional. Some of the circumstances strained credulity, but in the end I was able to suspend disbelief and simply enjoy. The book no pretenses to great literature, but it This was my first book by James Farner, and I am quite likely to read more. It was an entertaining yarn about the rise of a self confident young businessman-- rags to riches. At times I was reminded of Jeffrey Archer, who is as always good for a page turner. The characters were were were generally believable, if somewhat two dimensional. Some of the circumstances strained credulity, but in the end I was able to suspend disbelief and simply enjoy. The book no pretenses to great literature, but it was a great way to pass a hot Saturday. After a break, l'll undoubtedly try another.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Dick Dubay

    Good historical fiction This is a well done work of historical fiction. The characters, from John Williams to Sir Albert Blackwood, are interesting and about what I would expect from that place in history. It was fun to follow John on his rise above his station and I look forward to following his exploits in the rest of the series.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne Garrison

    Intriguing Well written plot & developed characters. Definitely a page turner to find out if John gets The Breaker and the shipyards. My only complaint is that there were too many characters (if that’s possible). I had a difficult time remembering who was who & what side they were on.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Elaine Hargrave

    Different Times Set in the era of class distinction. You had to know your place. Trying to escape the working class background our man John has to lay his life on the line. With a lot of luck and challenging events he starts to make his way forward and upwards. He also finds a new love in his life to help make him more ambitious and wanting to make his fortune.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Edwin Bessant

    A man of the people. John isn't satisfied with his lot and works to improve it. A union man and an ex soldier got in the way and were dealt with. England in the very early 20th. Century. A man of the people. John isn't satisfied with his lot and works to improve it. A union man and an ex soldier got in the way and were dealt with. England in the very early 20th. Century.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Gail

    This is the story of a group of men that work in the shipyards in England at the turn of the century. John is the main character and he has big asperations of being more than a laboror. He suceeds, but at a price.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Gore

    Slow story I have read several books by this author, but so far this was a very slowly moving book. Not truly sure how I feel about this book. It was hard for me to follow.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Barb

    Another excellent tale by James Farner. This is book 1 of 'By any Means' and hopefully I can read the books that follow. I do recommend this author. Another excellent tale by James Farner. This is book 1 of 'By any Means' and hopefully I can read the books that follow. I do recommend this author.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie N. Frunz

    Slow I found this story hard to follow. Kept reading hoping it would come together. It never did for me. Maybe someone else would find it to suit them better.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Debbi

    Ok read about a guy trying to improve his lot in life. 1st book of 6.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Christine Gavey

  16. 4 out of 5

    Phil Sanders

  17. 5 out of 5

    Maria González

  18. 5 out of 5

    Donald A. Bong

  19. 5 out of 5

    Wayne Vyrostek

  20. 5 out of 5

    Anne Gibbons-Ellis

  21. 5 out of 5

    Don Smart

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sean D.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Marjorie Tomko

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Cohen

  25. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mike Funneman

  27. 5 out of 5

    J&M COPELAND

  28. 4 out of 5

    kora

  29. 4 out of 5

    veda

  30. 4 out of 5

    patricia dorsey

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