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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Book Review : ‘Cometh the Hour’ by Jeffrey Archer (Part 6 of the Clifton Chronicles)

Jeffrey Archer’s penultimate novel, ‘Cometh the Hour’ brings the sixth of the ‘Clifton Chronicles’ to almost an end. But, it is not over yet. Harry Clifton’s family and friends are still trying to find the shore. There is more to it because there are a few more characters introduced, in the beginning itself.

It feels like a typical Hindi TV soap opera (Of course, it is minus the usual sounds). But you could imagine it. It starts off with a suicide note, which almost sounds like it is going to be the end of the legal proceedings. Will Emma Clifton who is in the middle of this mess, against Lady Virginia find a way out of this squabble?

Will Giles Barrinton manage to find his love, Karin in East Germany and bring her to England? Or will she turn out to be a spy? There was some soap opera style here, as well. Moving to the hero of this plot, Harry Clifton, who is working really hard to see that, the book of Soviet poet, Anatoly Babakov’s sees the light of day. He manages to get the contents of the book, using his photographic memory to the United States.

Meanwhile, Harry and Emma’s son, Sebastian Clifton falls for an Indian girl, Priya and travels to Bombay in the hope that he will marry her. The cover of the book is of the ‘Gateway of India’, which was built in the early 20th century. It shows a girl with a man, in a hurry to get somewhere. Enough to get me interested in the book. Unfortunately, this particular aspect of this story was not properly fleshed out.

And of course, there are all the aspects of Farthings Bank, where he is the chairman and his rivals pledged against him and his chairman, Hakim Bashira.

The other ‘soapy’ aspect is to do with Lady Virginia, who has run into financial troubles. She manages to get into a tryst with a twist with an American. He is Cyrus T Grant, who is in England, to follow the races. She manages to spend the night with him, and get a ring off him, as well. He rushes back to the US, in a hurry, but she travels all the way, behind him to land up at his wedding, with a ‘pregnant belly’. The shock is immutable, and this sub-plot was fairly unnecessary, I felt. Oh, and Margaret Thatcher and the politics too makes an appearance.

With so much and more, these legal squabbles, family relations in unexpected complications, politics with Giles Barrington in the middle of the whole thing, jealousy among lovers and business rivals, and of course, Emma Clifton with the additional healthcare and politics.

Whoa… Am just trying to find an end to this review, but it really isn’t there.
Jeffrey Archer
This book ends somewhere, in all these complications, with a wonderful twist and more to come for sure. Love, politics, conspiracy are only the sub-plots in this saga. Jeffrey Archer is finally working towards the end, and that much is obvious in this book.

I liked this book, and it was way better than his earlier volumes. The twists and turns were brilliant, though I felt that it did not do justice to its cover (in this case, of Bombay and the Gateway of India); if you ignore the cover, the book is fairly well etched out. Its ending, I hope will be as cool as this volume.Or even the first one, 'Only Time Will Tell'.
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