Book Review: Heads You Win

Mightier than the Sword - Clifton Chronicles - Book 5 - Review

Having read the previous books of Clifton Chronicles, I was eagerly awaiting the "last one".  As it turns out, Jeffrey Archer has decided to make this a 7-book series instead of 5.  Could it be just coincidence that the hero of this book is also "Harry",  like another popular 7-book series?

So, Mightier than the Sword chronicles the life and time of Harry and his family from 1964 to 1970.  This book starts where the previous one, Be Careful What You Wish For ends - the explosion during the maiden voyage of Buckingham, the first passenger ship of Barrington Shipping, caused by IRA.

Of course, nothing can happen to our protagonists since the book cannot continue otherwise.

Harry is now a popular writer of Detective Warwick series.  He takes up the cause of a Russian author, imprisoned for writing a book on Stalin.

Emma is facing a libel suit by Virginia Fenwick for their exchange of words during a shareholder meeting of Barrington Shipping.

Emma's brother Giles is a Minister of the Labour Government. He gets into trouble during a visit to East Germany.  The next round of elections bring back Tories to power.

Harry's son Sebastian is rising up the ranks in Farthings Bank and is all set to marry Samantha, the girl he met in the previous book.   But in his attempt to climb up the ladder, he is willing to compromise on his integrity, which upsets Samantha.

Adrian Sloane is Sebastian's boss in Farthings who has an agenda of his own.

The book ends with the libel trial of Emma and Virginia with the jury deadlocked on the verdict.

At 430 odd pages, the book is similar to the previous books of the Clifton Chronicle series.  It moves at a fast pace and there are sufficient twists and turns to keep the reader engaged.

I felt that Jeffrey Archer has compromised in order to increase the book count of the series.  It is starting to resemble a Hindi serial now.

The subplot related to Harry and the Russian author is flimsy in places, especially related to Harry visiting Russia to get hold of the banned book.

But this is not to say that the book is not enjoyable.   Perhaps we may see a TV serial based on this sometime soon.