Book Review: Heads You Win

Cometh the hour - The Clifton Chronicles Book 6

I could not wait to get hold of Cometh the hour, the 6th book in the (hopefully 7 book) Clifton Chronicles by one of my favourite authors, Jeffrey Archer.  Having read the previous five,  (the first four together and the fifth, when it came out), it was only fitting that I continued to read the series.

It is hard to write about the book, without spoilers especially about previous books.  So, those who plan to read the earlier books, do skip the rest of this.

Like the previous books, this one revolves around five primary characters

Harry Clifton - Harry continues to write his Detective Warwick books and they land up #1 in New York Times bestseller list.  He also completes and gets published, Uncle Joe, the book of Anatoly Babakov, the Russian writer, who has been imprisoned for writing against Stalin.   His prodigious memory helps him, not just to write the book (which was narrated to him in Russian prison by Babakov), but also to quote random pages from his during his book promotion in United States.  We also get to know what happens to Babakov in this book.

Emma Barrington Clifton - The book starts with the verdict of the trial of the case where Virginia Fenvick has accused Emma of tarnishing her reputation.   The dying letter of Alex Fisher, her confidante influences the verdict.  Emma continues to head Barrington Shipping, while also taking up additional responsibility of running the Bristol Royal Infirmary.   The book sees the appearance of Margaret Thatcher as the able Tory leader, who enlists Emma's support and advice.

Giles Barrington - Like in the previous books, Giles, the hopeless romantic continues his ways.  Thanks to this, he is unable to contest the elections as well.  But does he manage to get Karin Pengelly out of East Germany and across the Berlin Wall?  Does Karin really like him or is she an agent of the East?

Sebastian Clifton - while he has made in mark in Farthing Bank, his personal life is troubled.  Does he wait for Samantha and his daughter, Jessica, while Samantha is married to her ailing husband?  Or fall in love with an Indian girl, Priya and get in trouble on account of race, religion and culture?

Virginia Fenwick needs to find avenue for her social life, since her father has no plans to increase her allowance.  A rich American, Cyrus T Grant III is her victim this time and her calculated plans bear fruits.  She also continues to be close to Desmond Mellor and Adrian Sloan, who are the arch enemies of the Clifton-Barringtons and hell-bent on destroying them, one way or the other.

True to his style, Jeffrey Archer weaves a gripping tale of intrigue and suspense.  Of course, the characters being well-known now, we are eager to see what else the author can throw in.  Things tend to get repetitive.

And this book would be of interest to Indians - since he almost recreates Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge - in his own way - except that the ending is different.

And hey, did England have gas lighting in 1970s?

At 420 pages a good weekend read.