Book: Cometh The Hour
Author: Jeffrey Archer
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Price: Rs 599
Harry Clifton, World War II hero, and the rest of his family return in the penultimate novel of the seven-part Clifton Chronicles, the bestselling series by that bestseller-generator, Jeffrey Archer. As usual, the Cliftons and their family by marriage find themselves embroiled in trouble.
The novel opens with a suicide note. Harry’s workaholic banker son Sebastian is involved in a sub-plot straight out of Bollywood, when his parents don’t let him marry the beautiful Indian girl he wishes to, whose name ironically is Priya. Naturally he’s also facing a coup within his country.
Meanwhile, his uncle, Harry’s brother-in-law is lovelorn as well, as he must decide between politics and the woman he loves, who may or may not be a Soviet spy. Harry himself, not to be left behind, is meddling in international affairs by trying to free his friend Anatoly Babakov from a Siberian gulag. And thus is the stage set.
What’s remarkable is Archer’s ability to weave out cohesion from such a tangled web, but as the man has been writing for decades it would be a shame if he couldn’t. All in all, Cometh the Hour is the latest in a long career of producing readable prose; nothing to write home about.