Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Book Review: Cometh the Hour

When news of Jeffrey Archer's newest Clifton Chronicles book hit, I eagerly placed my name on the hold list. However, by the time my turn arrived, I had noticed that our library had, indeed, purchased an audio form of the book, so I decided to wait a while longer and return the book while placing my name on the audio holds list. There's something about listening to this story, complete with British accent, that really fires me up.

Cometh the Hour is the penultimate book in the Clifton Chronicle series. A series that I thought would be only five books, turned out to be seven. This sixth installment was true to Archer form, full of suspense and plenty of plot turns. The book begins with the reading of a suicide note, a key piece of evidence in a tense legal battle for Emma Clifton, and ends with a murder. In between these bookend events, the book focuses on a few riveting tales: two love stories for Sebastian Clifton, the woes and wiles of Lady Virginia, Harry Clifton's attempts to free Anatoly Babakov, and more sinister plotting against the Barrington establishment and Farthings Bank.

Despite the length of 13 hours, it was quite easy to remain riveted to the story line from day to day. I was struck again by the wicked, cunning, devious ways of man exemplified in so many of the characters in this novel series. I will be happy to see the series finally resolved, though. At times it feels like it is just being filled with fluff to keep the story going through seven books. I didn't understand the purpose of including the quick, tragic love story. Moreover, I found the precocious daughter to be over-the-top and unrealistic. Still, I have my questions pulling me along: What will come of Harry and Emma Clifton, of their son Sebastian and his daughter, Jessica? What will transpire to bring down Lady Virginia and all opposition to the Barrington ventures. Will Harry's father's remains be found and evidence produced to prove that Harry was not, in truth, Emma's own half-brother? And finally, will the series go out with a bang, the way so many of Jeffrey Archer's well-crafted tales do?

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