27 February 2015
Jeffrey Archer: Mightier than the Sword (The Clifton Chronicles series Book 5)
When I read the first book in the Clifton Chronicles series it was an amusing, light and somewhat clever tale that looked like the start of an entertaining trilogy. Jeffrey Archer ended each book with interesting cliffhanger endings to keep your attention on the next book. Little did I know that nearly five years later I would be reading #5 in the series - and it looks like there are several more to come!
I read a lot of latest books in long series and always ask myself "Has the author run out of steam with the latest book?". In this case my answer is a solid yes. This book recycles so many plots in different guises from previous books, getting rid of a few key characters along the way to make things look a little different, but keeping most of the main characters and their conflicts alive and adding a few new ones, mainly baddies.
At the end of the last book the cliffhanger was whether an IRA bomb would explode on the liner Buckingham in mid-Atlantic. Of course that danger was cleared up early on and the baddies, both IRA bombers and Don Pedro Martinez, were quickly dispatched out of the story.
Harry Clifton is still writing very successful detective novels but gets involved in an unbelievable campaign, which he kicks off in Moscow, for the release of an author from a Russian jail who wrote a banned biography of Stalin. As Chairman, Emma battles to keep the Barrington Steamship Company afloat with Lady Virginia Fenwick still causing problems, and using Major Alex Fisher and other unscrupulous characters to implement her schemes.
Giles Barrington is a junior minister in Harold Wilson's first government and fights for his political life when the government falls. Sebastian is quickly becoming the financial brains of the Clifton family and gets involved in some interesting but strange financial intrigues.
This book only spans the years 1964 to 1970 which gives Jeffrey Archer scope for a host of future chronicles. While I admire Archer as a great storyteller I am tired of the Clifton/Barrington story line and the unusual and unbelievable lengths that he has gone to keep the story alive. I doubt that I will want to read any further chronicles.