Sunday, 9 March 2014

A Prisoner of Birth: Never Again!

***Spoiler Alert***

You have got to be kidding me! I know that Jeffery  Archer went to prison and that he is a politician, but is he capable of writing about anything else? Same old layout.. The protagonist (Danny Cartwright) goes to prison for a crime he did not commit, his fiance: whom he is supposed to marry in a few weeks, is pregnant, he gets the best of the cellmates, one of them teaches him dining etiquette because lets face it, the hero HAS to know how to use a fork and a knife.. And here  is the biggie.. He changes his identity (conveniently), inherits a big chunk of property which is not his to begin with.. sounds familiar? yes, same as Clifton Chronicles (I know Clifton Chronicles were published after this book). And this one is three books in one bloody long book! It is acceptable to copy the others' in your own (like he took the idea from Sidney Sheldon's 'The doomsday conspiracy' for his 'The Eleventh Commandment' book) but it is not cool to copy your own and keep publishing books with just different titles! The author didn't even bother to go for new names. A character named "Hugo" is trying to keep all the money for himself and "Hugo" obviously has a spy. Even the choice of words were the same. There were a few phrases which the author often uses in most of his books. Its mundane.

There were just way too many implausible depictions. For instance, Danny passes off as Nick when Nick is murdered and escapes from the prison even before he completes his sentence. He does so just because he looks a bit like Nick and happens to wear Nick's ring and chain. Its like how actors can pass off as another person in movies, just by wearing a mole on their cheek.. LOL.. Anyway, it looks like the character Nick was created and killed just to teach Danny dining etiquette and to help him escape prison. And nobody, not even Danny, cared to investigate what really happened to Nick in the shower. Another unbelievable point is how Alex Redmayne is ready to defend Danny in the court even when Danny is bankrupt. Needless to say, he comes in handy when Danny is arrested for impersonating Sir Nicolas Moncrieff and escaping the prison under false pretenses. I am really interested to know which lawyer charges free of cost to defend someone for their lifetime just because he thinks his client is innocent. Even Mr. Fraser Munro, who has served the Moncrieff family for 3 generations is ready to help a former mechanic without charging him. I wonder how a dignified and a professional man like Fraser Munro, who has been faithful to the Moncrieff family for years, does not a feel even a little disgusted about the fact that he was deceived by an impostor! At the end, Arnold Pearson, the ferocious advocate who was prosecuting against Danny in his murder trial, is pleased to take Danny side.

The long boring narration moves at a very rapid pace in the last 5 chapters. It is such a quick end that it seems like even the author got bored of writing and couldn't wait to finish the book. Although I really did admire Sir Matthew Redmayne's witty repartee, the author had tried too hard make us adore Sir Matthew by establishing his character as a cool expert who thinks and works with his eyes closed and by asserting his rivalry with the Judge, Mr. Hackett. And no wonder he is more than ready to be a junior to his own son after retiring as judge, to defend Danny Cartwright in the end.

All the stars were set on Danny's side. The supporting cast was set to aide Danny in any misery. The stage was set for Danny Cartwright to steal the show.

I liked only two things about the books: the first page with the catchy title (I almost fell for that!) and the last line with Larry Davenport saying "guilty", because I was relieved that the story came to an end!

I have half a mind to give up on this author. If Jeffery Archer continues at this rate, I am sure he will be the only prisoner of his books.