From time to time you come across a book that just nags you to read it, Jeffrey Archers First instalment of the Clifton Chronicles was one such book. It constantly popped up on the shelves at work, in-between requests for that ‘new Jeffrey Archer’. It was with much ambivalence that I finally decided to give this one a go.
Archer’s tale centres around Harry Clifton; the modest and unassuming son of a deceased Dockworker and the mysterious consequences surrounding his death.
We witness Clifton’s rather effortless rise from public school student to private school scholarship as the town of Bristol’s numerous do-gooders; including the highly implausible ‘Old Jack’ do all they can to aid Harry through his life’s personal lows.
The story is told through multiple perspectives which can add dimension and intricacy, however in this case it was a slog through the retelling of events with long passages almost reading like a dull self gratifying memoir. With that being said I found myself speeding through the majority of the book as Archer’s writing is squeaky clean and flows effortlessly.
We are presented with a villain along the way as well a twist or two in the form of both a legal and moral dilemma however the crux of novel centres on the true identity of Harry’s father – Bristol Dockworker or Tycoon of a lucrative shipping line? Only time will tell I’m afraid.
There’s also a fair dose of suspense thrown into the equation as the book ends on a total cliff-hanger, enough for me to resort to getting my hands on the follow up (very devious of you , Mr Archer)