An unplanned visit to a bookstore, that happens with me most of the times, leads me to pick up books by gut feeling. During one such visit I happened to pick one such book that I had been attracted towards for some time. I had almost bought it during the last couple of visits but dropped it at the last moment. The book was Jeffery Archer’s “Mightier than Sword“.
The major reason to pick this book was that I had never read any of Jeffery Archer’s work! The title sounded really interesting and the synopsis at the back got me intrigued. However, what I did not notice was, that it was a part of a 7 book series! Moreover, it was the 5th book in the series of 7 called Clifton Chronicles! My suspicions grew when I was a few chapters down, I had a feeling that there are some background stories I did not know about and it felt like a continuation of a story left unfinished. However, I was reluctant to check and confirm my fears. That is because I really don’t prefer to read any series. The only other I have read, was a trilogy. It was only after the book was finished that my fears were confirmed. The book ended on a climax leaving the reader curious in suspense.
I looked up for the book previous to this and found out that there were 4 books before this one and two after! I decided to read all 7 going with my commitment of not leaving any book or series unfinished. I had to order the first 4 books and to my delight there was a huge coincidence! At two separate visits in the past, at two different places for different reasons, I had already purchased two books from the same series! What’s hugely surprising was that these were the only Jeffery Archer books I had ever purchased and all of them belonged to the same series! 😀
I got the first book of the series “Only Time Will Tell” from a cafe “The nerdy Indian cafe” that gives a book free for every 500 rupees you spend. I spent 1500 that day and got three books. One of them was this. The other book, the 6th in the series, “Cometh The Hour” was bought from Delhi Book Fair. It was a part of 16 books that I bought that day! 😀 So, I had three books already and therefore, I placed an order for the rest of the 4 books.
The 7 books in order –
- Only Time Will Tell
- The Sins of the Father
- Best Kept Secret
- Be Careful What You Wish For
- Mightier than the Sword
- Cometh the Hour
- This Was A Man
The story revolves around Clifton and Barrington families and covers the lives and events of three generations that are very much connected and intertwined. The central characters are Harry and Emma. The first book has a slightly slow start which covers the childhood of Harry and Emma, of course that will cover the lives of their parents and how their families, which are economically and socially poles apart are still connected. The book picks up the pace later as conspiracies and crimes grow and at some places it becomes nail biting.
Each book has one major event in the lives of every character and how that is going to affect everyone’s future. None of the book was boring in itself. Every book has at least one major incident or conspiracy that is gripping. I loved Jeffery Archer’s narration! His art of story telling keeps the reader engaged. At some points the suspense got too nail biting that I hated the wait and wanted to jump a couple of paragraphs down to find out what happened 😀 That’s an art!
I loved the first 5 books. They were all gripping and full of suspense. If at all I have to rate, then out of all the 7 books, the least interesting was the last book – This Was A Man. The 6th one “Cometh the Hour”, the story slowed down a little as compared to the fast paced narrations in all the previous ones. I felt that the story was unnecessarily being dragged. The last book in the series “This Was A Man” was quite slow. Perhaps because it was the last one and the author had to prepare a ground to end the story in a way that everything sorted out in the end but it felt more like I was reading their daily schedule.
I wasn’t even happy with the way one of the character’s end was handled, that put aside it was still a little entertaining. The only entertaining part of the last book. Rest of the book, to be very honest, was very boring. I finished the book only for the sake of finishing and for my innate curiosity. I wanted to know how the author would finish the book and how he will arrive at it. I did enjoy the initial books in the series but definitely not the last ones. In my opinion the series should have ended with the 5th book, at max. I personally, won’t be going for such long series, though this too was by accident. It was a lesson for me to be careful and check the book before buying, just to make sure that it’s not a part of any series.