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I had completely missed the publication date of this book & chanced upon this book when I had gone to my local bookstore to buy a new book. I was overjoyed seeing that the next book of the Clifton Chronicles was out & bought it right away & started reading on my way back home. And it was all very underwhelming…

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Cometh the Hour opens with the reading of a suicide note, which has devastating consequences for Harry and Emma Clifton, Giles Barrington and Lady Virginia.

Giles must decide if he should withdraw from politics and try to rescue Karin, the woman he loves, from behind the Iron Curtain. But is Karin truly in love with him, or is she a spy?

Lady Virginia is facing bankruptcy, and can see no way out of her financial problems, until she is introduced to the hapless Cyrus T. Grant III from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who’s in England to see his horse run at Royal Ascot.

Sebastian Clifton is now the Chief Executive of Farthings Bank and a workaholic, whose personal life is thrown into disarray when he falls for Priya, a beautiful Indian girl. But her parents have already chosen the man she is going to marry. Meanwhile, Sebastian’s rivals Adrian Sloane and Desmond Mellor are still plotting to bring him and his chairman Hakim Bishara down, so they can take over Farthings.

Harry Clifton remains determined to get Anatoly Babakov released from a gulag in Siberia, following the international success of his acclaimed book, Uncle Joe. But then something unexpected happens that none of them could have anticipated.

Cometh the Hour is the penultimate book in the Clifton Chronicles and, like the five previous novels – which were all New York Times bestsellers – showcases Jeffrey Archer’s extraordinary storytelling with his trademark twists.

*SPOILERS*

What I liked: 

  • Return of some old characters: It was great to read about Barry Hammond & Maisie Clifton & even Grace Barrington. Grace has so little space in all the books but it is always nice to read about her. Like her sister she is a magnificent woman.
  • Harry Clifton: He was once again impressive in this book. His speech at the Nobel awards ceremony was worth the applause it received. The gesture of raising the pen was touching as well as meaningful. Though I was expected some nasty twist when he went to Russia with Emma & Yelena, thankfully they were allowed to return back home in one piece.
  • Virginia Fenwick: It was fun to see Virginia get her just dues. Finally Virginia meets her match in Ellie May & her own father knows his daughter better than anyone.
  • Sloane & Mellor backstabbing one another was fun to read. Let them keep busy with one another so the Barringtons – Cliftons can live peacefully.

What I did not like:

  • Priya Ghuman: Being an Indian I had been looking forward to read about Priya Ghuman since I read her name on the back page of the book but was sorely disappointed with the treatment given to this character. Why was she even introduced? To show how fickle Seb is? Or to highlight honour killings (though this wasn’t exactly that even!) in India? For the first time I put away a Jeffrey Archer novel & didn’t pick it up for nearly a week after reading about Priya dying at the airport. I was surprised when Mr. Ghuman did nothing to avenge his daughter’s death though I am glad Archer didn’t make him buy Barrington shares as usual & bring the company to its knees.
  • Sebastian Clifton: What was he doing in the entire novel? Moping over Jessica & Sam- playing lover boy for Priya – moping over Priya going away – playing lover boy in India- moping over Priya’s death (I refuse to call whatever he was doing mourning no matter what Maisie, Harry & Emma say) – playing lover boy for Sam again & then running behind his daughter & courting Sam & then marrying her finally. Aim of life accomplished! And if the father wasn’t annoying enough we have the over smart daughter who all of a sudden is everywhere. By next book she might take over from Emma as chariman of Barrington’s. She is THAT bright after all.
  • The book really did not live up to the standards set by the previous novels in this series. The plots are getting repetitive & hence boring with the end results of trials & characters all being predictable.

The last book in The Clifton Chronicles series releases in November. Hope JA gives this series a suitable & satisfying ending & the book is in the league of the previous five novels & not like the sixth one.

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