The penultimate book in the Clifton Chronicles series doesn’t disappoint
Cometh the Hour is the sixth and penultimate book in the bestselling Clifton Chronicles series by Jeffrey Archer. And, as always, the master storyteller doesn’t disappoint. The novel may not be as gripping a saga as some of his more famous novels like Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less, Kane and Abel or First Among Equals, but it is nevertheless a tale well told.
The book takes off from where the fifth book in the series—Mightier Than the Sword—ended: the ongoing court case between Lady Virginia Fenwick and Emma Clifton and reading of the suicide note left behind by Major Fisher. The note, if read, could and does have serious consequences for both the Cliftons and the Barringtons.
Covering the period of the 1970s, the book is a narrative of the fortunes and travails, political drama and love affairs, with espionage and spy ring thrown in to keep the reader gripped to the page-turner—mostly all through the words of Harry Clifton, the author-husband of Emma and father of Sebastian.
Sir Giles’, Emma’s politician brother, love story with an East German translator—is she a spy?—is an interesting interlude in the novel, what with Sir Giles risking everything to bring her over the Berlin Wall and to England. At the same time, the love story between Sebastian and a beautiful Indian girl, Priya, has everything that a Bollywood thriller has: love between two young people from different religions (even nations, in this case), a powerful, feudal father, goondas/personal security guards, girl being married to a man chosen by her parents, a daring attempt by Sebastian to stop her marriage, violence and tragedy. Indians will love this book!
But the most interesting side story is that of Sir Giles’ former wife Lady Virginia, who has lost her fortune in the court battle against Emma and who, desperate to come into some money after having been financially cut off by her father, blackmails a wealthy American through a well-orchestrated scam.
In the end, Archer, the master storyteller that he is, leaves the reader gasping for more. But, for that we shall have to wait for the final book of the series.