I’m so happy to write about this book as I have been waiting for the release of this book since I finished the last published book in the Clifton Chronicles. Yes, the book is Cometh the Hour by Jeffery Archer. (spoilers ahead, beware). The Cometh has been hailed as “the penultimate book in the Clifton Chronicles and, like the five previous novels – all of which went to number one on the Sunday Times bestseller list – showcases Jeffrey Archer’s extraordinary storytelling with his trademark twists”. Twists and thrills are definitely there. I kept thinking about what will happen next while I was working as I usually read while I travel. But I wound not say this as the penultimate book. For me the Best Kept Secret was edgy starting with the prologue, where the Lord Chancellor must decided whether Harry is son of Lord Barrington, till the end where Admissions tutor of Cambridge university bears the responsibility of conveying horrific new of death of sons. This book made a statement. Every moment the reader is thinking what will be the next move of enemy and how will the Clifton family avert possible dangers. The next books followed the same momentum. However, I did find Cometh a follower only.
Cometh does provide closure to many situations or questions that have been lingering in reader’s mind since the beginning and throughout the journey in last five books. But the same was expected and probably I expected the outcomes. To begin with Giles going after Karin, was pretty much expected and I was somehow sure she would turn out to be a spy. The twist wasn’t though was she had a change of heart and readily agreed to be a double agent. The twist was she is discovered and is shot dead at end. I am not sure how Giles will react to Sir Alan telling him whole truth and will he be taking any action to bring justice and closure to Karin. I think Giles will reunite with Gwyneth.
The struggle for freedom of Anatoly Babakov started by Harry Clifton has some great moments. The pain and determination in his struggle is very much evident from his speech at the Noble Prize ceremony. Only an author capable of understanding and believing ‘right to know truth’ and ‘right to freedom of expression’ will be able to deliver such words. The twist with Hakim Bishara and unholy trinity was thrilling and a reason for excitement. I didn’t expect Mellor and Slone would turn on each other.Lady Virginia rightly deserved her treatment. Though, her entire drama of getting monthly expenses and characters involved in the drama could have been avoided. It reduced Lady Virgina to a normal average cunning and lowly woman. Even though she was evil, she was Lady. She should have been given proper closure may by banishing her to her father’s estate and trying to get knighthood for Mellor, as she is currently doing. Then her destruction would have been interesting to look out for in final installment.
But I surely think Sebastian and Priya’s love story was unnecessary. I have always rooted for Seb and Samantha to be reunited. Reuniting them makes right logic and sense because Seb and Sam do not complete each other but compliment each other. At the maximum, Priya’s death only made Seb realize that he should try once more to win Sam and then never to let her go. But I wondered Seb had already realized the same in the Mightier than Sword and his conversations with his family about Sam.
All in all, the book was exciting but I would not say it matched or closely followed the previous ones. I think story of Lady Virgina’s second-rate farces and Priya was unnecessary. As I said before, the reason may be due to the closure that needs to be given to all characters and the story line.