Review: Cometh the Hour by Jeffrey Archer

James Walton 

Jeffrey Archer's latest novel, the penultimate book in the Clifton Chronicles, is a tale of spies, politics, love and intrigue. 

Cometh the Hour   
Buy Cometh the Hour by Jeffrey Archer for  £12.99

I’m possibly not the first person to say this, but Jeffrey Archer really can spin a cracking yarn.

In the sixth volume of The Clifton Chronicles, the main characters have reached the 1970s—and, given that they remain a socially distinguished bunch, we get not only a multi-generational family saga, but also high politics, low politics, a full-on Cold War spy story, two courtroom dramas and lashings of business skulduggery.

There’s even a walk-on part for an emerging politician called Margaret Thatcher—whom everybody agrees is a “remarkable” woman.

Not even Archer’s greatest fans could claim that he’s an especially subtle writer.

The characters often tell each other things they already know, for our benefit. (“You’re the West German Foreign Minister,” one man says to his friend early on.) And yet, somehow the normal rules of writing don’t seem to apply—because I defy anybody, however elevated their literary tastes, to read this book and not enjoy it to an almost embarrassing extent. 


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