‘Mightier than the sword’ by Jeffrey Archer

The fifth of Archer’s Clifton Chronicles begins with a bang as Archer examines his fictional clan’s financial, political and personal lives in the 1960’s.

Emma Barrington Clifton’s family company, Barrington Shipping, has launched the luxury liner MV Buckingham, but her arch enemy, Don Pedro Martinez, an Argentinian gangster and Nazi sympathizer, hires the Irish Republican Army to sabotage its maiden voyage. A bomb is planted by the IRA during the maiden voyage of the MV Buckingham across the Atlantic. When the bomb goes off, how many passengers on the Buckingham lose their lives? You will only find out if you read the opening chapter of Mightier than the Sword.

Meanwhile, Emma Clifton’s husband Harry (a writer) visits his publisher in New York and learns he has been elected as the new president of English PEN. He has always been a supporter of Russian author Anatoly Babakov, who is imprisoned in Siberia for authoring “Uncle Joe” -an expose of Stalin. Harry becomes determined to use his new position to try to get Anatoly released from prison.Did he succeed in his mission?

We have the story of Harry and Emma’s son Sebastian who turns out to be quite a smooth operator when it comes to business however when he makes a fatal mistake in not honoring a promise he made to someone to close a deal, Intrigued by this his fiancée, an American beauty, Samantha Ethel Sullivan leaves him. Sebastian is devastated and Archer does have some surprises for his readers in the latter chapters concerning Samantha and Sebastian.

Sir Giles Barrington ,Emma’s brother and Harry’s best buddy is now a minister of the Crown, and looks set for even higher office, until an official trip to Berlin does not end as a diplomatic success. Once again, Giles’s political career is thrown off balance by none other than his old adversary, Major Alex Fisher, who, for the second time, is selected to stand against him at the general election. But who wins this time?

Meanwhile, Emma’s in court defending herself against libel charges brought by vile former sister-in-law Lady Virginia Incidentally, Virginia is suing Emma for libel pertaining to Emma’s statements concerning Virginia that were made during a board meeting and entered into the company’s minutes. Towards the end of the novel, Archer devotes considerable ink to a very intriguing trial.

Originally planned to be the fifth and final book in The Clifton Chronicles series, Mightier Than The Sword, which is to be followed by two more volumes, is an adrenaline-fueled read with plenty of surprises dealing with the business side of the story, boardroom power struggles, politics and terrorism.

Filled with Characters the book takes you through a wonderful journey from England to Russia and the United States.

Though the fifth novel in the Clifton Chronicles series it is accessible as a stand-alone story. With all the trademark twists and turns that have made him one of the world’s most popular authors, the spellbinding story of the Clifton and the Barrington families continues.

Reviewed by Rakshanya Sekhar

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