Final volume of Jeffrey Archer's 'Clifton Chronicles' out

PTI  | Deccan Chronicle

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"This Was a Man" is a captivating final installment of the "Clifton Chronicles", a series of seven novels

Jeffrey Archer (Photo: Youtube/Screengrab)

New Delhi: The seventh and final volume of Jeffrey Archer's popular "Clifton Chronicles" series is out. "This Was a Man" is a captivating final installment of the "Clifton Chronicles", a series of seven novels that has topped the bestseller lists around the world, and enhanced Archer's reputation as a master storyteller, according to publishers Pan Macmillan India.

Spanning the 20th century, "The Clifton Chronicles" is a gripping family saga of the trials and tribulations of the Clifton and Barringtons, two families at opposite ends of the social spectrum.

In "This Was a Man", Harry Clifton sets out to write his magnum opus, while his wife Emma completes her 10 years as Chairman of the Bristol Royal Infirmary, and receives an unexpected call from Margaret Thatcher offering her a job.

Sebastian Clifton becomes chairman of Farthings Kaufman bank, but only after Hakim Bishara has to resign for personal reasons. Sebastian and Samantha's talented daughter, Jessica, is expelled from the Slade School of Fine Art, but her aunt Grace comes to her rescue.

Meanwhile, Lady Virginia is about to flee the country to avoid her creditors when the Duchess of Hertford dies, and she sees another opportunity to clear her debts and finally trump the Cliftons and Barringtons. In a devastating twist, tragedy engulfs the Clifton family when one of them receives a shocking diagnosis that will throw all their lives into turmoil.

"Only Time Will Tell" is the first novel in "The Clifton Chronicles". The epic tale of Harry Clifton's life begins in 1920, with the words "I was told that my father was killed in the war."

A dock worker in Bristol, Harry never knew his father and expects to continue on at the shipyard, until a remarkable gift wins him a scholarship to an exclusive boys' school, and his life changes. 

"Sins of the Father" is the second book in the series and begins from the time before Britain declares war on Germany. The subsequent titles in the series are "Best Kept Secret", "Be Careful What You Wish For", "Mightier than the Sword" and "Cometh the Hour".

"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 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 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.