A Prisoner of Birth

10/26/2011 at 1:19 AM (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

A Prisoner of Birth by Jeffrey Archer is a modern twist on The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas played out in a courtroom battle. An innocent but illiterate man of uncouth appearance from London’s east end, Danny Cartwright, finds himself framed for a crime he did not commit by a group of rich and influential Cambridge educated gentlemen consisting of the soap television actor Lawrence Davenport, the youngest partner of a rising property development company Gerald Payne, Toby Mortimer and the cunning up-and-coming barrister Spencer Craig. His fiancée who was witness to the crime of her brother being assaulted is not even believed when she provides her testimony in court as Danny’s barrister, Alex Redmayne, is very young and inexperienced and his formidable opponent, who alleges Danny is the murderer as his fingerprints were on the murder weapon, is the well-respected barrister who is line to be made Queen’s Counsel. He has little chance of being believed as the group against him outshines him in credibility.

A Prisoner of Birth Book Cover

Danny Cartwright is the victim of choosing the wrong place and the wrong time to propose to his pregnant girlfriend Beth. When he is unjustly sentenced for the murder of his girlfriend’s brother and his best friend Bernie, he is placed in an opportune cell which enables him to make new friends who aid him to clear his name once they realise he truly is telling the truth when he says he is innocent. Making good use of his jail time to cultivate his appearance and make himself literate and knowledgeable of society etiquette through aristocratic cellmate Sir Nicholas Moncrieffe, when sheer circumstance offers him means to take revenge, having a friend in the warden Jenkins and in Albert Crann, the hospital orderly, assists him to find a solution to escaping Belmarsh, a prison from where no inmate has ever escaped. Not content with his escape and living under an assumed name, he plots a grandiose scheme to bring about the downfall of those who caused his initial misfortune. As he schemes his revenge plans, several people who become his friends after his escape unwittingly help him to outsmart and turn the tables on his foes.

Written by an author who writes convincingly of English trial system and prison life, the dramatic use of plot twists and the character transformation of the protagonist made the book compelling reading. Despite it just retelling the original Dumas tale set in the modern world with the repentance side of it kept under wraps, it still keeps you turning the pages.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Kane and Abel, The Bride Stripped Bare, Prey

01/31/2010 at 10:32 AM (Books) (, , , , , , , , )

Okay I was a bit late in updating this so I’ll just give micro-reviews for three books I read last week. Instead of going for the completely new I opted for some oldies that are not quite cult classics.

Kane and Abel Book Cover

Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer: This was an exhilarating read from start to finish. The complicated tangle of love, lies and deceit culminates in tragedy. When you discover the truth, the ending is utterly heartbreaking even if predictable.

The Bride Stripped Bare

The Bride Stripped Bare by Anonymous. (or Nikki Gemmell if you want to be pedantic about it). This particular tale of  love, lust and adultery stupefies with its confounding and mysterious finale.


Prey by Michael Crichton. I am usually not a fan of science fiction but this was written in an enticing  way with the house-husband business and supermarket nappy discussions paralelling the looming threat of an evolving nano-virus so it works well as a futuristic thriller.

Permalink Leave a Comment