Monday, June 22, 2015

Archer Hits the Mark Again

Man, do I love Jeffrey Archer's series, The Clifton Chronicles.  I just finished book #5, Mightier than the Sword.  You may have heard me tell you that my memory isn't exactly stellar.  Yet, the Prologue for #5 not only grabbed me immediately, but I also remembered just about everything from #4.  That's how much impact the Chronicles have on me.

I'm not going to give you any kind of synopsis.  If you've already read 1 or more, then you know what it's about.  If you haven't, then you need to go online to Archer's website or Goodreads and get the back story. Suffice it to say that we've now gone through 40-50 years with the Cliftons, and #5 ends in 1970.  I hope that it continues on because I really care about these people.

In many of the books I connect with, it's usually about tears.  Archer's books have those, to be sure, along with a whole bunch of other emotions:

laughter (happy, not funny)
worry (lots of "uh oh")
triumph (when the bad guys lose a battle)
satisfaction (to see a result that I was hoping for)

What Archer and Follett have in common is their ability to get you emotionally connected to the villains.  Remember when I told you how I felt about one of the police detectives in Lehane's The Given Day?  I was so angry with a heinous act he pulled against an innocent. Well, this is common for these 2 guys.  They both have sections that are focused on the evildoers.  You get to see what they're planning and the ensuing results.  I think that adds a lot to the story.  And, on top of that, the good guys don't always win.  That makes for more tense situations because you can't really guess what's going to happen.   It's a real literary coup, to my way of thinking.

What makes Archer stand out even more than Follett is his cliffhangers.  The one that ends #5 is a doozy.  And just like some of the TV shows we've watched through the years (the "Who Shot JR" episode from Dallas, back in 1980, springs to mind), Archer's cliffhangers are appropriate to the storyline and make you hope the next book will come out soon (book #6 isn't due until next Spring - rats!).  If you like series, but haven't started this one yet, do it. Even if you don't typically like series, I strongly recommend you try this one.  You will be thanking me.  Another 4/4 for Archer.

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