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BOOK REVIEW: A PRISONER OF BIRTH
BY JEFFREY ARCHER
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Danny Cartwright, a London commoner by birth, quickly moves from one of the happiest moments of life to a cell. The celebration of his engagement to his beloved Beth ends in a nightmare as Danny is arrested for the murder of his best friend who is also his future brother-in-law.
The engagement celebration, which consisted of Beth, her brother Bernie, and Danny, was rudely interrupted by comments from an inebriated foursome who were standing at the bar in the local pub. Their comments were all aimed at Beth and Bernie quickly took offense. In the fight that followed Bernie was stabbed to death by one of the four and Danny was stabbed in the leg.
However because of the social standing of the four bar patrons and their ability to quickly change the scene to fit their story Danny was arrested over the protestations of Beth. Spencer Craig who as an attorney foresaw what could happen when the police would arrive so he made the surroundings and lone witness bear out his story and cleverly covered up his and his partnersí guilt.
At an ensuing trial Danny is found guilty partially because of an inept attorney and partly because of his background. An East End commoner didnít stand a chance against the four men of a higher social rank.
While in prison several things happen that make drastic changes in Dannyís life. His two cellmates turn out to be a former army officer and his driver. These two ďadoptĒ Danny and not only save his life but change it drastically. The officer, Nicholas Moncrief, and Danny look like brothers. After Moncrief schools Danny not only in proper English but also in manners, dress, and even hairstyle it is exceedingly hard to tell them apart.
The story continues to grow into an interesting direction wherein Danny in fact gets out of prison and poses as Moncrief in a very strange turn of events.
Danny as Nicholas becomes involved in the Moncrief family matters while all the time continuing to plan retribution against the men who not only killed his best friend but also ruined his life and impending marriage.
Jeffrey Archer has laid out a mostly believable story that keeps the readerís interest to the end. There are many twists and turns but all of them contribute to the story and lead to an ending that is not quite expected but yet very possible.
A lengthy read but all in all a book to be enjoyed!
REVIEWED BY ALLEN HOTT
DO NOT REPRINT
WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE REVIEWER, ALLEN HOTT
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