Book Review: A Prisoner Of Birth by Jeffrey Archer


I have read many books in last 2 months and there are at least three Book Review posts(incomplete) in my drafts. Anyway, this review is gonna very short. 😀 Guess what, I wasn’t at all surprised by twists and turns typical to Jefferey Archer.

Summary on back cover says:

The fiction starts with Daniel Arthur Cartwright(Danny) & his girlfriend Elizabeth Wilson(Beth) meeting up at a bar ‘Dunlop Arms’ on invitation of his girlfriend’s brother & his best chap in life,         Bernard Henry Wilson(Bernie). Bernie gets over an heated argument centered on Beth with 4 strangers i.e, a barrister, a popular actor, an aristocrat & the youngest partner in an established construction company which eventually leads to murder of Bernie. Guess who’s accused as the murderer-Danny instead of the 4 protagonists.

Thus begins Jeffrey Archer’s most powerful novel since ‘Kane & Abel’ with the trial in which Danny is sentenced to 22yrs in Belmarsh prison- the highest security jail in England, because who’s gonna believe the truth lying with Danny & Beth when 4 powerful protagonists stand in the witness box.

Most powerful??? Certainly not. I am no lawyer, but still I was able to think of points the Defense Lawyer failed to notice. And what a surprise, it turned out to be *turning point* of our Hero’s life.

*************Spoilers below this line***************

A man(novels Hero) and his girlfriend, celebrate with her bro in a bar. A person acompained by 3 more people passes some bad comments on her. Brother get angry. They fight. Our Hero gets injured by a knife in left leg above knee. The bro gets stabbed in chest and dies. The blame comes on the Hero (name Danney).

20080331_jeffreysNow Danney gets a lawyer and fights against these four people who are well known legends in their field. I was wondering all through the case why there isn’t a single mention of Danney’s injury?

And in the meantime, Danney is sent to prison where he gets nice cellmates one of whom is a court marshaled army officer. He teaches hime reading, writing and manners, language etc. Danney and Nick(the court marshaled officer) look same. The same voice(?), style, looks, hair(thats possible) etc etc. So when somehow this Nick dies, Danney gets out of prison in his place faking his own death.

Fine. I buy this much. But after getting out of prison, Danney seamlessly operates and takes place of Nick. He becomes expert in Stocks, Property, and takes many decisions which makes him millionaire.

He executes his plans of revenge on the four culprits. And somehow one of them realizes its not Nick but  dear old Danney taking revenge. So  they trap him, get in custody and again case in court.

Now, this is the part I liked best. I like the court proceedings (but I don’t have any wish of having some experience of it 😀 ). So this part is full of bombs and landmines 😀  The key point, the turning point, a small thing that saves Danney life is his Leg injury during the fight in which his friend died. WoW. Thas really amazing Jeffrey!! I am still unable think how a lawyer can miss to mention such a crucial point? may be that happens only in novels.

*************Spoilers End***************

I have tried to lessen the spoilers but I can’t help it. Book is nice read if you don’t try to think everything logically or you are not a lawyer. Good as fiction and will certainly make a good Bollywood movie. But I am sure if someone makes a Bollywood movie on this book, the main killer will be caught in his own words in court and will start crying and shout suddenly,” YES, I KILLED HIM *SOB* *SOB*, I WAS DRUNK AND I DIDN’T KNOW…. blah blah blah…..”  😀

My Rating: Read if you have plenty of time. Rating 2.5/5

I know 2.5 is little more, but he has certainly written some good parts.


(P.S> This is my first book review. So there are mistakes. Kindly ignore them 🙂 .
Coming soon book reviews: The Kite Runner, Life of PI, Next, The Third Girl….
I know these are old books and had been reviewed by many bloggers, but I read them recently!!
Sorry  but Confessions Revisited 2 is still in Progress as I am out of ideas.)