A Prisoner of Birth
Review: A Prisoner of Birth by Jeffrey Archer is a modern update of the classic tale of fate and fortune, redemption and revenge.
Danny Cartwright is an uneducated garage mechanic who is falsely accused of murder but found guilty and sentenced to twenty-two years in the highest security prison in the land. He has no thought of fortune or redemption, just revenge – revenge against the four prominent men who were involved in the killing of his best friend, and who were the prosecution's prime witnesses at his trial. He figures he has twenty-two years to plan his perfect revenge. By a twist of fate, however, fortune becomes a part of Danny's life when he is released as someone he befriended in prison, the heir to a vast estate. He now has the means to act on his revenge. But what of redemption?
From a general plot outline perspective, there is little difference between A Prisoner of Birth and The Count of Monte Cristo from which the novel is clearly derived. The author here, however, instills into his characters personalities that make them individuals and not merely copies of the original characters created by Dumas. There are a few plot inventions that seem a bit contrived in order to match the basic story in classic tale, but fortunately these are compensated with an ample number of new twists and turns that are introduced here.
Intelligently written, A Prisoner of Birth is in many ways an original story embedded within a comfortable and familiar plot, the result being a tremendously satisfying novel.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of A Prisoner of Birth.
Acknowledgment: Authors on the Web provided a copy of A Prisoner of Birth for this review.
Review Copyright © 2008 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in A Prisoner of Birth: London, England
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A Prisoner of Birth by Jeffrey Archer
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: March 2008
List Price: $27.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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