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A Prisoner of Birth


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About the Author

Jeffrey Archer, whose bestselling novels span from Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less to Kane & Abel and The Eleventh Commandment, has sold over 135 million books throughout the world. The author is married with two children.


When Danny Cartwright proposes to his childhood sweetheart and she accepts, her brother--Danny's best friend--joins them for a night on the town. Four drunken toffs insult them at an upscale nightspot. In the melee that follows, the brother is stabbed, and the four gentlemen swear that Danny stabbed him. When the brother dies, Danny is sentenced to 22 years in maximum security. There's a reason why this sounds like The Count of Monte Cristo: Danny reads Dumas in his prison cell as part of his effort to improve himself. When Danny's cellmate is murdered, Danny assumes his identity and escapes to wreak vengeance on the perjurers who killed his best friend and took his own life away from him. The plot of Archer's latest potboiler (after False Impression) is hackneyed, and coincidence is stretched too far and too frequently. The characters are stereotypes and underfleshed; the ending is abrupt. Still, like other Archer thrillers, the book is compulsively readable: it will provide readers with many hours of relaxation. Recommended for popular fiction collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 11/15/07.]--David Keymer, Modesto, CA Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Bestseller Archer (Kane and Abel) pays homage to Dumas's The Count of Monte Cristo in this delicious updating of the adventure classic. Four upper-crust friends from Cambridge University known as the Musketeers conspire to frame Danny Cartwright, an illiterate London East Ender, for the murder of Danny's oldest friend and brother-in-law to be, Bernie Wilson. The outcome of the intriguing trial, which pits a relatively novice defense lawyer against a skilled prosecutor, is a 22-year sentence for Danny. In maximum-security Belmarsh prison, Danny is lucky enough to share a cell with Sir Nicholas Moncrieff, the book's Abbe Faria figure, who teaches him to read and write. In a trick familiar to those who know their Dumas, Danny escapes by impersonating Moncrieff and hatches an intricate scheme to punish the Musketeers and clear his name. While Archer doesn't explore the cost to Danny's soul his revenge exacts, the author's firsthand knowledge of prison life and legal maneuvers helps make this a thoroughly enjoyable entertainment. 250,000-copy printing; author tour. (Mar.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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