A Prisoner of Birth

A Prisoner of Birth is the latest belted out by Jeffrey Archer. After reading books like Not a penny more Not a penny less and Kane and Abel,(Actually I've read all his books) this book disappointed me a little because it looked like it was the modern Count of Monte Cristo(Alexandre Dumas). Archer has himself stated that A Prisoner of Birth has been inspired from The Count of Monte Cristo, but since I had enjoyed the latter, I also liked the former, albeit in a somewhat different manner.
The story starts with that of a happy young man Danny Cartwright,who is getting engaged to his long-time lover Beth and also becomes the head of the garage in which he works, and which is owned by his betrothed's father. To celebrate the occasion, the trio comprising of the young couple and Beth's brother Bernie, also Danny's best friend go to a pub. But things go awry and they get engaged in a brawl with four other men in the same bar, who call themselves The Musketeers. In the process, one of the Musketeers kills Bernie and in an attempt to save him, Danny gets injured and covered in blood. The only witness to what truly happened is only Beth, whose alimony doesn't count in the court and the barman, who is paid to keep his mouth shut. As a result, Danny is sent to prison for 22 yrs.

His cellmates are Nicholas Morceiff and Big Al, and the story goes on about how he spends his time in jail, Beth's visits, a failed reappeal, his growing friendship with Nick and how he learns all that Nick has to teach him, for instance to read and write and how to conduct himself. Just a few days before Nick's release, he gets killed by another prisonmate, who kills him mistakenly as Danny Cartwright due to their close resemblance. So Danny replaces Nick and gets out of prison, and first sorts out Nick's family problems as his uncle tries to take over the property and estate left to him by his grandfather. Also the way he avenges the injustice rendered to him by the Musketeers with the help of his lawyer Alex forms the further narration of the book.

The book is definitely well written and if this is the modern Count of Monte Cristo, I'm certain there can't have been a better one. So I'd recommend reading it atleast once, on a free evening with a cuppa tea/coffee in one hand and the book in other, not that I read it that way :-)
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