A Prisoner of Birth by Jeffrey Archer

Unabridged version read by Narrator: Roger Allam, 16 hours and 26 mins.

Danny Cartwright and Spencer Craig were born on different sides of the track.

Danny, an East End Cockney, leaves Clement Attlee Comprehensive School at the age of 15 to take up a job at a local garage. He falls in love with Beth, the boss’s daughter, and asks her to marry him.

Spencer Craig resides in the West End. A graduate of an English public school and Cambridge University, he becomes a criminal barrister and is soon tipped to be the youngest Queen’s Counsel of his generation.

Danny and Beth travel up to the West End to celebrate their engagement. They end the evening in a wine bar where Spencer Craig is also celebrating – his 30th birthday, along with a select group of university chums.

Their lives will never be the same again. For, an hour later, one of them is arrested for murder, while the other ends up as the prosecution’s chief witness in an Old Bailey trial.

I really enjoyed this book. I know JA is not high-art material, but I always enjoy his books. They have a pretty standard formulae but sometimes it is nice to know where a story is going to take you or rather the kind of journey if not the precise destination.

The narrator was pretty good with an excellent range of voices and a very good pace.

I first started to listen to this book with my wife on an iPod speaker system whilst camping in Pembs. I chose to finish the book on a drive to/from work. The better half has yet to find the time to finish the story although she is keen to do so.

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