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Prison Diary 2: Wayland - Purgatory By Jeffery Archer - (Book)

On 9th August 2001, 22 days after Jeffrey Archer was sentenced to four years in prison for perjury, he was transferred from HMP Belmarsh, a double-A Category high-security prison in south London, to HMP Wayland, a Category C establishment in Norfolk. He served 67 days in Wayland and during that time, as this account testifies, encountered not only the daily degradations of a dangerously over-stretched prison service, but the spirit and courage of his fellow inmates.

The book opens with Archer getting his morning bumming in the showers by Mr Big and the rest of the "sisters"
He then meets a guy named "Red" who can "get things"
He requests a rock hammer from Red as Archer is slowly connecting with his old Geology hobbies again, after all, as Archer rightly points out, in prison, all you have is time.

Archer's next request to Red is just as strange, he asks for Rita Hayworth, not the long dead actress, but a poster of her to put on his cell wall, Red supplies this and Archer continues to keep himself to himself.

Archer helps some of the guards with their tax returns and is taken to work with the governer, because of his superior intelligence, however it soon becomes clear that the governer is dirty, he is using Archer's vast knowledge of everything to launder his dirty money, as you know, this is against everything Archer stands for, as he is so pure and good.

A young man arrives at the prison, he is slow and cant read very well, so Archer teaches him to read, write, talk, rebuild an Austin Princess and split the atom in his spare time.
The young man tells Archer that he knows someone who actually did the crime Archer is in prison for, can it be true? Archer IS innocent? Well, we all knew this, how couldnt he be?
Archer speaks to the governer and brings his new found innocence to the governer's attention,the governer locks Archer up in solitary and is so angry and kills the youngman, no one can live without Archer once you meet him it seems!

Archer decides to end it all, he tells Red "get busy living, or get busy dieing" and goes to his cell a seemingly broken man.
The next morning during roll call the guards notice Archer is missing from his cell, they search high and low, no sign of him.
Unfortunatly, someone had forgotten that he was released early that morning as his 67 day sentence had ended.

So on reflection, a great book, the storyline seems familiar, and the ending needs a tweek.

Rating: 3/5
By Donald Sindon

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