Best Kept Secret (The Clifton Chronicles)
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75 of 82 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 2013
I found this book extremely disappointing. After the first book which was excellent, the second which was quite good - this third book in the series was not up to Mr Archer's standard at all - in my opinion. Endless pages on how the electorate works in the UK.... at times I also felt that bits of the text and definitely story-line had come from previous novels.... as an avid fan I did notice! This is not a spoiler - but I felt that the ending invited another book of the Clifton Chronicles some time in the future. I will not be buying it. Hopefully Mr Archer will return to writing stand-alone novels again and not drag out a story over three books which could have easily been written as one.....
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99 of 112 people found the following review helpful
Jeffrey Archer scores again with another page-turning best-seller with the next book in the addictive Clifton Chronicles series. Archer is a consummate story teller and this series continues to display his skills in writing easy-reading and exciting family-based stories. If you have read the first books in the series this one is a must-read. If not you will still enjoy it but it would help if you are able to read the other books first.

Those of you who have read the first two books in the series will know that at the end of each one Archer leaves you with a cliff-hanger (I call them "Clifton" hangers) of an ending so you have to wait on tenterhooks for the next book in the series to be released find the answer. At the end of "Sins of the Father" a tied vote in the House of Lords on whether Harry Clifton or his best friend Giles Barrington inherits the Barrington title and property has been left to the Lord Chancellor to decide. All I can safely tell you is that the Lord Chancellor found this the most difficult decision in his career and he "would never admit, even to his closest confidant, that he changed his mind at the last moment."

Harry settles down to pursue a career as a best-selling detective novelist, while Emma goes in search of her illegitimate half-sister who was put into foster care when both her father and mother died after a fight. Giles Barrington pursues his career as Labour MP for Bristol with the slimmest of majorities.

As usual Archer adds a few baddies to spice up things. Among them are Alex Fisher, who bullied Giles and Harry at school and nearly got Giles killed at Tobruk, and Lady Virginia Fenwick - a beautiful, aristocratic, gold-digging control-freak.

The story moves to the next generation when Sebastian, the son of Harry and Emma, grows up and when he leaves school gets involved in the next "Clifton-hanger" ending where we have to wait for the next book to find out what really happened.

I don't know if even Archer knows how many Chronicles are to come - he has only taken us to the mid 1950's so far and the next generation of Clifton's are only just starting to flap their wings.

This book was released in Australia and the UK on 19 February 2013 but surprisingly will not be released in the US until 30 April.
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66 of 75 people found the following review helpful
on March 14, 2013
I am a huge Sir.Archer fan, but this book wasn't up to his standards. The first two parts of the Clifton Chronicles were amazing. The third was really good, for the most part.

===SPOILER===

Are we supposed to believe Harry and Emma would let Seb visit Eaton Square and Martinez home on his own after everything happened? Not even warn him? I thought we were dealing with smart people until that point.

The whole Argentinian saga seems frivolous, just so that another arch villain can be created that would involve Seb.

I was very disappointed. Not the usual Sir.Archer fare, I should admit.

If you have read the first two books, you should read it anyway, for continuity. I hope things get better with #4.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2013
I really liked the 1st two books in this series and was really excited to get the newest chronicle. This book leaves much to be desired. It is a good story as far as it goes, but it doesn't go very far. I could not believe how abruptly it ended! It was like starting a book, getting into the characters and plot only to find the last 50 pages are missing. I fear Archer is going the way of James Patterson: he used to write terrific books but now only seems to want to get them to the market. Archer needs to work on his cliff-hanger skills. I will read the next book in this series but I may not be so eager to fork out the money to pre-order.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on May 9, 2013
After having enjoyed the first two of the Clifton Chronicles, I have to say I'm VERY disappointed with this book. The plot was thin and lacked credibility. Save your money. I will continue to purchase any Jeffrey Archer books that were written in the past which I have not yet read but I will not buy any future books. He has really let his fans down with this one. I felt insulted. I honestly can't believe he was the author...and have to be suspect about the initial 5 star reviews....
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 2013
Ok...so I understand the plot; it's easy enough to follow...albeit unrealistic at times...only to have no closure. The fate of the villains is not addressed and the story is left up in the air.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on March 19, 2013
Although the first two books in the Clifton Chronicles series were good, this one has a rather lame plot, is too predictable and frankly speaking doesn't really have much to say...its a shame really, as Archer is capable of putting together a much better plot
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on April 5, 2013
This book is not up to his normal standard.I felt cheated because I finished it so quickly. Word to use is shallow?
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2013
I thought this was a trilogy. If so the ending was terrible! Also too much government which I didn't understand, and Seb's sister was never told she was his sister. First two were great. This was advertised as a trilogy. Even if there is another book I don't think I'll be buying it.
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27 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2013
After the previous book finished so abruptly (actually in the middle of the story), I was extremely curious to see how the Chronicles would resolve in the third one. So, I preordered it, and started reading it as soon as it downloaded. Finished it in less than a day.

It's very much a book in two parts. The first half is the family chronicle part; a court case concerning a contested will, a hostile raid on Barrington Shipping, a fiercely fought electoral campaign, ...

And then in the second half, the author introduces a plot so melodramatic that it's almost comical.

The third starts at exactly the point where the second finishes, so you need to have read the first two before starting this one. A recapitulation summary would have been useful at the beginning.

What made me think it was a trilogy? Perhaps I'd confused it with Ken Follett's 'Century Trilogy'? 'Best Kept Secret' (like the previous two) ends with yet another unresolved cliffhanger.

So when is the next one being released? How many exactly are going to be in the series? I'm really enjoying the series so far...
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