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Be Careful What You Wish For (The Clifton Chronicles) Hardcover – March 11, 2014

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Product Details

  • Series: The Clifton Chronicles (Book 4)
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (March 11, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250034485
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250034489
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,967 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The Clifton Chronicles’ fourth volume takes the saga from the late 1950s to the mid-’60s. The book begins with a shocker: Harry and Emma’s son, Sebastian, is nearly killed in an automobile accident; his friend Bruno does die. It seems Sebastian was the intended target, and Bruno’s father, Don Pedro Martinez, who has a long and contentious history with the Cliftons (and who didn’t know his own son was in the car), is the likely culprit. If you don’t know who any of these people are, you may want to start at the saga’s beginning, 2011’s Only Time Will Tell, because this is an epic-size family drama, operatic in scope. This fourth book focuses on upheavals inside the Barrington Shipping Company: mystery-novelist Harry Clifton’s wife, Emma, is descended from the company’s founder and wants to take over as company chairman, but Don Pedro, with a seething hatred of the Barringtons, has his own plans for the suddenly vacant chairman’s seat. As with the previous volumes in the series, there are myriad subplots winding their way through the book: Harry and Emma’s daughter is engaged, for example, but there are those who aren’t so thrilled about that, and a new member of the Barrington company’s upper echelon is a fellow whose agenda is a troubling mystery. Reaction to the Clifton Chronicles has not been unanimously positive—Archer has his detractors—but if you like multivolume family sagas, it would be hard to find a contemporary example as ambitious and entertaining as this one. --David Pitt


Praise for international bestselling author


"One of the top ten storytellers in the world." —Los Angeles Times

"There isn’t a better storyteller alive." —Larry King

"Archer plots with skill, and keeps you turning the pages." —The Boston Globe

"Cunning plots, silken style…. Archer plays a cat-and-mouse game with the reader." —The New York Times

"Archer is a master entertainer." —Time

"A storyteller in the class of Alexandre Dumas…unsurpassed skill." —Washington Post


And for the novels in his Clifton Chronicle series



"No family saga would be complete without a villain, and this book has a good one, a well-drawn and believable character whose motivations are understandable. This thoroughly engaging old-school, multigenerational saga harks back to the work of Malcolm Macdonald, Belva Plain, and Irwin Shaw."—Booklist

"Archer knows how to dole out tiny crumbs of suspense right up to the last page, which ends with…a really excellent cliffhanger."—Washington Post

"The most gripping of the Clifton Chronicles yet. The tension and the build-up are terrific, and kept this reader on the edge of his seat."—The Observer (UK)

Best kept secret

"An artful blend of colorful characters, seething resentment, calculated revenge, and a shocking, tragic cliff-hanger…Archer provides a pitch-perfect continuation of the Clifton family saga; his shrewd twists and turns are addictive from the get-go, and he stuns with his signature series sign-off…leaving readers longing for its resolution."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Archer spins sufficient narrative threads for six novels, complete with ample money, old-boy connections, intrigue, and a deus ex machina. What-will-happen-next reading."—Kirkus Reviews


"Archer delivers another page-turning, heart-stopping saga, with delightful twists, and a surprise ending… readers will surely wait for the next with bated breath."—Publishers Weekly

"You’ll risk back injury just from being kept on the edge of your seat…. I guarantee that anyone who takes this book from the shelves will not be able to put it down."—The Spectator (UK)

"A master of fiction…[Jeffrey Archer] can tell a story, and he does so with such conviction, such appealing naïveté, that you suspend disbelief, and read happily on."—The Scotsman


"General readers as well as Archer fans will enjoy this unforgettable tale, which abounds with cliff-hangers that propel its intriguing and intricate plot."—Library Journal (starred review)

"The drama of Harry Clifton’s young life takes the reader to the edge of the cliff, where they must hang until the next Clifton Chronicle..." —Sunday Telegraph

"What appears at the outset to be a straightforward coming-of-age tale becomes, by the end, a saga of power, betrayal, and bitter hatred. The novel ends on a deliberately dark note, setting the stage for the sequel…An outstanding effort from a reliable veteran."—Booklist (starred review)




--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Jeffrey Archer has topped the bestseller lists around the world, with sales of over 270 million copies in 97 countries and more than 37 languages. He is the only author ever to have been a number one bestseller in fiction (eighteen times), short stories (four times) and non-fiction (The Prison Diaries).

Jeffrey served five years as a Member of Parliament in the House of Commons and twenty-two years as a Member of the House of Lords.

His latest novel Be Careful What You Wish For, published in March 2014, is the fourth volume in a seven book saga called The Clifton Chronicles, and spent twelve weeks in the top 10 - four of them at #1 - on the Sunday Times Best Seller list, and also went to the top of the bestseller lists in India, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and South Africa.

Jeffrey is also an art collector and amateur auctioneer, conducting around 30 charity auctions a year.

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Customer Reviews

Archer is a great story teller.
jill bray
This book is a very easy read, not too intricate in the plot, however, the plot and your concern for the major characters keeps you reading to find the end.
Unfortunately, it ended like the "come back next time" for a TV serial.
Arf Arf

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

75 of 82 people found the following review helpful By the GreatReads! TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 11, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Be Careful What You Wish For by Jeffrey Archer is the fourth installment in The Clifton Chronicles series. In the first three books - Only Time Will Tell, The Sins of the Father and Best Kept Secret, Archer crafted an incredibly epic tale of Harry Clifton's life which begins in 1920. Couching good storytelling with a cast of memorable characters, and gripping plot twists and turns, it has been a really good yarn spun by the master storyteller down through the three books in the series.

But the story is far from over. In this latest installment, you are in for another journey that you won't want to end. The third book in the series, Best Kept Secret, ends with a real cliffhanger. Sebastian Clifton and Bruno are involved in a car accident, leaving you on tenterhooks if they had survived or had been killed.

Be Careful What You Wish For begins with Harry Clifton and his wife Emma rushing to the hospital to find the fate of their son and his friend. There are several threads to the story. Harry is a best-selling author of detective novels both sides of the Atlantic. Emma is progressively involved in the management of the Barrington Shipping Company which decides to build a luxury liner, the MV Buckingham which seems to be a not so prudent decision. Giles Barrington is an MP, becoming a more important member of the shadow cabinet. He is also planning to marry again after his catastrophic marriage to Lady Virginia Fenwick. Harry and Emma's adopted daughter, Jessica is growing up to be a talented artist.

The story moves beautifully, and the suspense keeps one riveted right through to the end of the story. Be Careful What You Wish For is fantastic, fascinating and fun. Jeffrey Archer, it seems, can do no wrong.
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69 of 76 people found the following review helpful By lacers on March 22, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I have always loved Jeffrey Archer's books, and I have read every one. I really enjoyed the first book in this series, although from the beginning I didn't like the way each chapter was solely about one person. I have read every book in the series, but I have grown to heartily dislike the cliff hanger endings.
To have to wait another year or so have closure is ridiculous. When I started reading this book, I barely could remember what the last book was about, much less pick up on the storyline.does he really expect us to remember all the details about the adopted daughter Jessica from over a year since we last read about her. This book has the most ridiculous cliffhanger ending of all! It is not provocative and clever. It is dumb and extremely annoying. I think a series should always have some closure on some level, and it can still leave story lines to be pursued. Frustrating. The whole book was frustrating.
I am going to wait until he is all done writing this series, and then I will check it out at the library. I am not purchasing any more.
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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Robert Steven Thomas TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 11, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
This is book four of five individual sequels in Jeffrey Archer's epic, cross-generational tale "The Clifton Chronicles." It begins with volume one ("Only Time Will Tell") set during the early 1920's in England, a midst the ravages of post-war Europe. The series recounts the lives of protagonist Harry Clifton and his heirs as their fortunes and prestige grow among an international series of events surrounded by intrigue, subterfuge, ambition and betrayal. The author was a former politician (Member of Parliament) for many years before resigning his position as a result of a major financial scandal which drove him to bankruptcy and put him in prison for almost three years. Though a novel, many of the subplots which are told in this series of books were likely crafted from the whole cloth of real life that the author directly experienced. The series is well written with excellent characters, highly believable plots and will hold the interest of many readers. One suggestion ... if you are interested in reading this well-crafted series, you should start with the first book in the series (Only Time), then work your way through the second, third, then this the fourth book. The finale, volume five, is scheduled to release at the end of 2014.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Suncoast TOP 500 REVIEWER on February 28, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Those of you who have read the first three books in the series (you should read them in order) will know that at the end of each one Archer leaves you with a cliffhanger (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 the last book ("Best Kept Secret") we were left wondering if Sebastian Clifton or his best friend Bruno had been killed in a fatal car accident. I would like to tell you what happens but can't do so because the outcome is important to the plot of this book.

Harry is getting used to being a best-selling author of detective novels both sides of the Atlantic. Emma is becoming increasingly involved with the decision of the Board of the Barrington Shipping Company to build a luxury liner, the MV Buckingham, at a time when Transatlantic air travel is becoming the normal mode of business travel. Sir Giles Barrington MP is becoming a more important member of the Shadow Cabinet and is planning to marry again after his disastrous marriage to Lady Virginia Fenwick. Harry and Emma's adopted daughter, Priscilla grows up to become a very talented artist but has never been told the real secret of her birth.

In the previous book the Cliftons foil Don Pedro Martinez's efforts to import a huge amount of near-perfect Nazi counterfeit five pound notes hidden in a Rodin statue. Martinez's vendetta to destroy the Cliftons and Barringtons is central to this book. This time he is ably supported by his sons, a former SS officer, Karl Lunsdorf and the IRA.
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