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The Sins of the Father (The Clifton Chronicles) Hardcover – May 8, 2012

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Product Details

  • Series: The Clifton Chronicles (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1 edition (May 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250000971
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250000972
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,417 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,547 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Praise for Only Time Will Tell

“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

“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… An outstanding effort from a reliable veteran.”
Booklist (starred review)

“I was utterly hooked. It was an absurdly enjoyable read.”
Daily Telegraph (London)

More Praise for Jeffrey Archer
“Archer can make you wring your hands in anguish and guffaw out loud, all on the same page, and he does in these fifteen ingenious stories.”
Star-Ledger (New Jersey) on And Thereby Hangs a Tale

“A compelling read…The pace never flags.”
Newsday (New York) on A Prisoner of Birth

“One of the top-ten storytellers in the world.”
Los Angeles Times

“Archer is a master entertainer.”

From the Back Cover

A sweeping multi-generational saga of fate, fortune, and redemption, the Clifton Chronicles continue in the latest epic masterwork from international bestselling author



It is only days before Britain declares war on Germany. Harry Clifton, hoping to escape the consequences of a familyscandal, and realizinghe can never marry Emma Barrington, has joined the Merchant Navy. Whena German U-boat sinks his ship, Harry and a handful of sailors are rescued by the SS Kansas Star, among them an American named Tom Bradshaw. That night, when Bradshaw dies, Harry seizes a chance to bury his past—by assumingthe man’s identity.




When Harry lands in America, he is arrested for the murder of Tom Bradshaw’s brother.Alone, accused,and unable to prove his true identity, Harry is now chained to a past that could be worse thanwhat he left behind—butdestined for a futurethat would be greater than he ever dreamed…


“UNFORGETTABLE.”—Library Journal (starred review)

on the Clifton Chronicles’ Only Time Will Tell

--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.

Customer Reviews

Archer is a great story teller.
Ruth Jones
Not so with this book, he gave just enough story of the first book, so i didnt feel like i was reading Only Time Will Tell again.
Story line well developed, plot and characters fab!
jeffrey archer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

106 of 114 people found the following review helpful By BSG on March 11, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
** No spoilers here **

Once again Jeffrey Archer has delivered a real page-turner.

There's the usual plot twists that the regular Archer readers will see coming, but from the first page to the last I was hungry for more.

Without giving anything away, the ending sets up the third book in the series nicely.

However those that want to read the book as a "stand alone" should steer clear at this stage - you really need to read "Only Time Will Tell" first, and you're going to have to wait another 12 months for the next installment to clean up the loose ends.

If you enjoyed "Only Time Will Tell" then this book is a worthy follow-up.
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66 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Robert R Snowden on May 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
So, why not a great one? Well, firstly it is obviously the middle book in (at least?) a trilogy as you will see by the ending, but that's OK. I do, however, look forward somewhat to what I hope will be the finale! Any longer and we will be approaching an "exploitation" scenario! Firstly, some kudos! It was a nice touch by Mr. Archer for naming a character in the book, after presumably a friend who passed away, and a good guy at that and that's all I'll say. Secondly the book is highly readable, and like other Archer books, one that is hard to put down for mundane stuff like eating and sleeping! However, it does have some relatively big faults! I was somewhat disappointed that 2 of the main characters in the book (I'll not tell you who they are so as not to be a spoiler; you can work it out for yourself) are IMO "short changed" in that one of them literally disappears for 4 years, out of a 6 1/2 year time span for the book, and the other for three, with only a brief explanation over their "missing" years before they appear again, which I found to be very annoying. They disappear for years then pop up for the last few chapters, frankly IMO just to "whet your appetite" for the last book. It seemed to me this was also to keep the book to a "short" 339 pages which is also an annoyance, when you consider the 500-700 page length of most of Mr. Archer's other books! I also dislike this trend among authors of taking a good sized novel and adding a middle book as a "filler" to create a trilogy to extend/increase their revenues and Mr. Archer does that here, and as I said before, this novel is just a bridge to a final one! I find this crassly exploitive of reader's loyalties!Read more ›
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38 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Kodiak on April 24, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
While the book features some of the standard Archer twists and turns, the disappointing aspect is that it is not a stand alone epic.

Unlike Kane and Abel and the follow-on Prodigal Daughter, the latter book could stand on its own without you having to have read the former. In this book, although there is no need to have read the first in the trilogy, the conclusion of the book is absent. Rather the the books ends on a "cliff-hanger" moment.

This makes it rather obvious that the book has been written as "the middle child" in the series, and for the more cynical readers is simply a lead in to buy the third publication, when it is released.

Not OK Mr Archer. Your fans support you, the least you could do is write them a story that concludes, rather than an episode in a series.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By LOUIS SCHEMBRI on May 16, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Bought the Kindle version of this second book in the Clifton Chronicles with high expectations as the first one was a 5-star book. What a huge disappointment! After having to pay $17.24 for the Kindle edition of this 352-page book, I was even more disappointed with the contents. Like many other renowned established writers, Jeffrey Archer seems to be putting less and less effort into his work and has just dished out a book that wouldn't make the book stands if written by another author.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Semi Literate on May 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I have read most or all of Archer's books over the years, and for the most part have greatly enjoyed them. The first book in this series was intriguing enough to propel me to purchase this one immediately after it was published. The first chapter was actually pretty good; it was downhill from there.

The book reads like an outline of a novel. Characters aren't fleshed out, plot lines are described rather than carefully crafted. The whole time I was reading this I felt like it was a first draft, and a rushed one at that.

I am not a hard marker, or a book snob. I can read frothy fiction and get completely mesmerized by the story. This one was barely worth it. As I was reaching the conclusion of the book, I kept on measuring what was left and wondered when the good part would start.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By L. Harward on May 19, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
When I reached the last page of "Only Time Will Tell" I kept checking for more pages! This just could not end with Harry being arrested in NY? What a cliff-hanger!

But, much like "Who Shot JR", the resolution was a major disappointment. "Sins of the Fathers" felt more like a short story or novella. It simply wasn't fleshed out. It's like Sir Jeffrey wrote a rough draft, barely more than an outline, and turned that in to his publisher to make a deadline.

The elements of a good story are there but they're disconnected somehow. It doesn't flow. The narratives are all over the place and its hard to keep them straight. We seem to jump months, or even years ahead, with a one sentence explanation of what happened. For instance, we had Harry going from being in prison to being in the US Navy in WWII! We get a one sentence mention of that time from someone, and that's it? It's like Archer didn't have time to finish that part of the story so he just blew it off! Like I said, a rough draft, and incomplete rough draft. It is a page turner, though. It just doesn't compare with the high quality of "Only Time Will".
I read this on my Kindle in one day. The characters in this book are plastic, and I never felt the emotional connection I had with them in Only Time. When it ended, I really didn't care what happened next.
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