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4.4 out of 5 stars
The Sins of the Father (The Clifton Chronicles)
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115 of 123 people found the following review helpful
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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71 of 80 people found the following review helpful
on May 12, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified 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! At least with an author like Bernard Cornwell, and, for example his series like the "Saxon Stories" and the "Grail Quest", you know upfront that there are more books coming in the series but each one is a separate novel in itself with a hard and satisfying ending that still leaves you really wanting the next chapter/book in the series! At least Mr. Archer, so far, writes all the books himself, unlike other authors, such as James Patterson, who puts his name to some of his co-authored books that I believe are largely written by other authors, who quite frankly would have a hard time getting their ideas published, another pet peeve of mine.

So overall a decent "bridging" book and read but an expensive one (for its length/plot), but hopefully the final one will be much, much better. I think 3 stars is a very fair rating for this book, at best!
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43 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on April 24, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified 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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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified 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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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on July 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Jeffrey Archer was a superb novelist. Unfortunately he has turned to writing soap operas. In the two current Clifton Chronicles books (even more to come) he generates serial disasters from which the hero/heroine miraculously escapes, only to encounter a new unrealistic challenge. Every book in this series ends leaving the characters in a precarious situation with the outcome to be delivered in the next issue. It is sad to see this very talented writer lowering himself to the use of bush league methods in order to sell his books.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
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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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
After reading Only Time Will Tell, I immediately ordered The Sins of the Father (second in the Clifton Chronicle trilogy). Although both narratives moved right along, both stopped without any conclusion/resolution at all. To reach the "end," it was necessary to get the next book. I jumped at the chance for #2 (The Sins), purchasing it before it was released. However, I was once again frustrated that when the book ended, there was no conclusion to the story to wrap up the plot. In fact, it was so frustrating to fall for such a cheap ploy twice that I will not purchase the last book. Mr. Archer should have honed his "historic novel" craft better with this series!

Most trilogies are complete books that attract the readers' interest enough that he/she looks forward to "seeing" the same characters in another adventure, often in a similar plot or adding another chapter to the story. BUT, the first book is an entity in and of itself, not just a third of a book that cut the narrative off without reaching a conclusion.

Archer knows this writing medium well as he perfected it with Kane and Abel and its sequel. But, both of the first two Clifton Chronicles simply stop, leaving the reader hanging with few threads of the story concluded...and pick up once you spend the money to purchase his next book. Cheap shot, Mr. Archer! You know better and should stop trading on your reputation by abusing your readers' trust. I've always been a big fan but won't soon put my money on your future books.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
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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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on June 29, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
The ending was absolutely terrible. Archer is a great author, he should be embarrassed to have his name on this book.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
After reading the first book of the trilogy, I was looking forward to the second one. What a disappointment. I like Archer as a story teller. He tells interesting and plausible stories in a fast pace with good always overcoming evil. I don't think his style makes a good trilogy. This second novel follows the same style as the first with mostly the same characters. Each chapter focuses on one of the main characters. Something bad happens , quickly followed by something good , which corrected the bad thing. But the story becomes less interesting , less probable and repetitive. It ends with the usual cliff hanger but I was so bored at the end I could care less what happens next.
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