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

4.3 out of 5 stars 2,607 customer reviews
Book 4 of 5 in the Clifton Chronicles Series

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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

Review

“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)

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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: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,607 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #251,527 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Was it good? Yes! HOWEVER..... this is my problem. The time between book # 3 and BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR, book #4, was MUCH TOO LONG!!!!!!! It was hard to recover in my mind what had happened so long ago, and now I have to wait until 2015 for book #5. Will I read #5, YES, however, I will be wary of reading another author who has a series of books not completed all at once. I'm 73 years old and hope to live long enough to find out what happens after the ????????????? at the end of book #4!
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I enjoy a good build-up to an end of a story, but this is ridiculous. To have to wait a whole year before we finally find out the end really angers the reader. I doubt if I will even remember this book in a year and so I will most likely drop Archer off of my preferred authors list.
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I read it more out of a sense of duty than anything else. You get to the point where you have invested enough in a set of characters that you are willing to plow through the episode, no matter how poorly written. That said, Archer clearly phoned this one in. Nothing elegant about it, just a lot of violent plot twists and characters going through the motions. As a long-time Archer fan, this was a real disappointment.
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I was very disappointed in this book. I will not read the last book in the chronicles. The plot was not interesting nor the characters developed as they should have been. The "cliffhanger" ending was annoying not riveting.
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I couldn't wait to receive this "next installment" and wasn't that impressed at all when I got into the book. I pre-bought this book and started reading it as soon as it became available on my kindle. Nothing much happened to continue to saga along and what happened was just mediocore. AND now we have to wait almost another year b4 the book continues. NOT a fan of this kind of writing. My favorite book by Jeffrey Archer is AS THE CROW FLIES . It's a great saga complete all in one book. Sorry I couldn't give this a better rating but I felt it was basically just fill in stuff to continue on.
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This latest book, Be Careful what you Wish for, is a rip off. Interesting story line, but a trick to get you to buy his next book to find out how the story ends. Unprofessional ploy that reeks of money grabbing. Cheap shot.
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