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Showing 1-10 of 2,140 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 2,404 reviews
on January 28, 2016
This is the second of the Clifton Chronicles series. We catch up with Harry Clifton as he disembarks the Kansas Star in America,only to be promptly arrested for murder.He had assumed the identity of Tom Bradshaw, a Navy officer who perished in the U-Boat attack. And now he's in a mess.
Meanwhile Emma Barrington, Harry's love and mother to his son, has embarked on a quest to find out what happened to Harry. Her quest leads her to the States,where she finds she is truly out of her element as she wends her way through the brash new world that is New York City.
Confused? Well, you need to read the first book in the series, Only Time Will Tell. This is not a stand alone book. You need the background or you will be lost through most of the book.
Lord Archer's attention to detail is a double edged sword. While I appreciate the details that help me understand the ins and out of English society, the droning on and on about who was going to inherit the family title in the last pages made me do some serious skimming. I know he was setting up for the big finish/cliffhanger, but he almost lost me.
I did appreciate the humor in Emma's experiences in NYC.The colloquial and societal differences made for some much needed humor in a tense but drawn out situation, as she tries to find out what happened to Harry.
I look forward to continuing the series. Jeffrey Archer is a master at bringing history to life.
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on April 7, 2014
If you have not read the first book of the Clifton Chronicles, Only Time Will Tell, this review may be considered to include spoilers. This brings up my first complaint about this book. It can not really stand alone. It picks up a moment after the first book ends and ends abruptly, leaving the reader looking for more chapters. This series feels more like a continuous story than sequels.

That being said, I did pick this up immediately after finishing up book 1 and have book 3 in the wings, so I wasn't bothered too much by this. If you read these as they came out and had to wait a year for a scene to be completed, that would be annoying.

The melodrama and implausibility of the first book continue, though the overwhelming naivety in this one was a little too much for me. The characters became too stereotypical, and God help Harry if he ever has to figure out anything on his own. He is taken advantage of, makes bad decisions, and doesn't know how to get himself out of tough situations to save his life. This time we have the background of WWII, which means the characters are spread around and not all in Bristol.

It all begins with Harry's bad decision made at the end of book 1 when he decides to take the name of Tom Bradshaw. While the reader shakes their head, realizing that there was something dark and creepy about old Tom, Harry is clueless until he is in handcuffs. This eye-opening experience doesn't make him any less trusting when he gets swindled by Big Time NY Lawyer. Thank God he has Emma to save his butt, except of course that she is predictably too late.

In the meantime, we have Selfish Rich Guy, Hugo Barrington ruining lives of all he encounters in England and Needs to Prove Himself, Giles Barrington lying to serve his country and running into Schoolhouse Bully Fisher in Egypt.

The writing is a little bit better, lacking the smattering of first person chapters and the timeline backtracking of the first installment, but the story itself was predictable and unsatisfying. I had to roll my eyes at the number of times we are asked "who is Harry's father", never because it would be creepy if he had a child with his sister, but because we need to figure out who gets all that money. Of course, this question is left unanswered because something has to get people to pick up book 3.
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on March 13, 2014
I'm sure that there are many who've re-capped the basic plot of this latest Archer series, so will make this quick and only give my opinion....

I have been a Jeffrey Archer fan ever since my folks raved about Kane & Able back in the early 80's....I think I've read most everything of his and was delighted when I learned he had started a new series.....this one is starts about the time that the Downton Abby story line began; so if you've never read Archer but are a fan of that....well you're in for a treat!!

I'm currently reading 'Be Careful What You Wish For" which is number 4 in this series (please know it came out on Tuesday and I've neglected a lot of household chores so far!!!) I'm already about 2/3 through...I believe there is at least one more to be published in '15...I can't wait!!
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on January 21, 2016
As with the first book, this ended with a cliffhanger that unless you hated the plot, you're compelled to immediately download the next book. I was hesitant this time because of some negative reviews of book three. Nonetheless book two is great, with the main characters remaining fascinating and their lives continuing to move forward intertwined with each other in the backdrop of World War II. I doubt this is a stand alone book but that doesn't diminish the story. With the monster storm predicted for the East Coast this weekend I know for sure I've got a great saga to continue with while sitting in front of the fire!
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on June 7, 2012
The exciting story begun in ONLY TIME WILL TELL continues as Harry Clifton is arrested for murder, a crime likely committed by the man whose identity he stole. The chapters which follow Harry in prison are some of the most interesting in the book, perhaps because this is something Sir Jeffrey himself was familiar with. The page-turning narrative readers have come to expect from Jeffrey Archer lives up to expectations as presumed death and presumed parentage continue to send rippling effects through the Clifton and Barrington families. Emma Barrington emerges as a strong, determined woman intent on finding the father of her son Sebastian, Maisie Clifton finds happiness in an unlikely corner, and Giles Barrington surpasses all expectations. Villains are laid low, heroes are exalted, and the reader will cheer this engrossing story until the final page when once again we are left dangling with the central mystery. The third installment can't come soon enough for this reader!
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on March 5, 2014
In the glut of indie mystery serials, and vampire romantic stuff that seems to dominate efiction these days, there are still a few writers producing what I like to call epic scale 'yarns'. Archer is one of them.

I have read his stuff for decades now, and although he has a formula that he sticks pretty closely to, you dont tire of it because of his skill at story telling.

This is the second in the 'Clifton' series and follows the events of the first book. It however stands on its own as Archer provides plenty of backstory so you arent wondering why the characters act the way they do. In this one Harry has assumed the identity of a fallen comrade who is accused of murdering his brother. He is sent prison and the characters- Emma, and family arre left to believe him dead. Emma slowly pieces together that his may not be the case and comes to America in search of him.

Plucky characters, and a compelling story line -multiple storylines actually as we follow a number of characters Harry, Giles, and Emma primarily- skillfully woven together, are the strengths here. A great read.
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on July 7, 2012
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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VINE VOICEon June 6, 2012
I really enjoyed the first book "Only Time Will Tell, but "The Sins of the Fathers" seemed to fall short. The storyline seemed to lag in places and some parts were predictable and then it dragged on to the expected cliffhanger at the end.

At a few placed in the book, the time sequence jumped a few years unexpectedly and I was left wondering what happened in those years and Mr. Archer never went back to that part of the character's life. It left you hanging and wondering what happened and not in a good way.

If you are a first time reader of the Clifton Chronicles this is NOT the book to start. Read the first novel "Only Time Will Tell" because if you read this one first, you will have no idea what is going on and the relationship of the characters to one another.

I hope the third book of the Clifton Chronicles is along the lines of the first novel where you just can't bear to put the book down. The Sins of the Father is worth reading but don't expect it to be like the first novel as you will be a bit disappointed.
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on August 22, 2015
I thought I would enjoy this book, but the more I read, the more bored I became. For many many pages you are lead to wonder how Harry and Emma will get back together. Then you turn a page and they're just together. No drama, no great effort, she just finds him in a hospital bed. Even then there aren't any details. When Harry's son -- who is only just old enough to talk and who has never met his father -- runs in and hugs Harry crying "daddy, daddy" I nearly gave it up.

And when I got to the point where the Lord Chancellor says he will reveal his vote tomorrow, and the book ends, and I realize that I have to buy the next book in the series to learn what that vote is, I wish I'd given it up earlier.

The plot is ok at first, but it just gets weaker and weaker the more you read. The events become more and more incredible. Harry, Giles and Emma are almost super-heroes. Harry's mother is a nobody, then a great hostess, then a prostitute, then a great hostess again, and nobody cares, least of all me.
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on August 1, 2017
I was told this was a soap opera and while I guess it could loosely fit within that term, it's a far more classy story than that. The author has a cast of unforgettable and unpredictable characters who I love. I haven't been bored once and upon finishing one book I must immediately start the next!

I will read more from this author...
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