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21 February 2013

Jeffrey Archer: Best Kept Secret: The Clifton Chronicles 3

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Jeffrey Archer scores again with another page-turning best-seller with the next book in the addictive Clifton Chronicles series. Archer is a consummate story teller and this series continues to display his skills in writing easy-reading and exciting family-based stories. If you have read the first books in the series this one is a must-read. If not you will still enjoy it but it would help if you are able to read the other books first.

Those of you who have read the first two books in the series will know that at the end of each one Archer leaves you with a cliff-hanger (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 "Sins of the Father" a tied vote in the House of Lords on whether Harry Clifton or his best friend Giles Barrington inherits the Barrington title and property has been left to the Lord Chancellor to decide. All I can safely tell you is that the Lord Chancellor found this the most difficult decision in his career and he "would never admit, even to his closest confidant, that he changed his mind at the last moment."

Harry settles down to pursue a career as a best-selling detective novelist, while Emma goes in search of her illegitimate half-sister who was put into foster care when both her father and mother died after a fight. Giles Barrington pursues his career as Labour MP for Bristol with the slimmest of majorities.

As usual Archer adds a few baddies to spice up things. Among them are Alex Fisher, who bullied Giles and Harry at school and nearly got Giles killed at Tobruk, and Lady Virginia Fenwick - a beautiful, aristocratic, gold-digging control-freak.

The story moves to the next generation when Sebastian, the son of Harry and Emma, grows up and when he leaves school gets involved in the next "Clifton-hanger" ending where we have to wait for the next book to find out what really happened.

I don't know if even Archer knows how many Chronicles are to come - he has only taken us to the mid 1950's so far and the next generation of Clifton's are only just starting to flap their wings.

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