New York Times best seller Jeffrey Archer continues his beloved Clifton Chronicle series as Harry and Emma finally begin building a happy life - but a dangerous family enemy is about to resurface....
Best Kept Secret opens a moment after the end of The Sins of the Father, with the resolution of the trial and the triumphant marriage of Harry Clifton and Elizabeth Barrington, finally uniting their family. Harry, now a best-selling novelist; Emma; their son, Sebastian; and orphaned Jessica make a new life for themselves, but all is not as happy and secure as it could be. Emma's brother, Giles, is engaged to a woman who may be more interested in Barrington's fortune and title than in a long and happy marriage. And Sebastian, though he is bright, isn't quite the hard worker that his father was at school, and finds a hard time resisting the temptations that his somewhat unsavory friends provide.
It all comes to a head when a new villain is uncovered, a face from the past with grudges against both Harry and Giles - Fisher, who tortured Harry at school and later took credit for Giles' heroics during the war. Fisher teams up with Giles' now ex-wife to wreak havoc on Giles' latest election as well as meddle with affairs inside Barringtons, while Harry and Emma must deal with a new scheme that Sebastian has unwittingly fallen into with a supposed friend. The drama continues for Harry Clifton and his family, bringing this mesmerizing saga into the 1960s.
©2013 Jeffrey Archer (P)2013 Macmillan Audio
I liked best that this book answered the cliffhanger from Book 2 of the series. I did not like the character or storyline development. I also did not like that the book ended with another cliffhanger. I prefer when books, although in a series, stand independently. Archer's cheap shot ending worked, because I will read the next book, but I'm not happy about it.
I never had the opportunity to invest in the characters. It seemed that Seb and Jessica were the developing characters, but their stories were disjointed and empty.
I was beginning to really like Seb and his interaction with Tibbie. Still, the development was too shallow.
No. This book cannot stand alone.
This is the third Archer book I have read. If the next one isn't significantly better, it will likely be my last.
I really enjoyed the series until the end of this book which smacked of the "publisher is on my case, I better finish it." If there is another book in the series I could accept the ending... but barely.
I had not noticed previously but in this book Archer's technical knowledge lacks the depth to describe some aspects of the book.
After eagerly waiting for this part to be published,I finished listening to this book last night and I was furious for the reasons mentioned by other reviewers-We don't know what secret Archer had a mind; I understood that this was a trilogy so the ending was a shock; I thought it would have more to do with Emma and Harry; it was just all over the place. I was glad I had lived in England because the whole political scene, which went on too long, would have been confusing. I may or may not purchase the next part. The narrators did a good job.
This was supposed to be historical fiction. There is so little history in it that I don't think it qualifies. And, silly me, I didn't know this wasn't the last book in the chronicles - and what a stupid place to end the book - cheap - unreasonable - I have no idea if I will continue with this series. I like HISTORICAL fiction - the only little tidbits I got didn't come close to satisfying that genre. Boo Jeffrey Archer. The only reason I gave it three stars is that for much of the book it would have been a fine vacation read.
Oh, and one other annoying thing. Usually when a part of a book has a label on it, like a character name, the story is told from that character's point of view. In this book, sometimes, even in the midst of one character's story, the narrative jumps to something about another person that the main character in that part couldn't possibly know about - totally disjointed.
I repeat - boo Jeffrey Archer!
I read/listen to many books that don't capture me and every time Archer just gets it right. The way he is detailed without lingering too long over something. He brings tension from the start and holds you always wanting more. I find his knowledge of so many aspects of life outstanding and I find him highly intelligent. I have loved the Chronicles and cant wait for the next.
He really is exceptional. Well I think so.....
the tension and details
I thought it was ready brilliantly and his accents and change from character to character was so distinguishable. Excellent
Seriously - I've read and listened to a lot of JA stories. The Clifton Series could have been his magnum opus. Instead it was spun out into a story version of a tv series. Poor. Poor. Poor.
The spoken performance is very good. He does slip accenting on a few occasions but it's not a huge distraction.
This book tells a great story across generations! Never a dull moment!
I liked how there was so much going on at once.
When Harry's son accidentally purchased a night with a prostitute.
Emma. I love how she goes back to school and is an active member of her father's board.
This series reminded me of the Harry Potter series because of the accent and vocabulary. I assure you this is realistic fiction! There's no magic in this story. :-) I just assumed J.K. Rowling had made up terms like "Prefect" when they are real roles are things in Britain. :)
Mom of three
I might recommend this series to a friend, but I would warn them that so far this book is the weekest link in the chain. I look forward to the next book in the hopes that Archer will tie things up a little better.
I like Harry Clifton. He is the most real of the characters to me. I like it that he is a book writer, too!
No Pain, No Gain Part 1
One of the things I love about Archer is how he cleverly brings things around in the end. His book are usually nicely wrapped packages, full of suspense. During this book I kept wondering, "Where's the big story?"
I still love how Archer writes and I will still read the next installment, but I have to admit I was somewhat disappointed this time around.
Listening to the book was no problem -- I enjoyed the narrator. If I had been reading the book I would have had more trouble with the lack of intrigue.
I was frustrated that I had spent the time listeneing to this story
Felt like it was at a level well below the others
Average to fine
Avid Audible listener the life saver in my 180 minutes of commuting each work day.
The central characters in the book mature and younger entirely plausible characters are introduced brilliantly.
Absolutely. Never quite sure where it was going to go next.
Seamless and engaging. Both very much reading to the Jeffrey Archer intent in the writing.
The landlady of the guest house. Salt of the earth type who would sit and share a newspaper wrapped cod and chips.
Left hanging on the edge of a clifton. Can't wait for the next installment.
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