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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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    1,227
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • Ted
  • Lancaster, PA, United States
  • 11-09-15

Jeffrey Archer's Shameless!

The Clinton Chronicles are addictive and as formula driven as a PBS/BBC costume-drama epic. They sprawl over decades of the Clinton family’s astonishing ability to survive the wiles of bad… bad… bad… villains who are unspeakably evil.. evil… EVIL…

Each volume carefully (some might quibble and say.. “tediously”) creates a new peril sure to destroy this loving, plucky, and noble tribe only to end in… in… a cliff hanger that demands the next book in the series to reveal. &^&%#!!

Yep, Jeffery Archer’s shameless. His characters have the depth and complexity of a Marvel Comic Book, and his plots seem driven by Snidely Whiplash menacing poor Nell who he’s lashed to the tracks.

And yet, I’ve listened to five of them now… Only Time Will Tell, The Sins of the Fathers, Best Kept Secret, Be Careful What You Wish For, and Mightier than the Sword. Each of these were already available on Audible so they could be purchased and enjoyed as one long tale. I recall giggling smugly when I understood his cliff hanger stunts, realizing that I’d not have to wait a year until the next one arrived: Unlike the poor addicted fools who discovered them one at a time as they were originally published.

And then I cursed at the end of Mightier than the Sword to realize that now I was in the cue of addled Archer addicts waiting to see how the family’d escape this latest threat. I HATE IT!

My advice, don’t start this series until you are sure Archer’s written the end to it. BEWARE ALL YE WHO ENTER HERE! Archer will shamelessly diddle with you.

BTW, Alex Jennings creates the ensemble with a wily power that compliments Archer's

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Predictable

Enjoyable due to interesting characters. Will not be a book I will ever want to revisit, but fun while it lasted.





1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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abrupt ending

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

yes

If you’ve listened to books by Jeffrey Archer before, how does this one compare?

Not as good as initial writing

Would you listen to another book narrated by Alex Jennings?

yes - he was very good.

Could you see Best Kept Secret being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

No unless ending is fixed.

Any additional comments?

The boy just dies - that was the ending why?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A waste of time.

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The book would improve significantly with a believable storyline and an ending. There is no ending.

What was most disappointing about Jeffrey Archer’s story?

The first two Clifton chronicles were great! This one was pathetic. The South American storyline was too far-fetched and the ending was non-existent. Jeffrey Archer ripped us off. I would throw the book at the wall in anger except that it was an audiobook and I love my IPod.

Would you be willing to try another one of Alex Jennings’s performances?

Perhaps but the South American accent was atrocious.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Best Kept Secret?

Loved the election, loved the reading of the will, loved the adoption, loved Seb's time at the boardinghouse in London. The South American story line/Harry posing as a pilot: dumb.

Any additional comments?

I am so mad at the way the book ended. I rightfully figured that the third book would tie up The Clifton Chronicles. This was the worst cliffhanger ever!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • S.L.
  • Southern U.S.
  • 07-07-13

Another Drop Off Ending

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Sort of. I am hooked on the Clifton Chronicles, so I had to listen. Overall, it was worth a listen, but I was disappointed.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

The last book left us at a cliff hanger and now this one does. In my opinion, a good series includes books that can stand alone and have merit, not require you to read the next to get the rest of the story. I would definitely change the ending. I also would have picked fewer characters and really did them justice rather than get so scattered.

Which scene was your favorite?

When the Rodin sculpture is opened up.

Was Best Kept Secret worth the listening time?

This question is redundant with the first.... If you are a Clifton Chronicles fan, you get more of the story. It just wasn't as good as the first, and if you were frustrated with how Book 2 ended, you will be super frustrated with the end of this one.

Any additional comments?

I hope we don't have to wait as long for Book 4, but I also hope Mr. Archer doesn't get sloppy with this series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A Missed Opportunity to Continue a Good Series

What did you like best about Best Kept Secret? What did you like least?

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.

What was most disappointing about Jeffrey Archer’s story?

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.

Which character – as performed by Alex Jennings – was your favorite?

I was beginning to really like Seb and his interaction with Tibbie. Still, the development was too shallow.

Could you see Best Kept Secret being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

No. This book cannot stand alone.

Any additional comments?

This is the third Archer book I have read. If the next one isn't significantly better, it will likely be my last.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Shades of a soapie...

What did you like best about Best Kept Secret? What did you like least?

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.

What does Alex Jennings bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The spoken performance is very good. He does slip accenting on a few occasions but it's not a huge distraction.

Was Best Kept Secret worth the listening time?

Nope

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Was this ghost written? (Serious Disappointment)

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Jeffrey Archer could have written a novel to follow the previous two excellent works in the series. <br/><br/>It is hard for me to believe that Jeffrey Archer wrote this book. It has virtually none of the elements that made the original book so captivating. Throughout the first two books, the characters were fully developed, and I cared about them - and what happened to them. In this 3rd installment, the characters are flat and undeveloped. <br/><br/>The plot in the first two installments was complex, and I loved the method employed of telling the story from alternating perspectives. There remains in this third installment, none of the allure of that original technique. <br/><br/>The Giles character - you have to be kidding me! He's really going to forsake all familial ties and a lifelong friendship for this cartoon of a character that has no redeeming qualities except for perhaps a pretty face? Where is the complexity and story telling art in that.? <br/><br/>Someone mentioned previously that Jeffrey should hire someone like Christina from Somerville, MA as a proofreader and critic. I also agree with all the critical points that Christina raised. She did a good job articulating the multitude of flaws with this book. <br/><br/>Unfortunately, I was left with the impression that if the writer of this 3rd installment was indeed Jeffrey Archer, then he has either lost interest and passion for the story, or else... I hate to think that there might be something wrong with him. Was this ghost written?

Would you ever listen to anything by Jeffrey Archer again?

I pre-ordered this book. I will never do that again. (fool me once...) <br/><br/>In future, I will wait to see what others have to say before another book is purchased from this author.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

The narrator (Alex Jennings) is good. But I am several hours into the book, and I have yet to hear a passage from Emilia Fox. I am not rating the narration higher because I really loved the juxtaposition of these two narrators in the previous books. If the intent is to have both narrators for this book, then something is missing. If the intent is just to have one narrator, then consider me spoiled by the previous audiobooks in this series.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment.

Any additional comments?

Please restore this series to some measure of what the first two installments promised.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Robert
  • FALMOUTH, MA, United States
  • 05-08-13

I can't believe this book came from Mr. Archer'

What disappointed you about Best Kept Secret?

Everything! I have been a huge fan of Mr. Archer. However,this is sad ending to a great Novel

Would you ever listen to anything by Jeffrey Archer again?

not sure

Would you listen to another book narrated by Alex Jennings and Emilia Fox ?

Yes

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

None

Any additional comments?

I refused to continue wasteing any more time listening to ths nonsense. If it had been an unkown autror it never would have been published. Shame on him! .

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Hilda
  • ATHENS, GA, USA
  • 12-14-17

I couldn't stop listening.

the characters are so interesting. the story keeps my attention. love the series