This is the second volume of Clifton Chronicles after “Only Time Will Tell”. The story continued with Harry Clifton being arrested in America for first-degree murder. How this happened was unexpected. Harry assumed the identity of another sailor, Tom Bradshaw, who died on a same sea voyage to America. He did this bizarre act thinking that this would solve a problem back home resulting from loving Emma Barrington so much and yet he cannot marry her because as revealed to all that Emma and Harry could be related by blood. The sin of this father was that Hugo Barrington could have fathered Harry out of a folly of one night.
Harry was jailed by the American legal system and a bad counsel, given by Sefton Jelks, a top Manhattan lawyer without a conscience. Emma, not believing that Harry had died, came to America to find out more.
From then on, Jeffrey Archer was at his best when writing about life in prison (having been incarcerated himself in real life), court proceedings and wheeling and dealing of corporate USA. The wits of Emma shone through in getting Harry released and coming up against the formidable Sefton Jelks. I was happy when reading this part when the good triumphed over the bad.
Meanwhile back on British soil, Hugo Barrington, was still obsessed in “finishing off “Harry Clifton. He did not want to acknowledge that Harry was his son. Perhaps there was an outside chance that Harry was indeed not Hugo’s son. This had to be proven but not hundred percent conclusive under advances in Science back in the 1940s.
The story ended with who should inherit the title, estate and accoutrements of late Sir Hugo Barrington. Should it be Giles Barrington or Harry Clifton who was older than Giles. The votes casted at the meeting of the House of Lords was tied and the story ended with Lord Chancellor declaring the decision would be made on another day. Readers of this volume is left in suspense again waiting eagerly for the release of the next volume titled “Best Kept Secret” for release in March 2013.
Again, this fiction was a page turner and easy to read from the start go. The story was clear and crisp. It bears the hallmark of Jeffrey Archer’s style of story-telling.