“Best Kept Secret” by Jeffrey Archer – Book Review

This is the third volume of Clifton Chronicles after “Only Time Will Tell” and “The Sins of the Father”.

So who shall inherit the title, estate and all that therein of late Sir Hugo Barrington? Should it be Giles Barrington or Harry Clifton? This book starts with Lord Chancellor making a decision after a tie in the vote in the House of Lords the day before. More crucially, this important decision would either pave the way for Harry to marry Emma Barrington or stop them. The question whether Harry Clifton and Emma Barrington are related by blood is still up in the air whichever way the Lord Chancellor voted.

But the story in this book has to continue despite the complication. It covers period from 1945 to 1957 focusing on Harry’s generation and his son Sebastian Arthur Clifton growing up to be seventeen years old in 1957 and Harry was 37 years old.

There are three high points in the book that kept me reading to find out the ending of each story. One was how Emma’s mother Elizabeth Harvey outwitted Lady Virginia Fenwick in preventing her from taking away Harvey’s vast fortune. Jeffrey Archer displayed his brilliant moment in spinning this part of the story.

The second suspense was when the irritating Major Alex Fisher came back from Volume Two to haunt Giles and Emma Barrington and Harry Clifton. Alex Fisher was so despicable and underhanded and it was the tussle for political office in a general election between Giles and Fisher that kept me going.

The third high point involves Sebastian Clifton being unwittingly sucked into a money counterfeiting crime of Don Pedro Martinez. This volume ends with how the British government, Harry, Emma and Giles go about to protect Sebastian and to outwit Martinez.

Like his other volumes, Jeffrey Archer kept readers wanting to know the outcome of an incident that occurred at the end of the book. Did he or did not die? That has to wait until the fourth volume of Clifton Chronicles titled “Be careful what you wish for” is released in March 2014.

Jeffrey Archer is a good story-teller. The story line is clear and easy to digest. There is no twist and turn and one can see how the story can end without major surprises. There is one brilliant Jeffrey Archer moment that I had touched on earlier and I take my hat off for that.

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