Series: The Clifton Chronicles #3
Format Read: hardcover large print
Source: local library
Release Date: May 21, 2013
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Blurb from goodreads: SPOILERS FOR BOOK TWO
"New York Times" bestseller 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 bestselling 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.
I just can't stay away from this series. Archer's books, as I've mentioned before, have been a long-time favorite. He writes sweeping family sagas that usually involve politics, secrets, betrayal, and enough material for a soap opera. This series is no different.
"Best Kept Secret" picks up where "The Sins of the Father" left off. We see the thoughts of the judge who has to decide whether Harry Clifton or Giles Barrington is the legal successor to the title and estate of Sir Hugo Barrington. And with that, we're off and running. There's family drama, lots and lots of it - Giles' wife is a first class *itch, thoroughly detestable and sadly underdeveloped, she's a cliche, nothing more, which is unfortunate since her actions set off a chain-reaction that will continue into the next book. Then there's Harry and Emma's adoption of the little girl who may actually be Emma's half-sister; their son Sebastian's hi jinks which lead to, yet another, cliffhanger ending. (If you don't like cliffhangers, hold off reading this series until all the books have been released.)
As always, there are several threads running through the story, and we get third-person POVs from Harry, Emma, Giles, Alex Fisher, and Sebastian. Being American, I'm always fascinated reading the details of British politics as the details and mechanics are so different from ours. I was actually sorry that the political angle wasn't a bigger part of the story. I also enjoyed seeing the growth of Harry's writing career and getting an insider's peek at the PR involved; last book we got a look at publishing's history and this time we see the expectations placed on authors and how they are treated.
"Best Kept Secret" is solid storytelling that kept me entertained for several hours and I've requested the next one from the library.
Thanks to MacMilllan Audio, I have a clip to share from the audio book - https://soundcloud.com/
My review of Only Time Will Tell
My review of The Sins of the Father