From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
Archer's epic-sized family saga, the Clifton Chronicles, continues in this third volume (following The Sins of the Father, 2012). It's the 1950s, and Harry Clifton and his best friend (and possibly half-brother), Giles Barrington, are battling over who will inherit the estate and title of Hugo Barrington. The outcome of the battle sparks one of the book's main story lines, which involves a shocking revelation in Hugo's will and what that spells for Giles' seemingly happy marriage and perhaps his career as a member of Parliament. Meanwhile, Harry, a best-selling author, has his own problems: his son is refused admission to a tony grammar school and soon gets mixed up in some unsavory goings-on. Running underneath everything is the story that forms the spine of the saga: the relationship between Harry and Giles, boyhood friends whose mutual affection is threatened by the demands of adulthood. No family saga would be complete without a villain, and this book has a good one, a well-drawn and believable character whose motivations are understandable. This thoroughly engaging old-school, multigenerational saga harks back to the work of Malcolm Macdonald, Belva Plain, and Irwin Shaw. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Archer has backed up a long-running track record for commercial fiction with a powerful social network, including 142,000 likes on Facebook.--Pitt, David Copyright 2010 Booklist
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
The third installment (after The Sins of the Father) of Archer's five-volume "Clifton Chronicles" resumes in 1945 with the Lord Chancellor delivering judgment in the case of Barrington vs. Clifton, regarding the rightful inheritor of the Barrington shipping fortune. In typical Archer style, an ongoing melange of sensational cliffhangers and disputes propels the Barrington's family feud. Giles struggles to retain his seat in the House of Commons, and brother-in-law Harry becomes a popular mystery writer. While raising the hyperactive and gifted Sebastian, Emma and Harry also adopt an artistic daughter, Jessica, who strikingly resembles both Emma and Sebastian. Giles's colorful political and private life disrupts the controlling interests in the Barrington empire, and Alex Fisher, a former detestable acquaintance of both Harry and Giles, returns to disrupt their financial security and professional lives. VERDICT Archer's consistent inclusion of trivial, autobiographical minutiae pertaining to parliamentary procedures and the election process dominates numerous chapters and belabors an already weakening plotline. Unlike the previous title, this chatty and tiresome volume lacks the captivating intrigue that is often a hallmark of Archer's writing. [See Prepub Alert, 9/17/12.]-Jerry P. Miller, Cambridge, MA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.