Historical Fiction,  Review

#Review : Best Kept Secret (The Clifton Chronicles #3) by Jeffrey Archer


Best Kept Secret (The Clifton Chronicles #3) by Jeffrey Archer
Publication Date: March 6th 2013
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 381
Stars: ★★★★☆ (4.5)

The third novel in Jeffrey Archer’s compelling saga, the Clifton Chronicles

1945. The vote in the House of Lords as to who should inherit the Barrington family fortune has ended in a tie. The Lord Chancellor’s deciding vote will cast a long shadow on the lives of Harry Clifton and Giles Barrington.

Harry returns to America to promote his latest novel, while his beloved Emma goes in search of the little girl who was found abandoned in her father’s office on the night he was killed.

When the General Election is called, Giles Barrington has to defend his seat in the House of Commons and is horrified to discover who the Conservatives select to stand against him. But it is Sebastian Clifton, Harry and Emma’s son, who ultimately influences his uncle’s fate.

In 1957, Sebastian wins a scholarship to Cambridge, and a new generation of the Clifton family march onto the page. After Sebastian is expelled from school, he unwittingly becomes caught up in an international art fraud involving a Rodin statue that is worth far more than the sum it raises at auction. Does he become a millionaire? Does he go to Cambridge? Is his life in danger?

Best Kept Secret was most dramatic in The Clifton Chronicles series so far. It revolved around Clifton and Barrington’s life after dispute on inheritance of Barrington estate. New phase, new obstacles, and new enemies in their life. There was bit of everything, family drama, rivalry, court room drama, revenge, family support and love, loss, suspense, entertainment, politics, money and art fraud.

What I Liked-

The writing was amazing, I’m getting used to author’s style and I know what to expect from his books. Again the story was divided in time period tht started from 1945 and ended in 1957 narrated by Harry, Sebastian, Giles and Fisher. What I love most in this series is narration from antagonist. It spiced up stories in each book and so in this.

Book started from where the previous one ended. There was little overview on what happened in previous books, enough to catch up if you are picking book after a little gap but I suggest you read this book in order to get the clear picture.

The prologue concluded who inherited the fortunes of Barrington estate, which was satisfactory and relief for readers. Emma and Harry started their new life, Harry’s was now popular author and was on his journey to Time’s bestselling author; Emma started looking for Jessica, her half-sister and was planning to adopt her; Giles was quite successful, going to fight election for MP and was engaged. You would think what can go wrong! But by this time I should have known Barringtons and Cliftons are never ever short of troubles. There was loss of beloved family member that sparked the fire of trouble. And that trouble came in form of Giles’ wife, Lady Virginia and old nemesis Fisher. Not just that but Harry and Emma were facing their own parental issues.

Virginia and Fisher was dangerous combination. I couldn’t wait to see what they were up to and how Giles and other family member were going to fight them. Things were getting so dramatic, juicier, and entreating. I literally couldn’t put down the book. And just when one problem was solved, Seb got himself into bigger trouble, was caught in net of criminal and art fraud. It was exciting to read how Emma and Harry were going to save their son and what would be Seb’s future.

Character were developed and were growing wise and clever in as the series progressed by experiencing different phase and problem in life. I loved Jessica and Seb’s bonding. Seb was much clever, smarter and mature for his age. Martinez’s introduction and his life story was brilliant and even Virginia was mind-blowing. Emma never cease to awe me. She was fabulous in the book. Both old and new characters shined throughout the book.

The setting was perfect and I loved historical aspects in the book. Harry’s narration told about the publication industry, different publications styles in UK and US, mentions of famous authors and actors of the era. Emma’s narration told about the struggle of educated women, beginning of their rights and position in various industry. Gile’s story told about the politics, political system, thoughts about change in divorce law, election battles, and voting system during that time. I’m not big fan of politics but author’s writing style made it intriguing. Seb’s part dealt with art fraud which covered whole third half of the book. This was big surprise and very exciting portion, and I could figure out which secret title was referring to in this part. It will be best you don’t know much about it.

Twist and turns, climax it all was great. There were many surprising, tense, and edgier moments that kept me flipping pages. I can’t believe Clifton and Barrington made a new enemy who was deadlier than Virginia and Fisher combination. End was big cliffhanger. I can’t wait to read what this new enemy is going to do to next.

Why 4.5 stars-

Just small issue- Things were overly dramatic at some points. Seb’s teen trouble was given a bit more portion. I must say I liked second book more than this one.

Overall, it was dramatic, entertaining, suspenseful family saga with many twists and turns and interesting historical aspects. I really enjoyed this book.

Book Links: Goodreads | Amazon
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Let’s discuss!

What do you think about the book and my review? Have you read this book already or any in this series or any book by Jeffrey Archer? Are you going to add it to TBR?  Are you fan of historical fiction? Recommend your series favorite in this genre? Nothing Ventured, first in William Warwick  series is released this month. The main character of this new series was mentioned throughout Clifton Chronicles. What do you think about it? Are you going to read it?


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Hi, I'm Yesha, an Indian book blogger. Avid and eclectic reader who loves to read with a cup of tea. Not born reader but I don't think I’m going to stop reading books in this life. “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”


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