Be Careful What You Wish For is at the very least a better novel then the previous entry into the series, Best Kept Secret. However for a series that started off as splendidly as this, it’s still a let down from the first two novels.
The fourth novel in the Clifton Chronicles series picks up minutes where the Best Kept Secret left. This is regular Jeffrey Archer book, no doubt Archer is a wonder story teller but this story (particularly the last two books in this series) is not Archer’s best books. It looks very ordinary on reading as it is advancing. Still, I am very eager to know what will be the final outcome of the Clifton Saga.
The book opens with Harry Clifton and his wife Emma rushing to hospital to learn the fate of their son Sebastian, who has been involved in a fatal car accident. The fate is not angelic with Cliftons when the chairman of Barrington Shipping Company decides to resign from his post and Emma Clifton wants to replace him. Don Pedro Martinez, not a master villain I would say, just an ordinary but intense part of the story, intends to install his puppet, the egregious Major Alex Fisher, in order to destroy the Barrington family firm just as the company plans to build its new luxury liner. In London, Harry and Emma’s adopted daughter wins a scholarship to the Slade Academy of Art where she falls in love with a fellow student, who asks her to marry him. Both families are delighted until Priscilla Bingham, Jessica’s future mother-in-law, has a visit from an old friend, Lady Virginia Fenwick, who drops her particular brand of poison into the wedding goblet.
While the Clifton and Barrington families march forward into the sixties, in this tale of love, revenge, ambition and betrayal, the ending leaves the reader in a tight situation. A major event does take place this time which I guess is the biggest event in the Clifton Chronicles, though it is predictable before the end of the book but curiosity craves for what happens after it.
The wait for the fifth book is too long as it won’t be available for the readers before March, 2015. If anyone new starts this story, I would recommend him to read from the first book, Only time Will tell, which till date stands out to be the best book in this series. Reading the story from between will look dull and boring as later books, including this one, is not excellently (or in Archer’s way) written and plotted.
3 out of 5 from me.