Best Kept Secret : Clifton Chronicles

  • by Jeffrey Archer
  • Narrated by Alex Jennings
  • Series: Clifton Chronicles
  • 11 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

New York Times best seller 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 best-selling 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.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Plot without characters

I enjoyed the previous two books and was disappointed with this third installment. Unlike some of the other reviewers, however, my disappointment was not with the abrupt ending. It was with the novel itself. The story 'reads' like a plot outline -- with absolutely no character development whatsoever even by Jeffrey Archer's standards. So Character A, for example, will go from being a difficult child to a model adolescent with absolutely no explanation as to what brought the change about. Character B, besotted with his wife and willing to forsake all else at her request, is able to move on from his infatuation at the drop of a dime. Of course, the infatuation seems absurd from the start since Character C, the wife, is a cartoonish Cruella Deville without a single redeeming quality -- and the fact that Character B fell madly in love with her seems, well, out of character. In this novel, the characters are all lowercase and act however they have to at that moment in order to move The Plot along. And, believe me, The Plot dizzying speed and in all kinds of preposterous directions. It's almost like if Archer is thinking of what will happen next as he types! In fact, I am not even sure what "the Best Kept Secret" was meant to be since the story line regarding what I THOUGHT was "the secret" does not get resolved. In fact, it is not even mentioned in the last 50 or more pages of The Plot. (Could it be that the audible production did leave a section out?) If you are a Jeffrey Archer fan, by all means, download it. It's not deep, but it is kind-of entertaining. I am sure I will buy the next one.
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- cristina

Best Kept Secret still a secret

What would have made Best Kept Secret better?

I think Jeffrey should hire Christina from Somerville, MA as a proofreader an critic. I concur with her full assessment. Great job articulating the multitude of issues with this book. Jeffrey should be ashamed of himself to actually publish such a terrible piece of work. His has done, and is capable of, so much better than this. I would consider this a "trash novel". In addition, be aware that this is not the end of a trilogy.

Would you ever listen to anything by Jeffrey Archer again?

yes, but only after reading reviews very carefully.

Would you be willing to try another one of Alex Jennings and Emilia Fox ’s performances?


You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

It passed the time while I was doing housework!

Any additional comments?

Loyalty only goes so far. My respect for Mr. Archer is dwindling. I'd rather wait for a book of quality than have my time wasted. I used to have Mr. Archer on par with Ken Follett but I don't think he can redeem himself from this book.

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- Laurie

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-30-2013
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio