Jeffrey Archer, whose novels and short stories include Kane and Abel, A Prisoner of Birth and Cat O' Nine Tales, has topped the bestseller lists around the world, with sales of over 275 million copies. He is the only author ever to have been a number one bestseller in fiction (nineteen times), short stories (four times) and non-fiction (The Prison Diaries). The author is married to Dame Mary Archer, and they have two sons, two grandsons and a granddaughter.
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.