The Clifton Chronicles were originally planned to be five novels. Since this book is number five, the series has been expanded to seven (and counting). So this latest volume continues the saga of the Clifton and Barrington clans and their assorted problems and successes. Frankly, I’m not so sure it is a tale worth telling, however well written it is.
The machinations of Lady Virginia and Major Fisher continue to plague Emma and Seb in their respective roles as Chairman of Barrington Shipping and up-and-coming banker. And Emma’s husband, mystery writer Harry Clifton, takes on the Soviet regime to free a jailed author of a banned novel when he becomes President of English PEN. Then there is Seb’s relationship with Alex, which presents the reader with a side issue.
All in all it is not a very exciting story, certainly less than the level of and possibly merely a rehash of already established features in former novels in the series. Perhaps, it might be generous to say that these are developments arising from the past. But this reader became tired reading the all-too-familiar comments and scheming of the various characters. The only really interesting part of the book (possible spoiler alert) was the section where Harry attempts to obtain the only known copy of the banned book in Leningrad (St. Petersburg), followed by his arrest and jailing. And finally, this reader failed to understand why the banned book caused such consternation to begin with when all the facts were known.
As it may be, as already noted, Mr. Archer certainly can write, and provides an entertaining novel, and on that basis is recommended....Continua