Wednesday, April 8, 2015

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

There is sometimes no end to a living legacy. Be it a book or it's character we all summarize them with equal fervor and give them their parting due as a token of love. Jeffrey Archer in his book "Best Kept Secret" keeps the war cries alive and let the characters and the story do the talking. So will it be a win-win situation for him? Let's find out.  

Best Kept Secret is a thrilling novel by Jeffery Archer that promises to keep its readers glued, right till the very last page. The story is set in the year 1945, and starts with highlighting a very important decision concerning the fortune of the Barrington family. This decision must be made on the basis of a vote in the House of Lords, affecting Harry Clifton, and Giles Barrington, who are vying for that fortune. Through the course of this book, Harry, and Emma decide to adopt a girl named Jessica, who is the love child of Emma’s dad. 
As the story advances, we are introduced to Sebastian Clifton, who is the son of Harry Clifton, and Emma. As time passes, the General Election approaches, and Giles Barrington is called to defend his seat in the House of Commons. However, he soon learns that he has been pitted against Sebastian, and this comes as a rude shock to him. 
In the year 1957, Sebastian wins a scholarship to Cambridge. However, things turn ugly when he finds himself involved in an international art fraud, due to which he gets thrown out of his university. The fraud revolves around a Rodin statue, whose value is much more than it could ever raise at an auction. However, this scam raises a lot of questions about Sebastian’s own fate, in terms of his safety, and future.

First look at the title and the cover and a reader can sense something fishy. Keeping up with the tradition the book manages to have a realistic cover and a title that will keep a lot of people guessing. The blurb speaks a little about what is going to transpire in the Barrington & Clifton drama. It keeps the story under the wraps and leaves nothing to the fancy of the readers. 

The story is set back in Bristol, where politics and friendship and relationships are on the line. The young blood too, is going to be a part of the drama and conspiracy. The Barrington & Clifton tussle continues with few things settled yet a lot of questions unanswered and some guests from the past revisited. So how will the present and future holdup for the legacy? Who will take all and who will lose or sacrifice a lot? What has the young blood to do in this epic struggle? That's what the story is all about. 

Keeping up with the old narratives, the story promises a lot of drama and conspiracy, struggle for power and happiness and some settled and unsettled scores but the young blood is the one that takes the center stage. The effused combination of the two creates some magical moments for the readers. There are times when you get to see a war of words or a brandishing tussle between the elders but the niceties are extended to the younger ones more. The old dark past is also an added factor in the illustrious story line. Fair amount of youth gets the setting right for the author to proceed in to the right direction but it's still the elders who play a pivotal part in shaping up the legacy. 

The downside of the story is its slimmer hope of giving something crumbling and preposterous to the readers. Scandalized more would be the word. But it fails to inspire a story. The dull first half becomes a grueling and dragging affair as politics and other one odd incident doesn't reproduces the magic from the past. There are glaring differences in the narration as this one just seems unsettled and out of it's favorite line of work. 

All in all the book promises a lot, but delivers a few goods. Living up to the expectations is not what it inspires into, but nonetheless the exploding second half turns around a lot many bloopers from the first. Surely the new line of story is up to something but this one is a bit start and stop scooter. The scope of reading another one just gives one great push towards the uncertain and unpredictable future. The book won't generate curiosity but won't fail you as a reader completely either. 


3 OUT OF 5   

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