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Carpe Librum

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Historical Novel Society

Review: Only Time Will Tell by Jeffrey Archer

Only Time Will Tell - Jeffrey Archer

I'm going to start this review by saying that part of a rating depends upon picking up a book at the right time. This was the right time for me and this book. The somewhat fluffy, melodramatic story was just the break I needed from the more complex books that I tend to choose.


This novel centers around Harry Clifton, who is blessed enough to grow up with a veritable army of people around him sacrificing to ensure his well being. As a child, of course, he fails to see much of this. Harry grows up believing that his father died in The Great War, but is soon intelligent enough to calculate the impossibility of that.


The cast of stereotypical characters is rounded out quite nicely by an evil rich guy who has a mysterious hatred for Harry, the rich best friend who happens to be evil guy's son, a self sacrificing mother, and a caring old bum who happens to be a genius....oh, and and evil henchman! I know your rolling your eyes right now, but these characters suck you in even as you tell yourself it's all too implausible.


By the time Harry solves the mystery of his father's death, he has much bigger problems on his hands. Was Arthur Clifton in fact his father? Is his generation going to be decimated by another war because that last one didn't end them all like it was supposed to?


This book is broken into sections from different character points of view. Each time one section ends with a little cliff-hanger, the next section backtracks to cover known events from a new POV, leaving the reader captured by the drama only hinted at. Some reviewers were annoyed by this. I found it clever and unique if at times repetitive.


A great light, fast-paced read, but the ending is no real ending. Have book two on hand!