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Review: Be Careful What You Wish For by Jeffrey Archer

Be Careful What You Wish For - Jeffrey Archer

Be Careful What You Wish For is the most recent addition to Jeffrey Archer's Clifton Chronicles. It begins with the cliffhanger from Book 3, Best Kept Secret. If you have not read the previous three books, this review may be considered to have spoilers since this series is an ongoing family saga.

I really enjoyed the first book in this series, Only Time Will Tell, but I have liked each book after the first one a little less. In OTWT, I cared about what happened to Harry Clifton and wondered what would happen once Britain found itself, once again, in the midst of a world war. Sure the story was a little melodramatic and far-fetched, but it was quick-paced and adventurous. The same can not be said for this installment, which continues with the building of the Buckingham, answers the 'who died in the car accident' and 'when are we going to tell Jessica about her parents' questions, and puts the reader through another painful Parliament election.

Those who love Archer and his style of writing, are bound to enjoy this novel, but the soap opera that is the Barringtons and Cliftons is getting a little overdone for me. They are far too typical of a family to acquire the type of evil villain stalkers that they seem to have collected. Giles' ex-wife, Harry's old school bully (mind you they're now in their 40's), and South American gangster Don Pedro are all back in this book out to get our protagonists without very good reasons why.

Most of this seems to be easily avoidable and convoluted, but it is written in a way that attempts to build suspense. Maybe is was suspenseful, but I just didn't care about the characters anymore. At least this generation has avoided the brother-sister romance that was the rather curious cliffhanger of Book 2. Archer does up the ante a little bit with a couple of deaths - not just the older generation - but even that wasn't enough to keep my interest in this book.

The most irritating part of this and the third book for me was the introduction of the Martinez family. It all just feels so much like a B-movie. For reasons that are never completely clear, this family that is well known for their involvement in smuggling, counterfeiting, and a laundry list of other crimes that eventually involve murder, can't just be arrested. We have to sit back and try outsmart them . . . wait, what? I though we just arrested criminals, not sat around waiting for them to turn themselves in. It just got to a point where it didn't even make any sense.

The author continues with the sections named after different characters despite the fact that these sections do not make any attempt to focus on that particular character's point of view like they did in the first book. Finally, this book ends with the predictable cliffhanger to keep the reader on the edge of their seats until the next book comes out in 2015. I believe there are an expected three more books to this series, but I'm not sure if I will be reading them.

I received this book through NetGalley in return for an honest review.