Be Careful What You Wish For (The Clifton Chronicles #4) by Jeffrey Archer
Publication Date : March 11th 2014
Publisher : St. Martin’s Press / MacMillan
Genre : Historical Fiction
Pages : 387
Stars : ★★★★★
Bestselling author Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish For opens with Harry Clifton and his wife Emma rushing to hospital to learn the fate of their son Sebastian, who has been involved in a fatal car accident. But who died, Sebastian or his best friend Bruno?
When Ross Buchanan is forced to resign as chairman of the Barrington Shipping Company, Emma Clifton wants to replace him. But Don Pedro Martinez intends to install his puppet, the egregious Major Alex Fisher, in order to destroy the Barrington family firm just as the company plans to build its new luxury liner, the MV Buckingham.
Back in London, Harry and Emma’s adopted daughter wins a scholarship to the Slade Academy of Art where she falls in love with a fellow student, Clive Bingham, who asks her to marry him. Both families are delighted until Priscilla Bingham, Jessica’s future mother-in-law, has a visit from an old friend, Lady Virginia Fenwick, who drops her particular brand of poison into the wedding chalice.
Then, without warning, Cedric Hardcastle, a bluff Yorkshireman who no one has come across before, takes his place on the board of Barringtons. This causes an upheaval that none of them could have anticipated, and will change the lives of every member of the Clifton and Barrington families. Hardcastle’s first decision is who to support to become the next chairman of the board: Emma Clifton or Major Alex Fisher? And with that decision, the story takes yet another twist that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Be Careful What You Wish For showcases the master storyteller’s talent as never before – when the Clifton and Barrington families march forward into the sixties, in this epic tale of love, revenge, ambition and betrayal.
*** Note : I purchased this book. ***
Be Careful What You Wish For was fourth in historical fiction series, The Clifton Chronicle, that revolved around fighting new enemy of Barringtons and Cliftons they made in last book, Martinez. It was about family, friendship, saving family business, politics, drama, and above all vendetta.
Once again Barrington shipping company was attacked in this book and this time not just by Fisher and Lady Virginia but also by the most dangerous man in the country, Don Pedro Martinez. Book started where exactly the cliffhanger of previous book Best Kept Secret left me hanging and thinking what exactly happened in the car accident. I knew who would have survived but the opening with a false news was bit surprise. Untoward outcome of Martinez’s plan drove him even crazier and angrier that started his revenge plan to destroy whole Clifton and Barrington family. Who could have think the Thinker statue could cost characters more than the combined value of statue and counterfeit five pound notes at the base of it that Cliftons helped government to confiscate from Martinez.
That synopsis said many thing and summarized what you can expect really well so I will jump to most important thing that kept me hooked to story, the curious questions I had while reading the story- What Martinez is planning, when will he strike and who will step in his traps? Who is tutoring Sebastian to make him smarter and clever? Who is that Cedric Hardcastle mentioned in the synopsis, is he good guy or bad guy? What mischief Fisher and Virginia will create along with Martinez and what will it cost to Barringtons and Cliftons? There were many surprises and twist was heart breaking.
Writing was again great, flawless and easy, jumping from one narration to other with smooth transition. It started in 1957 and ended in 1964 following the story of Harry and Emma, Sebastian, Giles, Jessica, Fisher, Martinez and we have new character Cedric Hardcastle. Each character narrating one year and telling what hurdles they faced in that year.
Harry and Emma once again were amazing. In this book Harry has taken a back seat, popping in here and there and mainly focusing on plots of his novel but whenever he appeared in the book, I liked him and felt for him. I wish he had listened to everybody’s advice. It could have saved them from tragedy.
Giles was also not in the front of the story. He appeared in family and board meeting and during election for MP. He was busy in his political carrier and his marriage. Yes, this time he married right woman and I was happy for him. What I didn’t see coming was him stepping on the trap set by Martinez. He is Giles and Martinez need to do something bigger to break him. I liked how he took the blow and moved on in life focusing on next election.
Emma, once again, took the rein of Barrington shipping empire in her control but before she could do that she faced trouble so bad it could have bankrupt the company. That trouble came in the name of Fisher, Martinez and Virginia. I admired her determination and will to save the company. Her instinct were right from the beginning and I knew she will have to fight hard. Her and Fisher’s speech was brilliant. The voting for chairman’s seat felt like another of Gile’s election. I loved how whole board room scenario raised tension and kept curiosity level on the top. And I loved her hysterical speech after climax.
Sebastian has grown so much after accident. He was now wise and clever, smart and developed character. Not developed when it came to women but boy after some hysterical encounter where he made fool of himself finally found a beautiful girl. That came in second half but by that time he found a great job. It was impressive how quickly he learned and how quickly he could charm people. I loved him for the way he helped his mother.
Cedric, Susan Fisher, Clive Bingham and his family were the characters who surprised me most. They turned out exactly opposite than I guessed. I’m not saying who they were and what was their role and what they did either in favor of Cliftons or against but only that author did amazing them, especially Cedric.
The most devious villain of the book Martinez was made to hate. He was brilliant, a perfect villain who had no principles and morals and would stop at nothing to achieve what he wanted. He didn’t leave any single character. He set traps for everyone. His deadliest blow was Jessica. I hated him for going there and I knew he wouldn’t stop there. He was crazily riding the revenge wave, or should I say tsunami?
Jessica was never in limelight until this book. Her talent was earning her name and fame, found a nice boy and was going to marry. She was so happy and lovely. It hurt me to see them braking her and even made me shout at what it caused. That gave the story major turning point.
I loved how all well-wishers of the family gathered and hatched a plan that would strike Fisher, Virginia and most of all Martinez at the same time. All chapters from this turning point was tense, exciting, and thrilling. It was like cat and mouse game and I couldn’t wait to see who won. Even after definitive answer Martinez had the element of surprise and made the book end in cliffhanger.
Overall, Be Careful What You Wish For was another smart, entertaining and exciting historical fiction and family saga. I can’t wait to see what happened next and what new trouble they will face.
What do you think about the book and my review? Have you read this book already? Are you going to add it to TBR? Which is your favorite family saga?
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