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The sins of the father
Jeffrey Archer
Adult Fiction ARCHER

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In his sequel to Only Time Will Tell, Archer continues the Clifton Chronicles with another heavily plot-driven story that has little to hold on to in terms of character development or writing style. The novel begins hastily with Englishman Harry Clifton meticulously detailing his experiences in the American prison where he landed as a result of recently switching identities in 1939 with Lt. Tom Bradshaw, who died on the cruise liner that had rescued Clifton after his merchant marine ship was sunk by a U-boat, and who just happens to have been charged with murder. Meanwhile, the mother of Harry's child and love of his life, Emma Barrington, crosses the Atlantic as a ship's receptionist, hoping to glean information on Harry's whereabouts, but without much feeling or deeply rooted motivation. As Harry accepts his fate as an inmate and Emma continues her search, the narrative rotates between one too many characters before winding back to Harry and Emma. Finally, a last-minute cliffhanger foreshadows the continuation of the story in book three of the five-part series, though Harry's one-dimensional (albeit fast-paced) adventure in this volume does little to make subsequent Clifton Chronicles seem worthwhile. 300,000 announced first printing. Agent: Jonathan Lloyd, Curtis Brown LTD. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

In the second installment (after Only Time Will Tell) of Archer's five-volume saga, Harry Clifton, a Bristol dockworker's son, and Giles Barrington, the assumed heir to the Barrington estate, seek to enlist in World War II despite various obstacles. Harry joins the Merchant Navy and, after a German U-boat sinks his ship, is among a group rescued by an American cruise liner. He attempts to escape his past by assuming another sailor's identity but, as a result, lands in an American jail serving a six-year sentence. Meanwhile, the color-blind Barrington finagles his way into the British army, and Emma Barrington, Harry's intended, gives birth to a boy whose parentage, like Harry's, is a mystery. As usual, Archer permits his characters to drive the plot, enriching its multiple layers with their own perspectives. He also introduces semiautobiographical elements: Harry authors a series of diaries while serving as prison librarian, and in the concluding chapters, a debate regarding the Barrington Shipping fortune's legitimate heir demonstrates Archer's intimate knowledge of parliamentary procedures. VERDICT Although the plot twists and cliff-hangers seem sensational in spots, Archer's panache and sharp repartee maintain the excitement and sheer fun of reading this literary master. [See Prepub Alert, 10/31/11.]-Jerry P. Miller, Cambridge, MA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Harry Clifton
Male
English
Hoping to escape his family's long buried secrets; forced to accept the knowledge that he will never marry the love of his life; joined the Navy; survived his ship sinking; assumed the identity of an American officer who had drowned during the sinking, only to discover the man had been charged with murder; has no way to prove his real identity.
U.S. Naval officer

Emma Barrington
Female
English
Crosses the Atlantic searching for the love of her life and father of her child, Harry Clifton.
Receptionist



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