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Customer Review

on 29 August 2012
This novel doesn't stand alone - you must read Only Time Will Tell (Clifton Chronicles 1) first - and has no more than a couple of chapters of plot relevant to the bigger saga. Or perhaps 1.9 chapters, given that the single thread defining this novel is left incomplete. As a result, this short book is stuffed with exceptionally dull filler.

I know that people are generally advised to "write about what you know", but surely no-one can have failed to have groaned when a Jeffrey Archer protagonist wrote a prison diary. Nor when the same protagonist starts armed forces training. Nor when his first book sells well in North America, allowing a lucrative deal to be sealed for its UK distribution. Nor when a character becomes an MP. Nor when the plot moves to the House of Lords. It's as though Archer has taken Private Eye's Jeremy Longbow as inspiration rather than ridicule.

The one advantage this volume has over its predecessor is that the repetitive structure, and the odd affliction of only the first chapter in each section being written in the first person, has been dropped. All other faults of the first volume remain: the ludicrous co-incidences, the politics bleeding through into the plot, the clichéd characters, and so on. Archer has promised "at least" five books in this series: at this rate, I can't imagine there will be many readers left by the fifth.
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