The Sins of the Father

Jeffrey Archer. St. Martin’s, $27.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-250-00097-2
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)
Reviewed on: 02/27/2012
Release date: 05/08/2012
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