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.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Kirstine on 23-03-14
This is the third part of the the author's Clifton Chronicles. I advise listening to the two earlier parts first as you'll get more from this book knowing the backs-stories of the characters. There are a few allusions to events in the previous books but I don't think I would have understood the significance if I hadn't listened to them, though it did take me a few chapters to get into the swing of things as it's been a while since the last book was published.
Jeffrey Archer certainly knows how to write a gripping story as I couldn't stop listening to this good old-fashioned tale of bad versus good people. Set in the late 50s and early 60s it evokes the era as real people are intermingled with the fictional characters. The upper classes and working-class men who have made good are portrayed as the heroes and the baddies are criminals from Argentina or ex-Nazis. Bankers are portrayed as exemplars of probity: ah, those were the days! It reminded me of John Buchan's style of daring-do with fine up-right British men pitted against wicked foreigners.
The author's experience gives realism to how government was run and the political figures of the day. There are lots of factual details about life in those times that add pleasure, especially for those of us who remember those days. However, the main thing is that this is a great story with many cliff-hanger moments as the two sides battle for supremacy. I guess that it will have a sequel: I can't wait.
Alex Jennings is one of my favourite actors and he's a terrific narrator with a vocal range that includes foreign and regional accents, different genders and ages so that I felt I was listening to the characters as the story unfolded.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
By mollyeyre on 16-03-14
Excellent - BUT!
I have been really drawn into this series, but I find that I have to take constant breaks from listening - not because I am bored - but because Jeffrey Archer has so many cliff hangers, and one can see the disasters unfolding. I tend to start feeling uncomfortable as there is so much hatred and spite shown in the stories.
Once again - he has left us hanging on a thread - waiting for the next instalment which will no doubt be in another years time.
To sum up, I have found this to be riveting listening, and the story is gripping with its twists and turns, BUT I find myself getting quite stressed as the story unfolds. Thank god there will only be one more!! (unless there is something I don't know about!)
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Martin on 25-03-14
OK - But not from the top shelf
Any additional comments?
We all know that Archer is a master story teller. However, in this - the fourth in the Clifton Chronicle Series - one has the feeling that he is writing to a pre-ordained master plan and is manipulating plot development to create the outcome that he wants.And so, while there are pleasant twists and turns, this is not a novel that will be talked about in the future as a noteworthy example of the "saga" genre. It is not in the same class as, say, Ken Follett's Century Trilogy.But don't mistake my assessment as intending to dissuade you from listening to the book. It's a great tale, written by an author whose skill is top tier, and will entertain you. It won't - nor is it intended to I think - tax you though. You'll be able to listen to it, and stop listening when it's time to go to bed. In other words, it won't keep you up all night as a compelling must read!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
By Chris on 29-03-17
Wonderful production values throughout. Gripping plot ... impossible not to be drawn in. Alex Jennings narration is brilliant with an astonishing range of voices and accents.