Be Careful What You Wish For by Jeffrey Archer
Almost against my better judgement, I have read quite a few books by Jeffery Archer, an English, novelist whose books are sold all over the world. It has often been said that Jeffrey Archer’s own story would make an international bestseller. He was born in London, brought up in Somerset, the son of a printer, and educated at Wellington School, and Brasenose College, Oxford, where he gained an athletics blue. He took an interest in politics and became Member of Parliament for Louth by the age of 29.
However, aged 34, he resigned from the House of Commons and wrote his first novel, Not A Penny More, Not A Penny Less when a Canadian company called Aqua-blast, that he invested heavily in, on the advice of the Bank of Boston, went into liquidation.
Not A Penny More Not A Penny Less is a very clever book. but the one I read most recently was Be Careful What You Wish For, is not. It had been recommended to me by a friend and I did not realise it was part of a series. Be Careful What You Wish For is the fourth installment in Jeffrey Archer’s The Clifton Chronicles. If I had known it was part of a series, I would not have picked up the book.
A cliffhanger can be an effective writing tool in crafting a novel, if the writer can come up with a satisfying conclusion to some of the plot points within the novel. Archer has not done that here.He can write, but has lost his touch when it comes to finishing what he started. The end of this book does not conclude properly and clearly leads to another novel. Perhaps Archer has started being paid by the length of his works, as Charles Dickens was. Be careful What You Wish For is over 500 pages long but with no proper beginning or ending, I found it very unsatisfying. I believe this series runs to 7 books to get answers. Sorry, I will not be committing to that. There are too many good writers to spend my time and money on rather than an author who sacrifices quality for bait and switch to hook readers into buying future novels.
The story opens with Harry Clifton and his wife Emma rushing to hospital to learn the fate of their son Sebastian and his best friend Bruno. They have been involved in a fatal car accident. Harry and Emma do not know who died.
While this can definitely be construed as a nice enough thriller with a peppy pace but I was a somewhat disappointed with the general vapidness of the characters and the predictability of the story. Emma is depicted as strong, Seb’s characteristic is his ingenuity, while Buchanan and Hardcastle’s probity are as defined and Don Predo’s aggression. don’t really offer any surprises – everyone stays true to the basic sketch and does not evolve. Although, I did enjoy the high stakes trading scene and the end offers a bit of a twist; it s a shame, but it is not enough to save the book for me.
I found that 500 pages of Be Careful What You Wish For was too a long read and the reward was to little for my patience. I cannot recommend this book.