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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JEFFREY ARCHER was educated at Oxford University. He has served five years in Britain's House of Commons and nineteen years in the House of Lords. All of his novels and short story collections--including "Best Kept Secret," "The""Sins of the Father," "Kane and Abel," and "False Impression"--have been international bestselling books. Archer is married with two sons and lives in London and Cambridge.From Booklist:
The Clifton Chronicles’ fourth volume takes the saga from the late 1950s to the mid-’60s. The book begins with a shocker: Harry and Emma’s son, Sebastian, is nearly killed in an automobile accident; his friend Bruno does die. It seems Sebastian was the intended target, and Bruno’s father, Don Pedro Martinez, who has a long and contentious history with the Cliftons (and who didn’t know his own son was in the car), is the likely culprit. If you don’t know who any of these people are, you may want to start at the saga’s beginning, 2011’s Only Time Will Tell, because this is an epic-size family drama, operatic in scope. This fourth book focuses on upheavals inside the Barrington Shipping Company: mystery-novelist Harry Clifton’s wife, Emma, is descended from the company’s founder and wants to take over as company chairman, but Don Pedro, with a seething hatred of the Barringtons, has his own plans for the suddenly vacant chairman’s seat. As with the previous volumes in the series, there are myriad subplots winding their way through the book: Harry and Emma’s daughter is engaged, for example, but there are those who aren’t so thrilled about that, and a new member of the Barrington company’s upper echelon is a fellow whose agenda is a troubling mystery. Reaction to the Clifton Chronicles has not been unanimously positive—Archer has his detractors—but if you like multivolume family sagas, it would be hard to find a contemporary example as ambitious and entertaining as this one. --David Pitt
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