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.
Editorial Review :
From Barnes & Noble
Complications abound in this new addition to the Clifton Chronicles. Chief protagonists Harry and his wife Emma must confront crises including a fatal car crash involving their son; a "perfect match" for their adopted daughter that turns out to be not quite ideal; and would-be coups and counter-coups at the Barrington family firm. All of which adds up to a top-seller on both sides of the Atlantic. (P.S. Archer is renowned for reworking and reworking his materials: This novel went through fourteen drafts.)
Kirkus Reviews 2014-02-16
The fourth volume of Archer's (Best Kept Secret, 2013, etc.) Clifton Chronicles finds the Barrington-Clifton family ensnared in financial conspiracies over a make-or-break Barrington Shipping project. As Archer covers the family drama from 1957 to '64, Harry Clifton—a married-into-money war hero and best-selling crime writer—is relegated to supporting player while his wife, Emma Barrington Clifton, steps to center stage. Emma becomes chairman of her family shipping company when the former leader's pet project—the construction of a luxury liner—runs aground; it was sabotaged during construction in Belfast by family enemy and Nazi-sympathizing Argentinian gangster Don Pedro Martinez in alliance with the IRA. Martinez hates the Barrington-Cliftons since they disrupted his plans to dispose of millions in Nazi counterfeit money, as recounted in Volume 3. Here, in the prologue, it's revealed that Martinez's attempt to kill Sebastian Clifton, Harry and Emma's son, in revenge for that loss resulted in the death of his own son. As Emma assumes leadership of Barrington Shipping, Martinez secures a significant stake and begins a scheme to sink the company. A minor storyline follows Sir Giles, Emma's brother, and his Labor Party political ambitions. Archer introduces two new supporting players: Cedric Hardcastle, a banker who takes a shine to Sebastian, and Robert—"No one calls me Mr. Bingham except the taxman"—Bingham, a heart-of-gold fish paste–manufacturing millionaire. Hardcastle and Bingham join a complex scheme to manipulate the Barrington stock price in order to bankrupt the Argentinian. Archer cranks up the melodrama with an unexpected suicide and shows an insider's flare for great food, wine, art and architecture. It's only Sebastian who's the subject of any character development, growing from indifferent student to Hardcastle's trusted assistant, all while meeting an ambassador's daughter who becomes his bride-to-be. Archer's unremarkable prose but tight plotting make for a page-turning rich man's soap opera. He concludes with a Perils of Pauline supercliffhanger certain to frustrate—and create clamor for Clifton-Barrington No. 5. Lightweight, entertaining beach reading.
There are so many complications in this fourth volume in Archer's New York Times best-selling "Clifton Chronicles" series it makes your head spin. With Ross Buchanan out as chair of the Barrington Shipping Company, Don Pedro Martinez pushes his own candidate for evil purposes. Jessica Clifton becomes engaged, but her mother-in-law wreaks havoc. And the entire narrative starts with the statement, "Sebastian is dead." Goodreads and Facebook promotion; a four-week interactive promotion; distribution at hotels, movie theaters, and malls; library marketing—you name it.
About the Author :
Jeffrey Archer was educated at Oxford University. He has served five years in Britain's House of Commons, fourteen years in the House of Lords and two in Her majesty's prisons, which spawned three volumes of highly acclaimed Prison Diaries. All of his novels and short story collections--including Kane and Abel, Sons of Fortune, and False Impression--have been international bestsellers. Archer is married with two children and lives in London and Cambridge.