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Best Kept Secret (The Clifton Chronicles #3)

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  26,063 Ratings  ·  1,959 Reviews
Jeffrey Archer's mesmerizing saga of the Clifton and Barrington families continues...
1945, London. The vote in the House of Lords as to who should inherit the Barrington family fortune has ended in a tie. The Lord Chancellor's deciding vote will cast a long shadow on the lives of Harry Clifton and Giles Barrington. Harry returns to America to promote his latest novel, wh
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Hardcover, 373 pages
Published April 30th 2013 by St. Martin's Press
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Popular Answered Questions

Leslie The answer is in the sentence. Its an anagram.


"Common pests I confused when in my right mind".

Anagram of "common pests I" = compos mentis = in one's…more
The answer is in the sentence. Its an anagram.


"Common pests I confused when in my right mind".

Anagram of "common pests I" = compos mentis = in one's right mind

In the Archer story, the dying Lady Barrington (a skilled crossword solver) left this clue uncompleted as a coded signal that she was mentally capable when she changed her will shortly before her death.
(less)
swethagokul Again the end is the beginning of next book, but the plot is quite interesting when compared to other books in sequel. Best kept secret is slow moving…moreAgain the end is the beginning of next book, but the plot is quite interesting when compared to other books in sequel. Best kept secret is slow moving story in all of the 4 books.
End will be they all met an accident in a ship in Atlantic. But does not give clear details who survive it. Just waiting for the next book to know about all the answers.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Anuvab Banerjee
Mar 27, 2013 Anuvab Banerjee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Its a little slower compared to its prequel. However Archer, if anything, understands the business of selling books better than anyone else. This third book is more of an extension of the previous installment, and if anything it may be called the second part of "Sins of the Father", and not exactly a separate book. The story moves on to the next generation of the Clifton-Barrington family and introduces quite a few characters. Written in Archer's patent British style, the master story-teller lea ...more
Nicole
Aug 14, 2013 Nicole rated it did not like it
Best Kept Secret was another disappointment. The struggles and achievements of the characters are not developed and far too predictable. Harry needed to be on the New York Times Bestseller List. A few pages later the goal is accomplished. Emma wants to locate her late father’s child. Walla, it’s done. Now she wants to adopt her. Check. Sebastian is having problems socially in school. An incident occurs and abracadabra he is the hero. These examples are endless. Characters unknown to me but proba ...more
Char
I've loved this series so far, though I cannot seem to pinpoint why. This book wasn't quite as good as the first two, and it ended on a much bigger cliffhanger.

At this point, it's starting to seem a little silly because nothing ever goes wrong for the Clifton family. Well, maybe I should say: nothing ever STAYS wrong with the Clifton's-they always somehow seem to come out ahead.

I'm going to try the next one just in case it holds a big surprise, (like all the Clifton's die or something), and the
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Tony Nielsen
Feb 19, 2013 Tony Nielsen rated it really liked it
You can shoot me down if you like but I can't help liking Jeffrey Archer. In spite of being a bit of a cad he sure writes a good yarn, and this is no exception. Luckily I was given an advance copy to read and as usual I breezed through it quickly. This is the third episode in the Clifton Chronicles, mostly we follow on with the story of Harry and Emma Clifton, their son Sebastian and their adopted daughter Jessica. Emma develops an academic career and ultimnately joins the Barrington business wh ...more
BAM The Bibliomaniac
Dec 01, 2016 BAM The Bibliomaniac rated it really liked it
Oh my heart! Archer just tugged my strings! Such a storyteller. This series is perfect for audio because I feel like I'm being told a real tale. The format of the first two books ( switching between personalities with different narrators) is not apparent in this book. Some original characters move one, but they are replaced by great new ones. I think my favorite is Lady Virginia, a cunning, manipulative, money hungry minx.
Damn you, Archer!!! Why must you persist in the cliffhanger endings????
Razvan
Jul 22, 2013 Razvan rated it it was ok
Let me preface this by saying that I almost never write reviews, and if I do, is because I have experienced a rather extreme emotion: either highly impressed or mostly appalled. Sadly, in this book's case, is the latter.

I am[ considering if I might need to use the past tense after this book ] a fan of Jeffrey Archer, always found his books clever, entertaining and highly readable. Although one can get used to his style and characters, it usually still manages to deliver some surprising stunts th
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Pamela
Mar 09, 2015 Pamela rated it really liked it
Third installment, three times the drama; a bit overly dramatic at times, verging on a melodramatic soap-opera feel. Not my thing. Perhaps that's because I'm neither 'Young nor Restless'. But overall, the Barrington/Clifton personal/political/business tensions/exploits were engaging and riveting. And book three once again proved Archer is still king of the CCC - Clifton Chronicles Cliffhangers. Oh my, no parent wants to get a call like that!!!

Four stars - enough to entice me into reading the fou
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Sunethra Mahidhar
Mar 15, 2013 Sunethra Mahidhar rated it liked it
As tradition, I've been buying the copies of the Clifton Chronicles the day it released. Best Kept Secret, the third out of four of the chronicles was no different. It was even more special because it was a one of a kind autographed by the author himself copy.

The book has an unsual beginning. The demise of Lord Harvey seems mysterious. More like the author deliberately kills him so that Giles Barrington could win the vote.

Following this, Harry and Emma begin their search for adoption. Jessica Cl
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Melodie
Jan 26, 2013 Melodie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The third generation of the Clifton/Barringtons start moving to center stage in this installment of the Clifton Chronicles. Sebastian, son of Emma and Harry is a handful as a toddler and becomes more so as he grows. His half-sister Jessica is given a back seat to Sebastian's spotlight, though I sense(and hope) given the length of the series she will be given her place in the sun.
The saga has moved into the nineteen fifties. Women are taking their place in the workforce and starting to be heard
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Pooja Jeevagan
Mar 13, 2013 Pooja Jeevagan rated it liked it
I liked the beginning of the series...I really did...
I expected a lot from this one, I actually did...
I was surprised when it was confirmed it has moved from a series of three to a series of 5...and in between reading the book, how I hoped it would have been restricted to three...at least it wouldn't have deviated so much...it wouldn't have just kept on people to keep going...
And then, I was speechless, when I realized that the author is planning to increase the series to even 7 or 8...Phew!!

Thi
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Imsathya
Apr 06, 2013 Imsathya rated it did not like it
Mr Archer appears to be seeing too many movies of the 50s and 60s. The dries starred with "Only Time will tell"- and I think Time has told. Mr Archer, its about time you give your pen a rest. Your imagination appears to have dried up and you present one cliche after another for us to swallow. The characters have all become uni-dimensional. There is no spark here, as the one Massie and Old Jack and Emma brought to the first two books. The people have become boring and the plot seems taken right o ...more
Dave
Feb 05, 2017 Dave rated it really liked it
Shelves: jeffrey-archer
This entire series has been very good. I usually stop after 3 but I may go on and read 4 and 5
Dora
Mar 06, 2017 Dora rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
κινηματογραφικο !!
Kathryn
It took me quite a long time after reading the first in this series before reading the second and now I’m reading the third within 12 months after reading the second, so I’m improving in the rate I’m getting around to these books! This one certainly ends on a cliff-hanger, so I’m even more keen to read the fourth - Be Careful What You Wish For - as soon as possible!

I’m enjoying following the fortunes of Harry Clifton and his family. I like Jeffrey Archer’s style of writing, and this was classic
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Rahul Huilgol
Jun 22, 2013 Rahul Huilgol rated it liked it
It's a decent book. A typical Archer book with those twists and turns. He does know how to hold a reader's interest. Needless to say, like the previous novels in the series, it also has a cliffhanger ending.

I'm sure those who haven't read much of Archer will love it. But for someone who has read a lot of his books, it gives you a Deja Vu feel. He is repeating himself. It has many elements that we have already seen in 'Not a Penny more...' and 'First among equals'.

All in all, if you have been fo
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Tanuja Thapliyal
Apr 12, 2013 Tanuja Thapliyal rated it did not like it
Its pretty below the mark than its predecessors. There is no story just lofty words. Whole 380 pages go for a toss without any story. Not good. Archer is just dragging the series to make it more than 7,8 books its waste of time to read it.
Adelaide Silva
Sep 17, 2016 Adelaide Silva rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A saga continua com o mesmo interesse do primeiro. Leitura compulsiva e emocionante. Um amargo de boca com o final algo inesperado e ansiosa pelo próximo.
Amruta
May 02, 2013 Amruta rated it it was ok
So, here's another disappointing venture by Mr. Archer, a man who has previously written so many wonderful books!

This is the third book in the Clifton Chronicles series. While I loved the first one, namely 'Only Time Will Tell', the second one ('The Sins of the Father') dragged so much in the climax, it became almost impossible to complete. The third one is even worse!

It picks up from where the second book ended - with the mysterious death of Lord Harvey, and the much-too-convenient hung vote of
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Nilesh
May 04, 2013 Nilesh rated it liked it
After the latest episode, I believe even more strongly that Clifton Chronicles should have been one mega-novel rather than broken into five. Clearly, this would not have favoured the author - either in terms of the readership (large books tend to be read by far less) or revenues, but the reader suffers enormously with the split.

The author does a reasonably good job of bringing the reader up to speed with the relevant details of the previous two books although it makes the start of the novel some
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Sharon Bernhardt
The first one was intriguing, the second not so much... the third was (I thought the series was actually a 'trilogy' was disappointing:-) Frustrated that I have to wait a year for the fourth - not because of the suspense, but rather not looking forward to another disappointment. I shall be reading the fourth and fifth... I always have to finish what I've started!
Claude
Mar 08, 2013 Claude rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical-fiction, a
Another good story, again with a cliffhanger at the end, and what a cliffhanger it is!
Can I wait till tomorrow?
Marleen
Jul 03, 2017 Marleen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I’ve been binge-reading the Clifton Chronicles and while finishing this third installment, Best Kept Secrets, I can’t help but observe that the overall feel of these books has shifted. Indeed, from here on out, the main focus is no longer on the family dynamics, but rather on politics and on industrial intrigue and seeing I’m not that interested in British politics - those sessions in the House of Commons were truly boring - I sort of started to be disenchanted. It’s actually too bad.
I also coul
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Patrizia
⭐⭐🌟 ...more
Matt
Oct 06, 2014 Matt rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Jeffrey Archer forges ahead in the Clifton heptalogy, keeping volume three full of excitement and intrigue. After an eventful vote in the House of Lords on the Barrington family fortune, Harry and Emma are able to move forward with their lives, intertwined as one. They seek to expand their family in a not so traditional manner, perfectly suited for this Archer tale. Giles Barrington continues his life as a Member of Parliament and faces a tough Conservative candidate when the election is called. ...more
Luffy
Jun 20, 2013 Luffy rated it it was ok
Some random thoughts about Best Kept Secret.
1) The beginning was as easy as it was interesting to follow.
2) The stakes were nowhere as high this time as in the last book.
3) We see quite less both of Giles and Harry, even if the chapters are titled in their name.
4) As soon as Major Alex appeared the story began to get murky for me personally.
5) The underused mothers of Harry and Giles made me curious about the first Chronicles book.
6) ...until that is when the entire mess of Don Pedro's shenaniga
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Patrice Hoffman
Mar 13, 2013 Patrice Hoffman rated it liked it
Of course, like the two books preceding this one, Best Kept Secret begins where The Sins of the Father left off. For those unfamiliar with the Clifton Chronicles, this is the story that follows a family through decades of secrets, lies, losses, gains, enemies, and more enemies. Best Kept Secret begins with an answer to who will inherit the Barrington fortune. Will is be Giles or (maybe bastard son) Harry?

Eventually, the story starts to focus more on the new generation of Clifton's. Primarily Se
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Anirudh
Apr 13, 2013 Anirudh rated it liked it
This novel does not match the excitement when compared to it's predecessors. Somehow, I feel J. Archer likes to tell greater part of his stories about prestigious universities, educational journeys and boarding schools sagas which at some point one gets tired of reading. We already got a good dose of educational journeys of Harry, Emma and Giles in last two novels and I, personally was looking forward to development of all 3 main characters in this installment but it goes on in a loop as now we ...more
Sarah
2016: I'm having to read this again before reading the follow up novels, because I can't remember all the characters and plot twists!

12 Sept 2016: 4 stars second time around. You can't easily beat Jeffrey Archer's books - he's undoubtedly a truly wonderful storyteller, but such a cruel one! How anyone can write a book with so much suspense at the end and expect readers to wait a whole year to find out if "he" is dead or not, it really astonishing me! This is so unnecessary and frustrating. Extre
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Donna
Jan 25, 2015 Donna rated it liked it
This book was a solid 3 stars for me. It is the 3rd novel in the Clifton Chronicles. I have completely enjoyed this series. Young Sebastian, the next generation, was the focus with this one. I like how everyone is growing up, (the kids and the adults).

The story line with this one kind of rambled, but it had some interesting twists that I liked. I think that is one of my top 3 things I like about Jeffrey Archer books. He is great at weaving 'the unexpected' into the plots that keeps me engaged.
Khamosh Pathak
Mar 14, 2013 Khamosh Pathak rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
The story is a bit boring, slow and might convince you to take a pass on this one.

But the writing is still great. Typical Archer style delivery we have been expecting from him.

Like others stated the end is like "WTF?". Its a bad ending no doubt. But its not an ending, its a cliffhanger. Of course the last two books ended a lot better than this. However bad it was, it only makes me anxious to read part 4 of the Clifton Chronicles.

Archer fans will enjoy this, new readers might want to start with s
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Jeffrey Howard Archer, Baron Archer of Weston-super-Mare (born 15 April 1940) is an English author and former politician.

He was a Member of Parliament and deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, and became a life peer in 1992. His political career, having suffered several controversies, ended after a conviction for perverting the course of justice and his subsequent imprisonment. He is married
...more
More about Jeffrey Archer...

Other Books in the Series

The Clifton Chronicles (7 books)
  • Only Time Will Tell (The Clifton Chronicles, #1)
  • The Sins of the Father (The Clifton Chronicles, #2)
  • Be Careful What You Wish For (The Clifton Chronicles, #4)
  • Mightier Than the Sword (The Clifton Chronicles, #5)
  • Cometh the Hour (The Clifton Chronicles, #6)
  • This Was a Man (The Clifton Chronicles, #7)

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“There are defining moments in one's life when you learn about yourself, and you deposit that knowledge in the experience account, so you can draw on it at some later date.” 27 likes
“The sign of a great man is how you handle defeat. - Old Jack” 21 likes
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