Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Best Kept Secret” as Want to Read:
Best Kept Secret
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Best Kept Secret (The Clifton Chronicles #3)

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  10,171 ratings  ·  1,249 reviews
New York Times bestseller Jeffrey Archercontinues his beloved Clifton Chronicle seriesasHarry and Emma finally begin building a happy life—but a dangerous family enemy is about to resurface

Best Kept Secret opens a moment after the end of The Sins of the Father, with the resolution of the trial and the triumphant marriage of Harry Clifton and Emma Barrington, finally unitin
Audio CD, 9 pages
Published April 30th 2013 by Macmillan Audio (first published January 1st 2013)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Best Kept Secret, please sign up.

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.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Anuvab Banerjee
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
Tony Nielsen
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
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
Sunethra Mahidhar
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
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
Pooja Jeevagan
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 least it wouldn't have deviated so 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!!

Rahul Huilgol
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
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
In the third installment of the Clifton Chronicles, Archer picks up with the high drama that left the reader on the edge of their seat at the end of Book 2. Returning with his strong list of characters, Archer introduces the reader to a maturing adult generation, complete with their dramatic issues that help shape England in the post-War era. The reader also meets a new third generation, mere babes up to now, who have their own adventures and mishaps as they mature from children into their teena ...more
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
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!
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
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
Khamosh Pathak
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
Tanuja Thapliyal
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.
Robin Smith
The first half is a great story -- continuing the story of the Clifton family. However, about halfway through it changes focus and I think starts to lack something. Hopefully the last book will be able to finish strong.
Patrice Hoffman
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
By Jeffrey Archer. #3 in The Clifton Chronicles. Grade: B+

I am a big fan of Archer’s Clifton Chronicles, and after the cliff hanger of The Sins of The Father (Clifton Chronicles #2), I was eagerly looking forward to this one. Whatever hang-ups you may have against the writer, you can’t deny he spins a darned good yarn, and proves it again with Best Kept Secret.
New York Times bestseller Jeffrey Archer continues his beloved Clifton Chronicle series as Harry and Emma finally begin building a happy
“Secret” is the third of a planned 5-book saga about the Clifton family of Great Britain, as well as their close friends the Barringtons. We were somewhat surprised that while this entry spans the period of 1945 to about 1958, the just concluded World War gets hardly a mention. Rather, the story now centers more on Harry and Emma’s son Sebastian and his years finishing high school and bound for Cambridge. Early on, the debate over Harry’s paternity, and therefore the inheritance of the Barringto ...more
This is the third installment of the Clifton Chronicles. It seems such a long break between book two and this one that I did wonder if I would remember all the charaters but as soon as I started reading it all came back to me, and it helped that this book starts exactly where the second one ended and there are references to happenings in the previous books.

There is not so much, in fact almost nothing about Harry's mother in this one, which is a shame, but Sir Giles become Sir Gullible when he me
Harini Padmanabhan
I read Archer first when in school and was damn impressed. Then I found Forsyth and I did not really revisit him that much. I chanced upon this in a sale and decided to try the book.

The plot initially seemed more like a recap of the first two books in the series and later like a prequel for the many to come. The book failed for me because I couldn't relate to the characters. Not even one of the many illustrious folks or the vindictive ones. I loved his Kane and Abel at school and I'm sure I'd e
Certainly not as captivating as the previous two books in the series. But having taken such an interest in the family & characters, this book still has an endearing quality if not as much suspense. I am still quantifying this an an English Soap Opera in written form as the ups and downs and surprises just keep going and going and going...

I was surprised to find the end had an interesting cliffhanger. Though I usually despise those things, particularly if the next book is not yet written or a
Suresh Nair
Best Kept Secret, the third of the Clifton Chronicles sequel narrating the stories of Barrington and Clifton family. Sebastian is the son of Harry and Emma Clifton. Harry is a famous author and Emma business management graduate and sister of Giles. She with her sis Grace, inherits a large proportion of the family fortune following their mothers' death. Sebastian gets himself into trouble with his best friend's father and almost escape from any trouble.

It was Sebastian Clifton, nephew of Giles,
Aug 23, 2013 Wendy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Wendy by: Goodreads Recommendations
"Best Kept Secret" is the third installment in the riveting saga of the Clifton and Barrington families. It begins in 1945 London after the vote in the House of Lords has decided who will inherit the Barrington fortune. When Emma and Harry Clifton and Giles Barrington think their lives have settled into some kind of normalcy they'll find they're turned upside down when Lord Giles makes a grave marital decision that could cost his seat in parliament and the Cliftons adopt a daughter with a long b ...more
Scott Parsons
I have read most of Archer's work except for his prison diaries.This book is the third in the Clifton Chronicles. It picks up where the previous book ended with a tie in the House of Lords on who was the rightful heir to the Barrington fortune----Giles Barrington or Harry Clifton. The Lord Chancellor, although conflicted by the decision, rules in favour of Giles and Harry goes back to writing his detective novels. Things are relatively stable until Giles becomes besotted with Lady Virginia much ...more
Gatha  G Namboothiri
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Priscilla Melchior
Sometimes, all I want is a good story. Forget the underlying themes or the literary allusions and bring me an absorbing tale with characters I recognize and a plot that keeps me engaged.

That's what I got with "Best Kept Secret," Jeffrey Archer's latest installment in his "Clifton Chronicles" series. I had a great time.

United at long last, Harry Clifton and wife, Emma, begin their lives with son, Sebastian, shortly after the end of World War II. Emma's brother, Giles, is engaged to the stereotypi
Sam Arnold
I should have reviewed this series individually. I couldn't. Simply there was not enough time between me putting one book down and wanting to read the next to allow this.

Years ago I read a number of Jeffrey Archer novels and now I have picked up this new offering from him I am wondering why I left it so long to read more. This story winds itself through the main character Harry Clifton's life. The first book uses the ages of Harry from birth until war starts when Harry is a relatively a young m
This third of the Clifton Chronicles series was not as exciting as the first two because it moved away from the Clifton/Barrington family and went off in what seemed to be a wild direction into the family of a mobster from Argentina. The children of Harry and Emma are growing up and especially Sebastian is taking more of a front and center place in the series.

There is another major cliff hanger at the end of this book just as there were in the first two, but this one seemed to be a bit more con
Shyam Karuvanoor
The book is better than the 2nd edition in the series. Sebastian makes it interesting 2 read t pages where Giles wins t election. The last few pages makes it interesting and keeps the readers stick on to t book to know whether Sebastian gets into the bad guy's trap or escapes. As usual JA finishes the book in his own style putting the readers under a confusion how can Sebastian's part n t series ends so soon. I definitely need 2 spend some bucks on t next n t series :-P
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Who's Son Died? 28 127 Dec 28, 2014 01:29PM  
How's the book? Good or Average? 9 54 Jul 27, 2013 08:34PM  
I missed the reason for... 1 24 Jul 18, 2013 05:20PM  
  • The Ophelia Cut (Dismas Hardy, #14)
  • Deadly Stakes (Ali Reynolds #8)
  • The Hit (Will Robie, #2)
  • The Romanov Conspiracy
  • Sidney Sheldon's The Tides of Memory
  • Pirate Alley (Tommy Carmellini, #5)
  • Blood Money (Jack Swyteck #10)
  • The Kill List
  • The Highway (Cody Hoyt, #2)
  • We Had It So Good
  • Pale Horses (Jade de Jong, #4)
  • The Last Queen of England (Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mystery)
  • Vicious Circle
  • Our Holocaust
  • Night Moves (Doc Ford, #20)
  • Appetites: On the Search for True Nourishment
  • Your Next Breath
  • Deadline
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 about Jeffrey Archer...

Other Books in the Series

The Clifton Chronicles (5 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)
Kane and Abel (Kane and Abel, #1) Only Time Will Tell (The Clifton Chronicles, #1) Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less The Prodigal Daughter (Kane & Abel, #2) A Prisoner of Birth

Share This Book

“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.” 15 likes
“The sign of a great man is how you handle defeat. - Old Jack” 9 likes
More quotes…