21 January 2016

Review: ONLY TIME WILL TELL, Jeffrey Archer

  • published 2011 by Macmillan
  • ISBN 978-0-230-74822-4
  • 388 pages
  • source: a friend
  • #1 in the Clifton series
Synopsis ( Macmillan)

The epic tale of Harry Clifton's life begins in 1919, in the backstreets of Bristol. His father was a war hero, but it will be twenty-one tumultuous years before Harry discovers the truth about how his father really died and if, in fact, he even was his father.

Only Time Will Tell takes a cast of memorable characters from the ravages of the Great War to the outbreak of the Second World War, when Harry must decide whether to take his place at Oxford, or join the fight against Hitler's Germany.

In Jeffrey Archer's masterful hands, you will be taken on a journey that you won't want to end, even after you turn the last page of this unforgettable yarn, because you will be faced with a dilemma that neither you, nor Harry Clifton could ever have anticipated.

Only Time Will Tell is part of The Clifton Chronicles series, but can be enjoyed as a stand-alone novel.

My take

I read this because first of all a friend loaded four of the books onto me just before Christmas, and secondly, because I have read some Jeffrey Archer novels and short stories quite a long time ago and enjoyed them.

Crimes are committed and there is mystery but this book is on the very edge of the crime fiction genre (you will see from my labels that I have allowed myself to label it "not crime fiction"). To my mind it is more a historical saga focussing on the life of Harry Clifton.

Harry is always told his father was killed in the Great War, but he himself was born in 1920, so he knows that just can't be true. Harry has "the voice of an angel" and that becomes his passport into a choral scholarship and a good education. Harry is a quick, intelligent child, who endears many people to himself, and behind the scenes they contribute to the costs of keeping him at school. And then what really happened to his father has left many people feeling guilty and they also keep a watchful eye on his progress. Ironically Harry's life becomes inextricably linked to the lives of the family who have done him the most damage.

So here I am having enjoyed the first in the Clifton series and with the second ready at hand. The ending of the first has left me hooked to know what happens in the second.

My rating: 4.5

BOOK 1: Only Time Will Tell
BOOK 2: The Sins of the Father
BOOK 3: Best Kept Secret
BOOK 4: Be Careful What You Wish For
BOOK 5: Mightier Than The Sword
BOOK 6: Cometh The Hour

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