Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Book Review: Be Careful What You Wish For

I once read a volume of Jeffrey Archer's short stories on a train journey to Leeds.  They were all right.  I have never read anything subsequently though, so when the people at StressFreePrint asked me to turn my gaze to his latest tome  Be Careful What You Wish For (The Clifton Chronicles), I thought why not.

To be honest it wouldn't normally be something I would pick up, but it's an easy read, and entertaining enough for a couple of hours.  The fourth volume in his series The Clifton Chronicles, this is a big, rip-roaring yarn which aspires to be an epic.  The Chronicles are a Twentieth Century saga centreing on two intertwined families as they make their way through a fast changing century.

Despite not having come across the Clifton Chronicles before, it wasn't hard to pick up the general gist of the story and the dynamics and history of the protagonists and their extended, and extensive, families.  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.  A gangster with the rather florid moniker Don Pedro Martinez is apparently involved, and his criminal and underhand dealings continue to influence proceedings throughout the 1960s-set novel.

With thwarted young love, the remains of class prejudice, business wheeling and dealing, secrets and lies, and twists and turns aplenty, there is no doubting Archer's storytelling credentials.  He spins quite a web, yet it all leaves me a bit cold I'm afraid.  I can see the appeal of books like this and Jilly Cooper and suchlike to many, but it's really not for me.  And the characterisation is clunky at best.  I don't doubt it's appeal though, and those bestseller lists show me to be in a minority.

What kind of books do you enjoy?

If you would like to win a £25 book token to spend on books of your choosing, just enter via the Rafflecopter below:

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This giveaway ends at midnight on Sunday 23rd November 2014.

169 comments :

  1. I enjoy a range from biographies, to craft books and fiction. My favourite genre is horror! I love hoor movies and horror books!

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  2. I enjoy a variety of books. Crime, fantasy & young adult are probably my top 3 genre.

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  3. I love chic Lit or Psychology books

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  4. i love reading most books! if it grips me then ill read it. if not ill just try another.

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  5. i love reading james patterson

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  6. Anything by virginia Andrews love her books

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  7. Mainly Crime mysteries such as Inspector Morse, Poirot - or humorous books such as PG Wodehouse
    (Spencer Broadley)

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  8. crime, murder anything like that

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  9. I read pretty much anything but I particularly enjoy fantasy

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  10. I like reading historical fiction and sci-fi.

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  11. I like crime books. Especially ones that REALLY grip you.

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  12. Chick lit, drama and thrillers :)

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  13. i enjoy ready real life stories

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  14. i like chick lits and thrillers.

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  15. Autobiographies, I find other peoples stories fascinating.

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  16. i read a bit of every thing but if i have to pick one its got to be a romance

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  17. I love mysteries especially historical ones

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  18. I am quite eclectic in my book tastes. I like Terry Pratchett, HG Wells, Dan Brown, JRR Tolkein to ame just a few of my favourite authors.

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  19. I love a wide range if fiction from romantic to action

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  20. I love fiction and biographies

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  21. I love the Sophie Kinsella books they are so funny.

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  22. From fantasy to non fiction, but I love a bit of Lord of the Rings every now and again

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  23. Mainly romantic or books set by the sea

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  24. I would read the phone book if I was stuck - but I do prefer a good Murder!

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  25. autobiographies are my favourites especially the ones not by celebrities

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  26. I like horror, thriller & crime books best.

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  27. Murder Mystery, Crime Thriller, Historical fiction.....and many more

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  28. Suzanne Williams1 November 2014 at 22:44

    I'll read anything!

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  29. I like most types honestly, but my favourite is crime thriller

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  30. Crime thrillers and a bit of chick lit if I need something light.

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  31. Crime Fiction
    Claire D

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  32. I don't get much time to read but my mum does, so if I win I will give this voucher to her.

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  33. Sci-fi, fantasy, romantic - quite a mix!

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  34. I will literally read anything but most enjoy chick-lit and crime.

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  35. Pam Francis Gregory7 November 2014 at 18:17

    Sci-fi books

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  36. Historical fiction x

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  37. I will read almost anything, i'm a real bookworm. Crime fiction and historical fiction are my favourite genres though.

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  38. I just to love Jeffery Archer books, but have started reading more sic-fi

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  39. Chick lit is my favourite, something light hearted with a bit of romance.

    @rachiegr

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  40. I like illustrated/graphic novels, fantasy novels, popular fiction, children's stuff - a real mix basically.

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  41. I love Cathy Glass books!

    Ashleigh

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  42. I love books with a sense of humour.

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  43. Love a good thriller. Jonas Saul is my favourite at the moment (Rafflecopter - Su tyler)

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  44. I like more than one genre of books, but my favourite genre is probably fantasy.. (Laura Jeffs)

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  45. Terry Pratchett is my favourite author but I like a wide range of authors and genres

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  46. It has to be a good crime novel for me!

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  47. I enjoy horror's especially Stephen King

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  48. I enjoy reading loads of different types of books from Anne Rice horror to the classics. I'm currently reading Anna Karenina

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  49. I like Historical Fiction/Romance - thank you for the giveaway :)

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  50. I love any Cathy Glass books!

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  51. I'm quite eclectic, people find it scary looking through my bookcases, there's Disney stories next to books on serial killers, comedy next to heart-breaking autobiographies, if it takes my fancy, I read it!

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  52. historical fiction

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  53. I like to read any kind of books but my favourites are crime and thrillers :) xx

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  54. I read anything as long as the first page grips my attention then i will read it

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  55. a bit of everything really!!

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  56. I read all kinds, but especially love vampire stories and Stephen King novels.

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  57. i love mysteries and thrillers as well as comedy and have just got into historical fiction which was amazing

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  58. Currently reading all of Dorothy L Sayers' Wimsey books

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  59. As a foster carer I like Cathy Glass books because I can relate to her stories.

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  60. I generally read crime, horror and thrillers!

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  61. i like true stories with happy endings

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  62. I enjoy reading pretty much anything... crime, romance, thrillers

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  63. I like crime and thrillers :)

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  64. i love a good crime or something humorous

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  65. I like a bit of everything really, but I do enjoy psychology books & books about health & fitness in particular.

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  66. I mostly read Chick lit, but sometimes read other kinds of books for a change.

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  67. I enjoy a variety and in the last few weeks have read- The Miniaturist, 3 books by Alexander McCall Smith, Revival by Stephen King, The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith, Gone Girl, and Moriatry

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  68. I like a massive variety of books and since I don't yet own a kindle I have 4 tall bookshelves (6 shelves each) bursting at the seams! I like to keep them to read again!

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  69. I love Minette Walters books, crime thrillers and even harry potter books

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  70. i love reading most books! - leanne w

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  71. Tobys proud mummy18 November 2014 at 22:27

    I love crime fiction and also the authors tony parsons paulo coehlo and vikram seth are some of my faves too

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  72. I love romantic and thrillers

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  73. At the moment I'm into crimes/thrillers. I also love reading autobiographies

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  74. I love to read crime thrillers.

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  75. Funny, romantic stories that I can get lost in for a while!

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  76. Fantasy and paranormal/urban fiction - my favourite author is Steven Erikson ;o)

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  77. Forgot to say in my previous comment - Rafflecopter entries are in my real name NIKKI HAYES ;o)

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  78. Crime, chick lit, all sorts really.

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  79. I love most types of books but especially SF, Fantasy, historical novels and literary fiction.

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  80. I like fiction, along the lines of Robert Rankin, or a good thriller

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  81. I love historical fantasy and sci fi books. There is a particularly good series about roman emperors by Allan Massie that I would definitely recommend.

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  82. I like thriller/crime and romantic comedy books. Not so keen on science fiction

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  83. Thrillers, Jodi Picoult, Cookbooks

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  84. Biographies....but not soap stars or boy/girl band members

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  85. I like reading history books and thrillers

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  86. a good biography

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  87. Fantasies, romance, comedies, thrillers, most of them really!

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  88. Historical novels, particularly Phillipa Gregory

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  89. I enjoy a lot of thrillers but read almost anything.

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  90. I'm quite eclectic; everything from thrillers to romance

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  91. I love reading thrillers

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  92. Fantasy, historical fiction, sci-fi - I love the lot, in fact as long as a book is well written I'm interested

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  93. I enjoy reading classics especially anything by Wilkie Collins or Charles Dickens.

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  94. Easy reading like Josephine Cox

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  95. Crime/ detective. Stuart MacBride is my favourite author.

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  96. Would so love to win this book worm's prize !!

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  97. I like chic lit, biographies and horror.
    Victoria B

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  98. Sci fi, comedies, crime thrillers I like the lot!

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  99. i love reading and like all sorts of genres my favourite author is Lesley Pearce

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  100. Chick Lit and love love love Jodi Picoult books

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  101. I love modern day fairy tales and books about folklore.

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  102. I like fantasy, historical, chic lit - anything that's well written except horror, which gives me nightmares.

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  103. I love reading all types of books - and luckily my love of reading has passed to my youngest too

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  104. I love a good psychological thriller, something with lots of twists and turns, leave me guessing and sends shivers up my spine.

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  105. autobiographies, crime fiction and foodie books

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  106. I love biographies, chicklit and series of books based in villages.

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  107. Fantasy - to escape from the boring mundane that is my life :D

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  108. Mainly crime thrillers

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  109. I love all books, I read a lot of detective/investigator books but also some chick flick :)

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  110. Love a good mystery or a bit of chicklit.

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  111. Thrillers and a good chick lit!!!

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  112. Enjoy most genres apart from horror. My favourite for an easy, relaxing read would have to be romantic comedy

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  113. Crime thrillers and horror are my favourites

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  114. I love anything by Stephen King. He's just getting better and better.

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  115. Gaelic

    G. Williamson

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  116. Charmian Filewood23 November 2014 at 17:08

    Stephen King, although I do prefer his older ones :D

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  117. I like an easy read books set during and between the wars both fiction and non fiction.

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  118. it's probably easier to say what I don't like. Chicklit and romance just aren't for me, but everything else I love.

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  119. Biographies/autobiographies and crime thrillers are my favourite.

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  120. Fiction and non-fiction, particularly thrillers and drama genres.

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  121. A bit of everything really, I love Cecelia Ahern.

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  122. I will read anything, love crime though, this really is my idea of a prize

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  123. I love reading so I will give most things a go :)

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  124. I don't actually enjoy anything too chirpy, I detest crime fiction and I don't like anything too set in an era the writer might not have lived through themselves. I need credibility, to write fiction it has to make sense. It has to be believable.
    I like punchy comedic writing, something with pace and edge of your seat twists. I also enjoy biographies, the occasional Jackie Collins for sheer indulgence and of course the classics.

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  125. I like Val McDermitt type books and Dickens, James Joyce etc. Loads of different types, when I was younger I would only read non-fiction!

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  126. I read just about everything and anything. The only thing I don't really like are Westerns. Just got into war-time novels and finding I love them, so getting through quite a lot of them. Don't read reviews as everyone won't like the same. I do have a favourite author though and only didn't like one of his books (well "didn't like" is a bit strong, it just wasn't as good as his others) and my favourite book by Chris Carter has to be The Night Stalker. :)

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