There are few authors so renowned for writing big blockbuster family sagas as Jeffrey Archer and for the past few days I have been engrossed in the second instalment of his Clifton Chronicles, The Sins of the Father.
Initially it took me a few chapters to reacquaint myself with the lead characters in this story, Harry Clifton the lead character begins this book charged with a murder committed by another man whose identity he has assumed. He has left England and his love Emma Barrington, a woman who could well be his half sister and whom he has fathered a child with that he is unaware of.
When you write it like this it it sounds like a story from Jeremy Kyle, truly there seems to be very little concern in the book about the potential inscestual issues this brings up for the poor child. If however you can put this aside the bones of this book are truly outstanding.
It is an amazing tale, told in turn from the perspective of many of the main characters and covering the period through the Second World War. Set equally across America and England we follow Harry as he serves a prison sentence as Tom Bradshaw and begins writing a prison diary (reflection on real life there Mr Archer?), we follow Emma as she seeks to establish whether her love did actually die aboard the Kansas Star ship and her brother Giles as he heads off to war.
The reading of this book flew past, I felt I had barely begun and it was over, the short and snappy chapters along with the switching of narrators is highly engaging and a wonderfully enjoyable writing style. With two books still to read in the series and with a clear cliffhanger to spur us into the next instalment we are promised much more intrigue and exploration of the world of Harry Clifton. I personally am looking forward to instalment number 3 and sharing more of the saga Archer has to unfold.