The Sins of the Father By Jeffrey Archer

As a long time reader of Mr. Archer I was again thrilled with another of his books. This is a sequel to a previous novel but honestly, I had forgotten that. I should really have re-read the previous book but alas found myself constantly checking the family tree at the front of the story. This book is a standalone but makes way more sense if you’ve read the previous one. Just saying.

Our main hero, Harry and his character are not fully understood without reading the first book, I don’t believe. Another note is Mr. Archer has left the ending wide open for yet another chapter of the saga of the two families. No complaining from me – I have always adored his writing – from the time I read Kane and Abel on the tube between home and college in the late 80s. It is another example of delightful storytelling with great characters – both good and evil. What you really want in a book after all.

So back to The Sins of the Father! The Second World War has begun and Harry is about to stand trial in the United States for crimes he certainly has not committed. He is also being held under an assumed name. The reasons for this slowly unravel. Meanwhile the love of his life, Emma, who is back in England, is determined to find out if Harry is really dead. Reports that he drowned along with a fair amount of a ship’s complement have reached the family in England. Emma refuses to believe the news. Harry also doesn’t know he has fathered a son. Let the games begin! Emma goes about finding someone who knew Harry on the ship he was sailing on across the Atlantic to try to piece together what actually happened to him.

As you can imagine there are many different stories going on at once throughout the book and in this case includes maybe an illegitimate son who could inherit name and fortune including a successful company, a hardworking single mother who is the owner of real estate which may be worth a fortune at the end of the war as well as a best friend who is aimless after he believes his friend has died in the war. Generational sagas are so great when they are done well. This book even includes a lawyer in the States who pretty much can be bought for the right price to determine the outcome of a case. I think after Mr. Archer’s time inside he is a little enamoured with prisons but this doesn’t drag at all and you are only left feeling a little hopeless for Harry for a short amount of time. Kudos again to a strong female role – the author must have some lovely lady nearby as he usually includes one in his books. Can’t wait for the next installment.

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