The fourth installment of the Clifton Chronicles, Be Careful What You Wish For, picks up right at the end of #3. It resolves the cliffhanger, which I had suspected all along. The continuing narrative takes the readers into the 1960s as the Cliftons and Barringers expand families and their shipping business.
Although wary of committing to the building of a luxury liner due to the increased efficiency and popularity of the airline business, the company does enter into contracts for the construction of one in Ireland. As one can imagine that process is fraught with delays and sabotage instigated by one Juan Pedro and Diego. Much of the novel deals with the machinations of stock trading that leads to the composition and recomposition of the Board of Directors.
In another parallel story, Jessica, Emma and Harry's adopted daughter is accepted to the Slade School of Art. She meets and falls in love with Clive Bingham. The two announce their engagement and both families are exceedingly happy. However, enter Lady Virginia Fenwick, a friend of Clive's mother, who manages to poison the occasion. Her revelation of Jessica's parentage brings on dire and tragic consequences.
To reveal much more of the plot would lead to major spoilers. As is typical of Archer, the novel ends with another cliffhanger. The Barrington ocean liner, Buckingham, is about to begin her maiden voyage when the party is infiltrated by IRA terrorists. As the bomb explodes, the novel ends. Archer's next book in the series will illuminate what actually happened.
The Clifton Chronicles is an addictive series that keeps the reader engrossed. Is it sometimes predictable? Yes. Is the action sometimes unrealistic? Yes. But the enjoyment is still there and I anxiously await the time when I can get back to the series.