At close to thirteen hours of listening, Only Tine Will Tell is read by Roger Allam and Emilia Fox. The reading did not distract from the disjointed story, so with that faint praise, it was fine. Emilia Fox is relegated to the point-of-view and voice of one or two female characters, however Roger Allam is the primary narrator. Being that Jeffrey Archer is British, as is the prose, the reading is with a British accent.

Having listened audiobooks and read many paperbacks Jeffery Archer has authored, i.e., Kane & Abel, Sons of Fortune, The Sins of the Father, Shall We Tell the President, etc., too many to list, my opinion is that this story is far from his best. Scenes are repeated several times from the unique perspectives of the players. You’ll listen to the same scene from multiple angles, and rather than this moving the story forward you’ll be tempted to fast-forward…often. This, in my opinion, is a cheap shot on the part of the author. Why? Just to burn up word count, maybe? The approach adds little, if anything, to the story arc. It’s almost as if Archer created drafts of the same scene from the view of each character and decided to simply include them all. Jarring.

As point of view changes regularly, the plot inches forward. The story opens with a promiscuous one-night-stand liaison in the early 1900s. The young lady in question is about to be married and, I guess, wants an experience. This results in a boy-child with unknown heritage and thus is the thrust of Only Tim Will Tell.

The story, as expected in that the subtitle is a clear cue to subsequent volumes, ends with a buy-the-next-book cliff hanger. The repetitive point-of-view-head-hopping style of this story is sufficient for this reader to take a pass. Given the reviews and ratings, this reader is in a minority being disappointed. Ergo, if you are a die-hard Jeffrey Archer fan, you may have an entirely different take.




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