Friday, March 23, 2007

Mystery Book Review: Final Paradox by Mary E. Martin

Mysterious ReviewsMysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, has written our review of Final Paradox by Mary E. Martin. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.Final Paradox by Mary E. Martin

Final Paradox by Mary E. Martin
An Osgoode Trilogy Mystery

iUniverse (Trade Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0-595-40760-9 (0595407609)
ISBN-13: 978-0-595-40760-6 (9780595407606)
Publication Date: November 2006
List Price: $17.95

Synopsis (from the publisher): Harry Jenkins, an honest lawyer, seeks truth and love in a world darkened by fraud and deceit. Years back, Elixicorp, a company developing a drug to forestall memory loss, defrauded millions from Toronto’s elite. But since then, no one has been able to find the money. This long buried treasure has poisoned the lives of all who seek it.

His elderly client, Norma Dinnick, teeters between lucidity and madness in her dark world of paradoxical claims. When she instructs Harry to sue the other claimants for the Elixicorp shares, one of the litigants is fatally shot in open court at Osgoode Hall. The murder weapon is an ornate, silver pistol, which is both a means of betrayal and a gift of love. Peter Saunderson, an old acquaintance of Harry’s from law school, surfaces to frame his own wife and lover with the courtroom murder and to implicate Harry in the scheme.

Harry and his father have been estranged for years. Stanley is found unconscious at the foot of his cellar steps, a gun in his hand. Waking from his coma, he asks Harry’s forgiveness for a long-buried wrong. This ugly .38 calibre gun becomes the means whereby love and forgiveness is found.

Beset with questions, Harry turns to the beautiful Natasha who guides him to the answers and an understanding of the final paradox.

Review: Mary E. Martin weaves an intricate tale of intrigue and betrayal in Final Paradox, the second entry of the Osgoode Trilogy.

One doesn't so much read Final Paradox as be drawn into it. There are only six or so principal characters, the central, but in many ways least interesting, being Toronto attorney Harry Jenkins. The interlocking relationships between them are only revealed as necessary to further the plot. Martin is effective in keeping extraneous information to a minimum, focusing instead on how a missing stock certificate has influenced and continues to affect the lives of these people.

The certificate, and its whereabouts, is central to the story. At some point in the past, a group of con men made off with millions of dollars of money intended to fund a new drug company, Elixicorp. And then the money, and the shares in the company, disappeared. The man entrusted with both, Arthur Dinnick, died soon after the swindle and his widow, Norma, now elderly and in both poor physical and mental health, seems unable or unwilling to help locate the missing fortune.

The story moves along briskly, with Norma filling in historical details while reminiscing about, or probably more accuractely, retreating to, the past. The most serious plot hole is the "why now?" question. Why, after all these years, is retrieving the shares so important? Why didn't Dinnick's associates take action soon after his death, when presumably they would have been easier to locate? A credible answer can be inferred by the reader, but is never actually presented as fact by the author. And that the book ends without resolving some other plot points doesn't come as a disappointment, for the enjoyment here is in the journey.

Special thanks to Author Marketing Experts for providing a copy of Final Paradox for this review.

Review Copyright © 2007 Hidden Staircase Mystery Books

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1 comment:

  1. Just stopped by to say you have a nice blog and I enjoyed reading the reviews.

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Lance Wright owns and manages Omnimystery, a Family of Mystery Websites, which had its origin as Hidden Staircase Mystery Books in 1986. As the scope of the business expanded, first into book reviews — Mysterious Reviews — and later into information for and reviews of mystery and suspense television and film, all sites were consolidated under the Omnimystery brand in 2006.

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