Review by: Gina of BOOKAHOLICS REVIEW
An excellent read, in no way a light read – by far!
Harry Jenkins believes his client, Norma Dinnick, an eight-seven-year-old widow, is balancing on a very thin line between reality and insanity. Norma calls Harry with the intention of rewriting her will, and is convinced that Archie Brinks, the executor of her estate, is trying to poison her by substituting her arthritis medication. He wants her money and the share that her deceased husband had hidden years before. She’s determined to change her will, naming her goddaughter, Bronwyn (a friend’s daughter), sole beneficiary and Harry as her executor. She firmly believes that George Pappas, Peter Saunderson (Bronwyn’s gay husband), Archie Brinks and others are after the Elixicorp share she believes is rightfully hers.
But the share isn’t – nor does it belong to any of them, for years ago, fraud and deceit were commited against high-class Torontonians, having them believe that Elixicorp was developing medication to prevent memory loss. Millions were invested, and without that share, the money is out of reach for all. Before his death, Arthur had hidden the money. After being threatened by Robert Hawke and George Pappas, he commited suicide rather than face a horrific, torturous death by their hands, and left specific instructions for Norma. But Norma’s mind is no longer what it used to be, as she ’sees’ and ‘talks’ with her husband and David, her lover, and believes there are bad tenants residing above her when, in fact, the apartment above her own is completely empty.
And now Harry’s stuck in the middle, while more and more, the men who are supposed to be finding the hidden share are turning up murdered. Meanwhile, Harry’s love-life is at a crawl. Divorced from his wife, Harry has fallen in love with Natasha. One minute, she is warm and inviting, and the next, she’s cool and withdrawan. And Harry doesn’t understand why. Again, another great mystery. Ms. Martin knows how to create a complex plot(s). While I did find that there were too many characters and sometimes hard to keep track of them, each one plays a particular role, and all working for George Pappas, all after the same thing; the missing Elixicorp share. So complex a story, let this be a word of caution: while an excellent tale, this novel is by no means a light read. This is not a book you can pick up and finish in a few short hours, even if it is only a 268-page Trade Paperback. It needs and deserves your complete attention. Way to go, Ms. Martin! Can’t wait to start A Trial of One, Book #3!
Review by: Blogcritics.org
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, but the the central one, Toronto attorney Harry Jenkins, is in many ways the least interesting. The interlocking relationships between the characters 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 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 accurately, 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 the shares 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.