Norma Dinnick is sure that the named executor of her estate is trying to poison her, or else he’s in league with the upstairs tenants to drive her mad, all in a bid to ensure she doesn’t change her will. When she requests Harry Jenkins do something about both the will and the upstairs tenants, he discovers that Norma may be on brink between lucidity and madness – there are no upstairs tenants.
In a bid to forstall Archie (the executor), and protect his client’s safety, Harry follows her instructions and files claim against Archie and the others pursuing a claim on some valuable shares. Unfortunately the motion sets of a chain of events ending up with murder in open court and the reappearance of an acquaintance from Harry’s past. Now Harry must help sort out Norma’s tangeled memories if he hopes to track down the shares - and protect her life.
Final Paradox, the second volume in the Mary E. Martin’s Osgoode Trilogy, once again sees honest lawyer Harry Jenkins up against lawyers willing to twist the legal profession for their own gain. Like Conduct in Question, the book which introduced Harry, what sets Final Paradox apart from other legal thrillers is Harry’s personal struggles and development. Readers will enjoy Harry’s challenges in running his small law practices, intergenerational conflicts with his junior, his difficulties of dealing with an aging parent, and his burgeoning relationship with Natasha.
Unfortunately the central mystery in Final Paradox feels convoluted and contrived, while the villains are not nasty enough to fully engage reader in the action. Natasha is too enigmatic in this outing and readers may be left wondering why Harry doesn’t just walk away. While entertaining, Final Paradox is shadowed by the much stronger Conduct in Question. Hopefully the next in the series will provide a better showcase for Martin’s delightful Harry Jenkins.
Read the review at Front Street Reviews.
Publication Date: November 10, 2006
tags: books book reviews Mary E. Martin mystery Toronto Harry Jenkins