But, Norma lives in a world filled with darkness, visions of the dead, hearing the voice of her late husband, and slips in and out of reality. Norma owns stock in a corporation called Elixcorp. The company was said to create a drug that would stall memory loss.
He wants them. Reliving many incidents she recounts a night at the King Edward Hotel to raise money for Elixicorp Enterprises. Pappas courted five hundred of Toronto’s rich and elite that evening hoping to finance his company. When George took the podium and spoke the audience was mesmerized. Wouldn’t everyone want to have his or her memory in tack? What if your lost thoughts could be brought back and returned to you? Promising just that with Elixicorp’s product and he hoped that those present would by shares in his company. Hearing George talk to her late husband about the amount raised brought her back to his study and what she said would definitely change everything. Did she really see George or was she totally delusional?
Returning to his office Harry encounters Ms. Giveny his secretary and their discussion leaves him concerned about the young man he just hired. Rummaging through Harry’s files looking for a copy of the Dinnick will, he claims to want to use it as a model for the one he is writing. Added to the mix is the information he relates regarding George Pappas and his uncle tying in the connection between his firm and Elixcorp. When we finally meet Peter Saunderson we learn about his relationship with Pappas, his deceit concerning his wife and his disregard for the law. When Bronwyn his wife is out shopping with a gossipy friend what happens is totally sobering and mortifying.
Norma is not as delusional as you might think as Bronwyn comes up with a plan to destroy Peter and get rid of Archie and Archie is trying to outwit Norma. But, Norma might be a little confused at times but when Archie tries to ply her will pills and get the whereabouts of the Elixicorp Shares what she does is priceless. Bronwyn is smart and she knows about her husband’s boy toy. She also knows about his expenditures so blackmailing him into submission is no problem and getting a great divorce settlement really not difficult but what she asks next will eliminate Archie and allow her to get Norma’s entire inheritance. Enter Ross Brackley and Brian Frost also looking for the shares and questioning Harry about the Parrish estate. Revisiting the paperwork and reviewing it allows him to learn more than he expected. Having Bronwyn’s nephew working for him he questions what he does, learns about a photocopy of the Elixicorp share, and that they are worth millions. Jeremy claims that the shares were never publically traded and of course when questioned by Harry as to whether Archie or his aunt have read the revised will you can guess his answer.
While Bronwyn hopes to eliminate Archie, Norma finds her way to Harry’s house and relates why she thinks Archie is trying to poison her. Harry calls an ambulance and Norma is admitted for different illnesses to the hospital but when she decides to file a lawsuit against Archie and George Pappas she is perfectly lucid. The author flashes back through Norma to her final days with Arthur and the reason behind his suicide, where the Elixicorp Shares are how much they are worth and what he hoped she would do with them. But, George Pappas is dangerous and although he supplies the hit man in a unique way to eliminate Brinks, he also manages to threaten the judge assigned Norma’s case, Harry in order to eliminate anyone that stands in his way. But, just who is really running the show and why are so many people willing to do his dirty work including Peter.
Added in is Harry’s father who is found unconscious in the cellar of his home, is in a coma and has yet to awaken. Plus, Natasha whom we met in Conduct in Question and who seems to be able to center Harry and be a guiding spirit helping him solve many issues and dealing with Norma. The judge is threatened, Harry is threatened and one man named Prince brazenly enters the court and pulls the trigger killing Brinks. Just how this will all play out still remains to be seen.
Norma is not as sharp as we would like her to be and she is constantly reverting to talking with Arthur and her lover, David and still thinks there are bad tenants living above her. Poor Harry is stuck in the center of this huge mess. Hoping to unite with Natasha he is threatened by one of Pappas’s henchman and has to put it off. But, her mood swings give him much pause for thoughts and although he hopes to have a real relationship with her the reader does not get that impression at this time. When Peter takes a special interest in his wife and seems to worry about her condition the reader begins to wonder what his real motive is and whether he will really protect her as the hit she ordered was executed.
The author takes us back to Norma as a younger woman meeting Arthur and her relationship with Bronwyn’s mother Heather and her friends. Remembering David, speaking to Arthur in her dreams she recalls for the reader how she first met George Pappas and her immediate attraction to him. Fast forward to Harry’s father who awakened from his coma and is behaving strangely as he asks his forgiveness, does not explain the gun he was found with when the police arrived and seems despondent. Next Harry visits Natasha whose behavior seems rather odd at times too. Warm one minute, aloof the next and on the phone with clients and business partners as Harry is trying to explain his feelings towards his father and his concern for Norma. This is one intricate plot with so many twists, turns and surprises that the reader is kept alert, on edge and intrigued from start to finish. Each page brings another startling event, revelation or action by one of the characters none expected. Author Mary Martin has created more than just a mystery here but what many think are situations that you are really not sure are real, some require answers that have yet to be given and even more another mystery that will hold your interest until you read the final book in the trilogy.
Norma next takes us through another meeting with David as the author flashes back to the past and then Norma in the present. Harry then visits his father in the hospital but the tension between them and the strain feels like a taut rope or rubber band about to pop. Then the truth about the gun comes to light and Harry had to search his soul and much more to find a way to understand his father and not center his thoughts on himself. But, the past keeps coming back into the present and Norma begins to get confused as the players are taking a harder line and threats are being made. Just who has the shares of Elixicorp and who did Pappas become the executor of the Brinks estate? When all of the pieces are finally put together you won’t believe the final outcome. Betrayals run high, Norma’s mind seems filled with people she imagines she sees, murders she claims she committed and a fraud that took many masterminds to create. Just who winds up alive and whom winds up put away for good? Who winds up dead and who will come out ahead? Where are those shares and who has them?
An ending that will tie up some lose ends but leave others wide opened. What finally happens to Harry that makes him realize that life is not about control but about living? Where does Norma fit in and is she really lucid or just plain mad? The ending you won’t see coming and the rest has yet to be revealed, as this is only the second of three in this outstanding trilogy. How does it all finally come together? Read Conduct in Question, Final Paradox and A Trial Of One to find out for yourself.
A paradox is a statement or several statements that lead to a contradiction or situation which if true defines logic or reason, similar to circular reasoning. All too often the words paradox and contradiction are used interchangeably. Just what is the final paradox? Only Mary E. Martin, Harry Jenkins and this reviewer know the answer to that question and you will too when you read this Five Paradox Book. Once again the author has penned a story so filled with excitement that I am going to start book three right now.