A Trial of One
Review: Mary E. Martin brings her Osgoode Trilogy to a close with A Trial of One, an international thriller that provides closure to the many storylines introduced in this series.
It isn't strictly necessary to read the previous volumes in this series to appreciate this one, though it may help; sufficient background information is given here so that new readers aren't completely lost as they get started. Toronto attorney Harry Jenkins is finally given the clues needed to locate the money taken years earlier in a con that went wrong. He has a new adversary, however, in Dr. Robert Hawke, a geriatric researcher who believes he has a claim on the money that would be used to further his study into Alzheimer's. When Harry realizes that Hawke will stop at nothing to obtain the funds, he knows he must move the money from one hidden location to another to protect not only his client, but also to save his life.
A Trial of One may be the best of the series. It is exceptionally well written; Martin has a flair for dialog and settings, and her narrative keeps the plot moving forward. The title, often referred to by Hawke in a menacing manner, is more appropriately applied to Harry himself. In both personal and professional ways, he's conflicted. His actions and decisions dictate which direction his life will take. He is, in effect, on trial, if only in his own mind. A measure of how well this character is developed is that one is never quite sure what he will do.
As with the previous book, the basic question of "why now" remains unresolved at the end of this series. Harry's client, Norma Dinnick, obviously knew where the money was and how to retrieve it. Why did she wait all these years to instruct Harry to get it? Was she trying to outlive anyone who might lay claim to it? Was she afraid if she did get it, she wouldn't live to enjoy it? The answers to these questions aren't critical to enjoying the book, but they might have helped explain some of the motivation behind the search.
In an interview with Mary E. Martin, she mentions she is considering another trilogy with Harry Jenkins. It would be most appropriate: this intriguing character deserves another case.
Acknowledgment: Mary E. Martin provided an ARC of A Trial of One for this review.
Review Copyright © 2007 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
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iUniverse (Trade Paperback), November 2006
ISBN-13: 9780595407606; ISBN-10: 0595407609
Location(s) referenced in A Trial of One: Toronto, Ontario, London, Venice
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A Trial of One by Mary E. Martin — The Osgoode Trilogy
Publication Date: September 2007
List Price: $32.95