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New or Used: 3 copies from $16.25
New or Used: 3 copies from $16.25
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The author of The Shoes of the Fisherman, Proteus and other bestsellers has written a curiously disappointing novel, one that has the ingredients of a riveting story of political and personal power but never develops its potential. In Charles Parnell Cassidy, West has created a marvelous character, a tough, unscrupulous Irishman who is a kingmaker in Australian politics. When he dies, his son-in-law, Martin Gregory, is charged with clearing up the leftovers of Cassidy's career, both public and private. As Gregory explores this labyrinth of deals and secrets, he learns how deeply Cassidy worked both sides of the law in building an empire, which Gregory, faced with a Faustian choice, must decide whether or not he wishes to inherit. For all the deadly secrets that are uncovered, however, this is a bloodless book, because West fails to raise it to the exciting intrigue-filled novel it might have been. (October 17)

Charles Parnell Cassidy is an Australian politician cast in the traditional Irish-Catholic mold of rhetoric, dynasty, and influence-peddling. Martin Gregory is the moral and disenchanted protege who married Cassidy's daughter, went to Europe, became a success on his own merits, and scorned his father-in-law. When the terminally ill Cassidy appears in London to die, he makes Gregory the executor of his legal estate and sets a complex trap by offering him the keys to a vast empire of wealth and corruption spanning Australia and Southeast Asia. With Cassidy's evil influence ever present, Gregory tries to unravel the complications of the old man's estate, obligations, and debts, while struggling with his own ambition and the security of his family. A powerful story from a master storyteller. Recommended. John North, L.R.C., Ryerson Polytechnical Inst., Toronto

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