This is a paradoxical tale about an honest lawyer. Harry Jenkins seeks truth and love in a world darkened by fraud and deceit. Millions of dollars are at the root of an ancient fraud, perpetrated over fifty years ago and followed by a clever and disastrous fraud upon a fraud. Such secret and illicit wealth has worked its poison through the years and ultimately results in the death of five people.
Harry is shocked by the apparent, sudden madness of his once lively and shrewd elderly client, Norma Dinnick. When he visits her, she demands that he remove non-existent tenants from her apartment building. She claims Archie Brinks, a business associate of her deceased husband, Arthur, is trying to drive her mad so she cannot change her will. Obviously, she is terrified of a man, George Pappas, who is demanding she return certain very valuable shares. Expected to draft a new will for her, Harry struggles for clarity.
In 1963, a large sum of money was raised for legitimate medical research to forestall memory loss. Norma insists George and Archie have hidden the shares, which represent the money raised. An old roommate from law school, Peter Saunderson, suddenly surfaces in Harry’s life to drag him into a scheme to find the shares for his underworld boss, George Pappas.
Harry becomes embroiled in Norma’s dark world of conflicting and paradoxical claims, as she drifts back and forth from lucidity to madness. In a moment of clarity, she instructs Harry to sue both George and Archie for the return of her rightful property. The litigation climaxes in the fatal shooting of Archie Brinks in a court room in Osgoode Hall. The murder weapon is an ornate, silver pistol, which is both a means of betrayal and a gift of love.
Drawn further into an invisible web of deceit, Harry tries to sort out the twists and turns of the fraud upon a fraud, until he is personally implicated in the framing of an innocent party.
Natasha, in whose thrall he revels, teaches him the final paradox of all. Harry and his father have been estranged for years. An ugly .38 calibre gun becomes the means whereby their love and forgiveness is found. Above all, Harry wants to secure Natasha’s love. Surely, he can convince her to live with him. Norma is a confusion of madness and lucidity: Natasha, a mystery of tantalizing immediacy and slight remoteness. He learns the futility of cramping life and love in his heart and that he gains by letting go. Despite appearances, there is no paradox at all. Madness and lucidity, truth and lies, love and hate are all contradictory parts of the whole of life.