YA. This title's setting and plot should attract YAs. The protagonist is a former judge named Ellis Portal; he is also a convicted felon. Isolated from his children and friends, he resides in a shack in a wilderness preserve that runs through the middle of Toronto. One day he finds a hand in his vegetable garden; on it is a ring that the man knows is one of only five in existence. A former law school associate had the rings made for himself and four classmates. This discovery and subsequent investigations yield a reconnection with "normal life," romance, and extreme danger. Aubert has written a good first novel; her premises are plausible; the introduction of environmental issues, homelessness, human isolation, and personal scandal are current and well presented; and her plot is well paced.?Clodagh Lee, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Ellis Portal was a compassionate and hardworking Toronto judge before a nervous breakdown landed him in a mental ward, and a scuffle with a woman he loved in law school sent him to prison. Now Portal is homeless and living in a shack near Toronto's River Don. While tilling his garden, he finds a severed hand with a ring from a secret law-school partnership. To solve the mystery of the hand, Portal draws from his past as the son of Italian immigrants and seeks help from friends in both his judicial and homeless lives. The mystery's solution emerges from a thicket of modern medicine and social problems. Aubert's writing in her first mystery is crisp and brisk, and her plot is capably constructed, offering many surprising and satisfying human and natural twists. The people in her story are all well developed and sympathetic, but her most intriguing "character" is the wilderness along the Don, which miraculously thrives in one of the world's busiest cities. John Rowen --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.See all Product Description