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Author: James V. O'Connor

Publisher: Post Mortem Press

ISBN: 978-0615516523

Another Man's Treasure is a well thought out, carefully written and continually entertaining book. Although it does not stake any claim to being a mystery novel, the suspense is nonetheless sustained throughout the entire book. The author is ambitious enough to conduct his narrative over three different albeit related series of happenings. Ted McCormick had no major problems with his wife, Mary. Only a certain tension stemming from the fact that he had to retool himself into a menial worker after a big failure in his career as a financial broker while his wife piled successes upon successes as a bank administrator. That slight disaccord sufficed to make Ted sensitive to the charms of Janet. It was in the closet Janet hired him to "organize" that he "warmed from an undeniable sexual tension" (page 1) which, nevertheless, did not have enough potency yet to induce him to cheat on his wife. The third part of the plot involves a house, old, dilapidated, mysterious, neglected but structurally grand. We soon learn that that was the house its owner, Mr. Smith was about to ask Ted to clean up, throw out all its furniture with all its paraphernalia, but not without first looking for hidden treasures. In less than two pages, the author presents with a certain elegance and conciseness the main actors with their characteristics firmly planted in the parameters of the drama about to be played out. From there on, the author cleverly led us to wonder whether Ted will remain faithful to his wife, or will he finally succumb to Janet's magnetism, to wander through torture chamber, haunted attic, trap doors, black hole, and to sift through tons of material in search of clues leading to ever elusive treasures.

I feel that the title of the book should have been Hidden Treasures and not Another Man's Treasure for two reasons. One: after they have deciphered the clue to the supposedly hidden treasures, it came out that they were not Another man's treasures but Everybody's treasures. Mr. Smith eccentric father who was a real estate developer did leave the clues among the junks and trash clustering the impressive house he bequeathed to his son. But for the treasures, --in the form of gold coins-- he buried them in closets of a number of houses he built and put up for sale accompanied by a sibylline slogan: "Invest in a Ben Smith home. There is real money in real estate." (p. 260)

The second reason for giving this novel the title Hidden treasures is Janet who represents a very carefully and thoroughly studied character. It is so to speak a labor of love that the author puts in the portraying of this character. Right away, Janet hits us with her charm; she has a pleasant personality, a radiant but reserved beauty; she emanates an irresistible attraction . She is bright, clever, resourceful, always ready to be of help...and Ted did need it on several occasions! In fact, the author shows her with such subtlety that at some moment, particularly at the only violent death in the book, one caught oneself suspecting Janet somehow closely involved in it. So when Ted decided to commit himself to make Janet the definitive target of his search for a lasting love, doesn't Janet qualify to be a "hidden treasure" too?

The only objection I have for this book is the fact that the author made Janet the a daughter of Mr. Smith. I feel that this detail is unnecessary; it does not bring anything special to the plot. On the contrary, it cheapens it.

Finally, I very much like the author's deliberate option of making his chapters short. I have not counted, but am pretty sure that no one chapter exceeds 8 pages. Never mind that there are eighty six of them!

Click Here To Purchase Another Man's Treasure