The Codicil

Tom Topor, Author
Tom Topor, Author Hyperion Books $21.45 (338p) ISBN 978-0-7868-6153-8
Reviewed on: 04/03/1995
Release date: 04/01/1995
MP3 CD - 978-1-4233-5824-4
Hardcover - 522 pages - 978-0-7838-1375-2
Mass Market Paperbound - 576 pages - 978-0-7868-8906-8
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-56100-262-7
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-56100-429-4
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-56100-637-3
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-56740-106-6
MP3 CD - 978-1-4233-5823-7
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Topor's pulse-quickening thriller has the earmarks of hot sales. The premise is a taut battle of wills--of the legal variety--as vividly drawn characters discover that public men often conceal private pasts. To the displeasure and disbelief of a deceased millionaire's widow and three kids, their late husband/father added a codicil to his will bequeathing half of his considerable estate to a child he fathered in Vietnam--if the youngster can be found alive. The estate attorneys hire Adam Bruno, a criminal lawyer turned detective, to locate Matthew Marshall's child, as the will dictates, hoping that he'll fumble the assignment. Marshall had spent his third and final visit to 'Nam vainly searching for Cricket, the Vietnamese girl with whom he had fallen in love. Bruno's visit to Marshall's upstate N.Y. cabin retreat provides leads to Marshall's Vietnam connections, and an additional boost comes in the form of anonymous mailings of old letters from an imprisoned Viet Minh officer that imply Cricket escaped to the U.S. with Matt's child. Bruno hires Nicole Maldonado, a beautiful Puerto Rican-Vietnamese interpreter, who gleans more insights from the letters than mere translations of the words. He also attempts to track down Matt's war buddies, but the plot thickens as veterans Bruno interviews turn up dead after his reports to the executors. Topor (Coda) builds excruciating tension in this page-turner, with rock solid plotting leading readers through a maze of shocking surprises few will see coming. (Apr.)
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