Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Fate of Pryde, Second in Extraordinary Psychological Suspense Trilogy by Mary E. Martin!

"Good Evening Mr. Helmsworth. Mr. Pryde would very much like to be introduced to Mr. Wainwright."
I nodded enthusiastically and hunted Alex down...

(Jamie Helmsworth is Alexander Wainwright's associate and narrator of the stories)
"Alex?" I tugged on his sleeve. "Jonathan Pryde is here and wants to speak with you."
 Alex accompanied me to the foyer. Jonathan stepped forward flanked by Fizzy and another man."
Mr. Pryde," I began rather formally. "I'd like to introduce you to Mr. Alexander Wainwright.
Alex took Pryde's hand. "Thank you for coming this evening. I understand we have business to discuss.."
Pryde smiled warmly. "It's a very great honor sir. I have admired your work for many years particularly for its visionary quality...."
"May I ask you a question, Mr. Wainwright?"
"Of course..."
Painting Selected by BRH
"The River of Remembrance is your first painting in which the human figure is the focus. How on earth did you paint such numinous figures in such a dramatic landscape?"
At first, Alexander was at a loss for words. Jonathan had touched upon the problem that had bedeviled Alex for much of his career. Why can't I paint the human figure in my landscapes with the same light emanating from within? His painting on the next wall, The Hay Wagon, had stunned the art world with the sheer beauty of its light, which promised other worlds to behold. This light came from within the landscape itself--comprised of a broken-down hay wagon in front of a dilapidated barn, behind which an old horse limped about. Then, just last year, he began to paint ugly, misshapen creatures on a beautiful landscape. The trolls, he called them. Until The River of Remembrance, Alex had been unable to create the same glorious light emanating from the human figure and for this, he suffered greatly.
Alex had not replied. Pryde looked closely at him. "Forgive me if my question is impertinent, but I sense there's been a major change in the painter of those two works of art...

Alexander paused on the top step of the National Gallery. He loved the sweep below him of Trafalgar Square with the fountains and mermaid lit up and with Nelson's Column rising ever upward into the night sky. Although he had lived most of his life in London, the city remained forever magical to him. He breated in deeply and tried to remember every detail his eye perceived from the church portico of St. Martin's in the Field far to the left and Canada House to the right.
Beyond--underneath or behind--each detail pulsed a vibrant energy, which assured him he was a part of a wonderful creation. That lovely sense was so often lost in the din of daily life, but sometimes, when he least expected it, it was there filling him with sublime joy. When he saw the world this way he knew his muse was not far off...

The Fate of Pryde:
The Second in the Trilogy of Remembrance

By Mary E. Martin

It was a routine introduction of an artist with a possible patron that begins this novel, but what Martin presents to readers is so well hidden... Reading along of normal actions within the art world may seem boring for some, tedious to others...But what that means is that you are missing the sense of mystery, the touch of the mystic and even sometimes the paranormal that surrounds this amazing merge of a fight between good and evil that will not only keep you in suspense until nearly the end but will have readers totally on edge wondering--What in the world is going on...

While the first novel certainly introduces readers to the artists' world, the main characters and a sense of how the main character, Alex Wainwright, lives--somewhat in a cocoon of aloneness where he interacts with none, other than his muse--sometimes to the detriment of some of his personal relationships. The Fate of Pryde is much darker, devious. Think Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde, except that Jonathan Pride is fully aware of his actions, spending his life trying to accept and justify his two faces...

Throughout the novel, readers meet individuals who speak against Pride, mainly wondering where his money is coming from and, even more, how he's choosing to spend it.  He meets Alexander, however, in his own world--art, beauty, and his own contributions and quickly wins him as an interested participant in his next, desired project...

He wants to commission Alexander Wainwright to move into the creation of stained glass windows! Something about which he knows nothing and has never even thought of as a medium...
Alex was intrigued enough to consider the project, even to the extent of exploring how the craft was done and what materials he personally would need to use. I was intrigued, more, with why an award-winning artist would take a challenge to start anew in an entirely alien medium...

At about the same time period in the novel, Peter, Alex's friend, is involved with trying to adjust to his mother's loss of her husband and moving into a personal care facility. Alex, on the other hand, was invited to Pryde's home where he discovered that his home had also become somewhat of a personal care facility. Except that the individuals were all brilliant individuals who had been invited to Pryde's home...and wound up staying... They stayed years, still claiming they were free to leave at any time. Fortunately, Alex's own strength immediately put him on alert as he meets with other "guests" and recognizes their former fame in their professional fields...

Except readers discover that both of these facilities have a fourth which many are imprisoned.  A strange comparison between Peter's and Alex's responses may make readers sit up and take notice, especially if you have family members in this type of retirement home...

Alex accepts the commission for the windows and one by one he has visions of what he would create for the windows... One of the issues that readers will be taunted by is the whole matter of whether or not people have had visions... What role this has in questions which arise from the title of the novel is ever present as we read, but even at the end we are left wondering... Alex had had visions before, which normally led to something inspirational in his work... But was that the same for all the people who were now living in Pryde's home?

This second novel is so complex, you will need to be alert to any nuance, no matter how small an issue it might be...Clues are hung tantalizing, caught only if the reader has fully engaged and entered into the novel. If you don't you will miss a brilliantly plotted story menacingly dark--but in the midst of the natural light that comes from the main character, Wainwright, a man who seems almost like an anti-hero but shares his light through not only his artistic endeavors, but in his dignity, grace and personality.

Enter into this fantastic novel openly willing to allow it to possess you, to watch a world that contradicts anything you may believe is real...only to face our own reality at book's end...


MARY E. MARTIN graduated in Honours History at the University of Toronto and in law at Queens University, Kingston. She practised law for thirty years in Toronto. She and her husband live in Toronto and have three adult children, one grandson and one granddaughter.

Note: This author has a high presence across the Internet and provides pics of characters, etc...Do check to find her wherever you may visit! She's bound to be there sharing!

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