The Find

The Find

Author: Marilyn Jax

The past often comes back and haunts you in the present. What is buried can unsurface and recreate the present in a different way than you planned. Two brothers separated by circumstances beyond their control- one horrific war, one Holocaust that we must never forget happened- lives lost due to hatred, torture and injustices inflicted on so many people. Two men whose worlds were obliterated with the flick of an ash and the fires that burned and incinerated so many, but would be bound forever by something that no one could ever destroy: Love and Trust for each other

Human remains were left after the Nazi’s burned and incinerated their victims. Human remains were found at the bottom of a dig site during an environmental clean-up project. What do these incidents have in common? They will be forever enmeshed and intertwined when you read my review of Marilyn Jax’s debut novel The Find.

Claire Caswell a fraud investigator in Florida and Gaston Lombard the State Attorney for Miami-Dade Florida have gone to the Cayman Islands to celebrate and bring in the New Year together. While exploring the island they uncover a cave filled with a hidden artifact that leads them into a deadly investigation into a 40 year old murder and a hunt for a killer that might still be at large.

At the root the investigation is the identification of the man that was murdered and learning his identity and the significance of the necklace and the coin hanging from it.

The necklace around the remains was of a Greek coin called a lepton dating back to ancient Greece and possibly finding its way to Israel. A copper coin of nominal value yet placed on an 18 carot gold chain. Dating back to 1935 and Palestine this coin will have a strong connection to the brothers and hopefully be instrumental in solving the murder.

Added to these findings the medical examiner reports the victim is a male murdered about 40 years ago. Add both written and phone threats to thwart Claire’s endeavors in solving this case that most of her colleagues feel is unsolvable and you have a mystery/thriller filled with suspense, intrigue, history and greed.

Greed shows its nasty hand in many other places in this novel. After having been reimbursed at two clean up sites this third site sends up a big red flag when Claire meets with Lawson and his consultant, in order to inspect the site where the remains were found. Seeing a gasoline can at the site and noting that at the first two the soil samples were contaminated and this third site had two sets that were not, she cleverly states to both men that she knows this site will prove to be different. But, they have other ideas in mind and will stop at nothing to get what they want.

Claire and Gaston bring back the artifact that they uncovered with some coins from the cave and ask a reputable dealer to appraise it. The statue dates back to the three stolen artifacts taken from a museum. The thieves stuffed the relics with raw and uncut emeralds. The eyes of the statue, as the one they brought back, were made of jade. But, when the statue was returned the dealer claimed it had a nominal value and the jade eyes were replaced. The emeralds were packed within the bottom of each of the three statues that were stolen hoping to never be discovered where hidden and make its way through customs. But, the best-laid plans are sometimes foiled, as you will learn.

With the help of retired Detective Penwright and the dying man, they uncover the letters written by the victim and the name and reason for the murder is revealed, but not solved. The murdered has yet to be named and all of the pieces of this intrigue puzzle need to be neatly placed within its frame before Claire and Gaston rest. But, what they uncover will surprise the reader, break their hearts and give you the true meaning of friendship, loyalty, deceit and greed in ways you never would have imagined.

Who can you trust if not an old friend? Who is behind the murder? Who is behind the threats to Claire’s life? Will they find the truth and will they be able to deal with the answers to their questions?

The story that unfolds and that is told by the author about the Holocaust, the reasons behind the murder and the well crafted way she leads the reader to understand the investigative process, enveloped the reviewer from the start to finish in this outstanding novel. After reading her second novel, The Road to Omalos and reviewing it, I had to see where it all began and how Claire and Gaston became a team. Characters are clearly defined. A plot that grabs the reader from page one and keeps you on edge until the very end, hoping for more. I can’t wait to read her third novel and learn more about Claire and Gaston.

This novel deserves five gold stars.

Fran Lewis: Reviewer and author of Memories are Precious and the Bertha Series of Children’s Books


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