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Joe Sinclairs novel, The Torturous Scheme, has now been published  at a

cover price of 6.95.  For a short time orders, accompanied by 

payment in full, will be supplied at the special pre-publication offer price of 5.50 inclusive 

of postage and packing in the United Kingdom, or at 6.50 (or foreign currency equivalent)

inclusive of postage and packing outside the United Kingdom.  

Enquiries/orders should be addressed to

ASPEN,

18 Leamington House

23 Stonegrove

Edgware

Middlesex HA8 7TN

Phone: 020 8958 5462

Email: joseph.sinclair@btinternet.com

Orders should be accompanied by purchaser's name and full postal address.

Cheques or money orders in sterling should be made out to ASPEN.

Cheques or money orders in other currencies should be made out to J. Sinclair.

We regret that payment by credit card is not possible for price-discounted purchases.

 

The following review by Michael Mallows appeared 

in the Spring 2001 issue of New Learning

A tale in two cities, namely London and Paris, this, Joe Sinclairs first published work of fiction, draws well on his experience in the world of international trading. Textured by his post-war memories of personal and professional relationships, The Torturous Scheme is divided into four parts, each depicting a different stage of John Grahams journey through various boardrooms and bedrooms.

The 21 chapters explore Grahams wheeling and dealing as he moves, full of eagerness and excitement and aniseed, to and fro between Paris in 1946, and London many years later, full of alcohol, self-pity and white pills.

Happening on people and situations as they cross his path, he responds to the moment making the most of opportunities. Thus he is not really a prime mover. Indeed, in a flashback section at the very beginning of the book, Graham abnegates responsibility when he pleads, "The script was written for us and we had neither control over our actions nor responsibility for the consequences of our behaviour. How could I, a puppet, be expected to change the plot?"

This is coupled with an underlying lack of self-esteem, displaced though not dispelled by a self-justifying that smacks of an arrogant disregard for others.

His interest in most other people is sparked or maintained primarily to the extent that they might satisfy his appetites or gratify his whims. At the outset, however, he seems oblivious to this foible, and the reader can decide whether this merits complaint or compassion.

Although I didnt find the characters very appealing, I certainly wanted to take the next step of the journey; to know what happens as the story threads itself through times, places and relationships travelling inexorably towards a gripping climax.

Moving along at a good pace, the interweaving of balance sheets and bed-sheets kept me turning the pages and I enjoyed the book on a number of levels. One gets a real sense of how it was for the characters to meet with triumphs and disasters at a particularly interesting time in Western history post-war hardships, 50s optimism, changing mores, free love in the 60s (were paying now though!), the pill, the emancipation of ideas.

John Grahams convoluted journey is ultimately toward resignation rather than resolution. Does he meet an inevitable, fitting come-uppance, or does he carry on regardless? Will he be liberated? I wanted to find out, so will you!

Joe Sinclair invites us on a compelling journey following John Grahams quest for his own answers - or excuses. The Torturous Scheme is a kaleidoscope of love and war, lust and passion, politics and power struggles.  In short, a good read well written.

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