How Much Money Is Enough Thoughts From Conduct In Question The First In The Osgoode Trilogy

Ever had your moral convictions put to​ the​ test? Most of​ us think we​ know what we’d do in​ any given situation. But do we​ really? Maybe another unknown part of​ us surfaces and takes over—leaving us in​ a​ confusion of​ questions. But the​ deed is​ done and we​ cannot take it​ back.

This is​ the​ predicament,​ Harry Jenkins,​ protagonist/lawyer of​ the​ Osgoode Trilogy finds himself in,​ at​ the​ beginning of​ the​ first novel,​ Conduct in​ Question. Harry longs for freedom and love,​ but has been trapped under his senior partner's thumb and in​ a​ dead marriage for years. He's always been certain of​ his own moral convictions,​ but when his partner drops dead in​ the​ office,​ Harry is​ free to​ make his own mistakes.
He and his wife Laura often argue about money.

—a topic fraught with land mines. Her hardened face floated up in​ his mind.
"Law practice is​ more than just making money,​" Harry had insisted.
"Of course!" she said in​ wearily impatient tones. "But it​ certainly doesn't hurt to​ set the​ right value on​ your services."
"So I'm not making enough. is​ that it?"
"No. But if​ you didn't get so personally involved with your clients,​ maybe you'd do better."
Harry was astonished. "So I care too much about them? I care about what I'm doing?"… "Clients trust me! I've earned that. I can't turn around and fleece them."

Although not satisfied with life,​ Harry—

had learned his lessons well. He had kept his part of​ the​ bargain. But where was his reward? Flashy cars and grandiose houses were the​ supposed perks of​ his profession. His Ford was surrounded by Audis. Playing by the​ rules had not gotten him far. of​ course,​ he wasn't poor. Laura and he were comfortable. Yet,​ there was a​ yearning,​ a​ sense that the​ time for making real money was passing. But it​ wasn't just the​ money. a​ dull emptiness nagged at​ his spirit.

And so,​ he is​ ripe for the​ picking! Almost immediately,​ he is​ swept into a​ massive money-laundering scheme by the​ enigmatic Mr. Chin — land developer — thereby putting him in​ direct conflict with his oldest and wealthiest client,​ Marjorie Deighton. With Albert Chin's huge retainer check for work to​ be done,​ Harry senses something is​ amiss. When he deposits the​ check in​ the​ bank,​ the​ manager demands he make a​ payment on​ his deceased partner's very substantial and overdue bank loan. Otherwise,​ he will freeze the​ Chin money. in​ a​ dilemma,​ Harry is​ forced to​ use the​ Chin retainer to​ make a​ payment.

Harry was scrupulous about client funds,​ and would fret if​ the​ bookkeeper missed a​ penny. Snatching up his check book,​ he saw in​ his mind the​ bright and trusting faces of​ a​ hundred clients. He saw those faces turn gray in​ disbelief when he uncapped his pen.
Petty triumph gleamed in​ Mudhali's eyes.
Despite years of​ circumspection and care,​ Harry was driven by a​ new and reckless fury. Either he made a​ payment,​ or​ the​ bank would freeze his accounts. Mudhali had nailed him to​ the​ wall.

Like most of​ us,​ Harry is​ good at​ justifying his actions.

Albert Chin had said that money was no problem,​ and after all,​ there was lots of​ work in​ preparing those offers. He would search the​ titles to​ the​ properties,​ do the​ corporate searches,​ and prepare six offers and submit them. Surely that would add up to​ twenty-five grand. Besides,​ Chin would not have given him such a​ munificent retainer had he not expected a​ sizable bill. And Harry knew that he was not the​ only lawyer guilty of​ such an​ infraction.

What does Harry do? After all,​ he may be our hero,​ but he's a​ pretty human guy. Despite his instincts and better judgment,​ he turns a​ blind eye to​ obvious signs of​ danger and accepts Mr. Chin's gifts.

Harry withdrew two first-class tickets for flights and a​ voucher for a​ three-night stay in​ a​ luxury suite in​ Nassau. "The Atlantis Resort,​" he whispered. Shimmering blue waters danced before his mind's eye.
After a​ moment,​ he said,​ "This is​ more than kind of​ you,​ sir,​ but—"
Mr. Chin held up his hand. "Please. the​ conglomerate wishes to​ express its gratitude for your most timely service. we​ know you have made room for us in​ your busy schedule."
"But surely not. the​ retainer is​ very substantial,​ and…" He fingered the​ brochure,​ which featured a​ photograph of​ sunny beaches and gently lapping water.

And so,​ much of​ Conduct in​ Question is​ about Harry trying to​ extricate himself from the​ clutches of​ Mr. Chin. But Harry has lots of​ other problems to​ contend with when he comes face to​ face with the​ nature of​ evil in​ tracking down the​ Florist,​ a​ sadistic killer with an​ artistic flair who believes he is​ called to​ judge the​ worthiness of​ his victims. But that story is​ for another day!

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