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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Ardent Justice is a romantic financial thriller novel written by Peter Taylor-Gooby. Rex Webster was like all of them, all those captains of industry who used crooked accounting and money laundering to hide away assets and deprive the country of the tax funds needed to keep things going. Ade stewed silently as she watched him look dismissively at the work she had prepared and then blandly deny that her accounting was accurate. Ade knew her assessments were right on target, absolutely correct; she had excelled at her coursework in school and in her mentorship under Morwen Archer, when she first started her job with the Revenue. Morwen had devised something she referred to as the Model; she had seen past the value of assessing each company as a separate entity and was able to actually follow the flow of assets as they made their way through a maze of smaller entities and offshore holding companies, before finally arriving right back where they started. Webster was blatant in his disregard of the laws and of her, and his offer of a substantial bribe was offensive. Ade left the building feeling more disheartened and frustrated than ever before. Morwen’s brilliance at detecting tax fraud had led to her imprisonment on false charges, and this offer of hush money only served to heighten the feelings of impotence and rage that Ade was already experiencing.
Peter Taylor-Gooby’s romantic financial thriller novel, Ardent Justice, is a thought-provoking and often disturbing look at corruption in high places and the casual attitude some in government have on tax cheating and its impact on social services. Ade’s story, as a dedicated, brilliant and somewhat geeky financial analyst who believes in the system, is probably truer to life than most would imagine as some in government do consider the “wealth-makers” to somehow be outside of the realm of regulations, to have a built-in immunity as it were. Taylor-Gooby’s story shows the other side of the equation -- the homeless people social worker Paul Conroy has devoted his life to helping survive, people Ade comes to know as individuals and to care about. Ardent Justice is well-written; the characters are real and compelling; and the frustration Ade feels is eloquently and powerfully expressed. Taylor-Gooby makes the connection between tax cheating and the ability of the state to serve its people very clear indeed. Ardent Justice is most highly recommended.