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One of Our Own: A Gregor Demarkian Novel


One of Our Own: A Gregor Demarkian Novel

ONE OF OUR OWN marks the bittersweet end of the long-running Gregor Demarkian series due to the passing of Jane Haddam, the pseudonym for prolific author Orania Papazoglou. While she penned a number of romance novels under her own name and other aliases, Papazoglou achieved her greatest success with the Demarkian books. She wrote ONE OF OUR OWN in the final year of her life, knowing it would be her last.

Matthew and Gregory DeAndrea, Papazoglou’s sons, note in their touching Afterword that the book is their mother’s gift to her fans. For longtime readers of the series, ONE OF OUR OWN resolves some issues that were left hanging fire in FIGHTING CHANCE, while giving newcomers enough backstory to pick up on what has gone before. The first few pages introduce a character named Marta Warkowski, whose presence throughout the book is more off-stage than on, yet she serves as a catalyst for everything that happens.

"ONE OF OUR OWN ends satisfactorily but not neatly, making it more realistic. In its complexity, it is one of Haddam’s best books."

Warkowski, a long-term tenant in an apartment complex, may be a bit of a character but is on the side of the angels in her disputes with her building's supervisor and owner. When we meet her, she is jousting with some very real windmills; the next time we encounter her, she is in a comatose state. At the request of local law enforcement, Demarkian is drawn into the investigation but becomes more deeply involved when a corpse is found in her apartment. His own inquiries are dovetailing with those of his former agency, the FBI, who have an eye on Cary Alder, an enigmatic Philadelphia real estate magnate who owns the apartment in which Warkowski resides. It seems that Alder has business interests on several fronts that stray far beyond high-rises.

Demarkian’s involvement in these proceedings is reluctant at best, given that he and his wife, Bennis, have just begun fostering Javier through their church. Little is known about the seven-year-old boy, except that he apparently is able to communicate only in Spanish. This new addition to the family (as well as another) provides Demarkian with a bit of a respite from the intellectual rigors of the case with which he is involved. That is, until a surprising source reveals Javier’s origin, even as it appears that the mysteries of the attack on Warkowski and the presence of the body in her apartment are on the verge of being solved. Possibly.

ONE OF OUR OWN ends satisfactorily but not neatly, making it more realistic. In its complexity, it is one of Haddam’s best books. It slices into and out of contemporary issues without necessarily resolving any of them, yet provides interesting points of discussion without succumbing totally to political correctness. It is also a fitting conclusion for Haddam’s loyal readers, while providing a convenient place for those seeking out a new series to jump on before seeking out her backlist.

Oh, and one more thing about that Afterword. While Haddam did not write it, one cannot help but heed well the final sentence. No peeking, but be sure not to skip it.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on November 20, 2020

One of Our Own: A Gregor Demarkian Novel
by Jane Haddam

  • Publication Date: November 17, 2020
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books
  • ISBN-10: 1250770491
  • ISBN-13: 9781250770493