“Phineas Finn” — Finn is the only son of a successful Irish doctor, Dr Malachi Finn of Killaloe, County Clare, who sends him to London to become a lawyer. He proves to be a lackadaisical student, but being pleasant company and strikingly handsome to boot, he makes many influential friends. One of them, a politician, Barrington Erle, suggests that he stand for Parliament in the coming election. At first, the idea seems absurd. Finn is supported solely by a modest allowance from his father, but a stroke of luck clears his path and he wins his seat by a small margin. He makes the acquaintance of a charming, clever foreigner, Madame Max Goesler, the young and beautiful widow of a rich Jewish banker. More materially, he is appointed to a well-paid government position, in which he excels. It seems as if he is finally secure, but a visit to Ireland brings new upsets in his life and career.
“Phineas Redux” — His beloved wife having died during pregnancy, Phineas Finn finds Irish society and his modest government position in Ireland dull and unsatisfying after the excitement of his former career as a Member of Parliament. Back in England, the Liberals are determined to overturn the Conservative majority in Parliament. As Finn had been considered the most promising of the younger set, he is encouraged to stand for Parliament again. Returning to London, he renews his acquaintance with the wealthy widow Madame Max Goesler. In the political arena, Finn makes an enemy within his own party. Mr. Bonteen makes disparaging remarks about his political trustworthiness. The conflict spirals out of control when neither man will back down, and they become bitter foes. When Mr. Bonteen is murdered, Finn is one of the suspects and it becomes the sensation of all England.