Eye for Gold

Sarah Andrews, Author
Sarah Andrews, Author Minotaur Books $24.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-312-25349-3
Reviewed on: 09/04/2000
Release date: 09/01/2000
Mass Market Paperbound - 384 pages - 978-0-312-97792-4
Ebook - 336 pages - 978-0-312-27607-2
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Following on the heels of the successful Bone Hunter (1999), this new mystery featuring forensic geologist Em Hansen is a disappointment, with too little plot and too much discourse on hard-rock mining. A scattershot beginning introduces an overabundance of characters. Then, instead of getting to the meat of the story, the author focuses on Hansen hemming and hawing about whether she should help FBI agent Tom Latimer on a case concerning Granville Resources, a gold-mining company, or hang out with her handsome Mormon boyfriend, Ray. This dithering seems pretty coy once she's fully involved in Tom's investigation. Hansen spends an awful lot of time crisscrossing deserts in planes and in her truck, looking into potential irregularities about permits, claims and other dealings between the suspect Granville Resources and the federal Bureau of Land Management. During most of this period, she's kept in the dark about the nature of the case, as is the reader. After 300 pages of random speculations and false starts, the plot finally begins to heat up, but at this point it's too late. Much of the information about the gold market, the history of mining and refining techniques is fascinating, but taken all together, it's oppressive and overwhelms the scrap of story line underneath. In a closing author's note, Andrews discusses some of the moral issues raised by mining and the depletion of our natural resources. Agent, Deborah Schneider. (Sept.)
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