The Map Thief

Heather Terrell, Author . Ballantine $25 (251p) ISBN 978-0-345-49468-9

Attorney Terrell follows The Chrysalis with an uneven sequel that reprises art-sleuth heroine Mara Coyne and spans six centuries and five continents. Coyne, who specializes in recovering art “with a controversial past,” is hired by “legendary conservative kingmaker” Richard Tobias to find a rare Chinese map that has been stolen from an archeological dig. Dating from an expedition of Admiral Zheng He to circumnavigate the earth, it is the “first map in history to accurately show the entire world” and was smuggled into Europe after an isolationist emperor ordered all accounts of the expedition destroyed. The map found its way to Portugal, where explorer Vasco da Gama used it to “discover” a sea route to India. There are lots of people hoping to suppress the existence of such a map, and Mara and archeologist Ben Coleman play a potentially deadly game of cat-and-mouse against powerful and sinister forces as they try to locate it. The imaginative narrative shifts among Zheng's expedition, da Gama's historic voyage and Coyne's investigation, but unfortunately, Terrell slows the action with superfluous characters, awkward dialogue and languid prose. (July)

Reviewed on: 04/28/2008
Release date: 07/01/2008
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 324 pages - 978-0-345-49469-6
Open Ebook - 207 pages - 978-0-345-50724-2
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