Shadow Play

Katherine Sutcliffe, Author Avon Books $4.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-380-75941-5
Aside from heated love scenes and references to homosexuality, Sutcliffe's ( A Fire in the Heart ) baffling novel set in 1870s Brazil reads more like a dated adventure yarn for boys than like the historical romance it purports to be. Sarah St. James's father, governor of British Guiana, committed suicide when he lost his own--and investors'--money in a failed attempt to steal rubber-tree seeds from Rodolfo King, a plantation owner who tortures his workers and holds them as virtual prisoners. To carry out the seed scheme, Sarah engages Morgan Kane, a crude American adventurer, and Henry Sebastian Longfellow, a Putumayan pygmy raised as an English gentleman. Each man bears a personal grudge against the patraop. 289 . The odd threesome begin what seems an interminable trek through the Amazon jungle, where they battle snakes, fire ants, alligators and other hostile wildlife. They are swept over a waterfall and find members of their entourage decapitated. Eventually the team finds and corners King, who yells, ``I grow weary of these adolescent games.'' By then, the reader can only agree. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1991
Release date: 03/01/1991
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