18mm Blues

Gerald A. Browne, Author Warner Books $22.95 (372p) ISBN 978-0-446-51661-7
Although skeptical readers may demur when a murdered ama (Japanese pearl-diver) inhabits an American body at a couple of crucial moments, Browne ( Stone 588 ; 19 Purchase Street ) ultimately inspires a willing suspension of disbelief in yet another world-class look at the international jewel trade. Gem dealer Grady Bowman and artist Julia Elkins, after a divorce and a failed suicide attempt, respectively, are rebuilding their lives and falling in love. They trek to an international gem sale in Rangoon, where Grady acquires a huge, masterfully cut ruby. But in a murderous attack by unknown white men in a Bangkok water taxi, Grady loses the gems in the river. He and Julia are invited to the pearl farm and estate of cultured pearl magnate Kumura, where he, Julia and the gem-cutter son of the dead ama go after blue pearls in the Andaman Sea. They're threatened by Kumura's limited partner, a decadent Frenchman who's not what he pretends to be. Despite a dangerously cute love story and Kumura's unlikely use for blue pearls, Browne's tale succeeds, thanks to a violent, satisfying ending and his mastery of fascinating gem lore. Literary Guid and Doubleday Book Club alternate selections; ad/promo. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1993
Release date: 03/01/1993
Genre: Fiction
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-57815-040-3
Hardcover - 476 pages - 978-0-7927-1678-5
MP3 CD - 978-1-5226-9920-0
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