Burning Ghats

Paul Mann, Author Ballantine Books $23 (351p) ISBN 978-0-449-90770-2
With its epic narrative sweep, scenes of exotic sex and business machinations, Mann's third George Sansi story (after The Ganja Coast) is marked more by its features of foreign intrigue than by traditional mystery elements. The insidious perils of power tempt Bombay lawyer Sansi as he does fierce battle with big business after a chemical spill creates a flood of death on the Ganges. Appointed to lead the official investigation into the disaster, Sansi goes up against wily industrialist Madhuri Amlani, one of India's most successful businessmen, who has a good son and a bad son. On Sansi's side is his girlfriend, American journalist Annie Ginnaro, but Sansi's increasing involvement with prime minister Rupe Seshan, who appointed him to the investigation, threatens his relationship with Annie as well as his own moral stance. Mann delivers panoramic tours through Indian history and atmosphere, highlighted by sensually adept mistresses and intriguing insider lore on leveraged mergers and other corporate sleight-of-hand. All this makes for good reading, despite the distractions of characters who are introduced, developed and then abruptly dropped (these include Sansi's mother, a feminist professor, a trio of loutish American businessmen and a disfigured victim of the spill who haphazardly stalks Amlani). In this third Sansi story, Mann's deft Technicolor flourishes engage readers who may be disappointed by a somewhat fragmented plot. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/04/1996
Release date: 11/01/1996
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 336 pages - 978-0-8041-1550-6
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-517-32879-8
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