Mumbo Jumbo

Kathryn Lasky Knight, Author Summit Books $17.45 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-68448-8
This third book featuring Cambridge, Mass., children's book illustrator Calista Jacobs ( Mortal Words ) is a disappointment. With ambivalent feelings, Calista joins her son, Charley, and her lover, archeologist Archie Baldwin, in Arizona, near the site where her husband died of a rattlesnake bite. Part of Archie's dig is on land owned by a New Age cult based near the town of Red Forks and headed by Pahata Ra, who claims to be the reincarnation of a 65,000-year-old woman from the Russian steppes. The dig has been interrupted, however, by an all-out search for Tonk Cullen, mayor of Red Forks, and Claudie Perkins, who owns most of the water rights to the area. When Calista recognizes Pahata as her old college roommate, she suspects foul play, a fear magnified when Charley is abducted by helicopter and dumped in the desert. Calista must face her former roommate, with whom she never got along, and brave the treacherous Arizona environment to rescue Charley and Tonk and to find out what happened to Claudie. By taking Calista out of her element and thus forgoing the exquisite observations on art that made the former books so interesting, Knight is left with nothing but an outlandish plot. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1991
Release date: 07/01/1991
Mass Market Paperbound - 216 pages - 978-0-671-68447-1
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