cover image Harold Robbins' The Deceivers

Harold Robbins' The Deceivers

Harold Robbins, . . Forge, $25.95 (335pp) ISBN 978-0-7653-1830-5

Podrug's less than gripping fifth posthumous collaboration with bestseller Robbins (after The Devil to Pay ) uses the recent tragic history of Cambodia as the backdrop for a torrid story of sex and antiquities theft. After falling into professional disgrace, New York City art expert Madison Dupre struggles to get by with a freelance business. Then one day a Thai restaurant deliveryman shows up at her door with a sandstone bas-relief that appears to be Khmer art from the Angkor Wat temple. Before Dupre can thoroughly evaluate the artwork, the man disappears, and her pursuit of him ends with her in police custody. The NYPD, which suspects her of trafficking in smuggled art, gives her the option to go undercover for them in Cambodia, an assignment that leads to dead bodies and sex encounters described in some detail. The horrors of the Khmer Rouge regime make an uncomfortable match for the narcissistic Dupre's escapades. (Sept.)