Shelkgari

Harold King, Author Dutton Books $18.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-917657-09-2
King (The Hahnemann Sequela tries for a three-ring epic but doesn't quite succeed. His characters' Himalayan adventures are more grueling than thrilling, an ""inside'' look at international diamond-dealing is superficial and the three-generation family saga doesn't make psychological sense. Russian emigre diamond-cutter Yurev Romanovna helps headstrong Chicago heiress Abby Abbaye find a legendary necklace in India during the 1920s, but their British guide betrays them and leaves them for dead. They survive but are parted, not to meet again for almost 35 years. During a decade in a Chinese prison, their son Miller remains sane by recalling Abby's early adventures, and on his release in 1963, treks after the buried necklace himself. When he finds it, he falls into an autistic state that lasts 20 years. Miller's son Benjamin embarks on a third quest with Yurev's ``legitimate'' grandson Warren, this time for the parent stone of the necklace: Shelkagari, Mountain of Light, a diamond ``the size of a calf's head'' that hasn't been seen since 326 B.C. Some quasi-Buddhist mystic mutterings do not add clarity to a heavily contrived plot. When a character says, ``I don't understand what's happening,'' she's not alone. (August 4)
Reviewed on: 08/04/1987
Release date: 08/01/1987
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-1-55802-154-9
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