cover image A Fistful of Diamonds: A Gemstone Thriller

A Fistful of Diamonds: A Gemstone Thriller

John B. Robinson. McBooks, $21.95 (196pp) ISBN 978-1-59013-163-3

New York diamond expert Lonny Cushman returns to Africa for more adventure in Robinson’s middling second gemstone thriller (after The Sapphire Sea ). Cushman’s new mission is to safeguard 19-year-old Alice Carpenter, a divinity student “on track to become the youngest female priest in Anglican history,” while she looks for her missing father in Rwanda, where she also wants to get course credit by visiting atrocity sites. Cushman soon finds himself involved in a CIA search for “The Jeweler,” who financed the 1998 al-Qaeda bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa, as well as intrigue surrounding a cache of precious green diamonds. Robinson, who lived for years in Africa, highlights the corruption and crooked politics of the region, but readers looking for a morally complex tale will be disappointed. Some overheated prose (“The darkness was as thick and pungent as a serpent’s bowels, alive, vibrating with energy, beyond comprehension”) doesn’t help. (Nov.)