B-minus-movie fare, Forties-style--with a Eurasian beauty packing a gun and on the prowl in post-WW II Shanghai. Amalie...

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B-minus-movie fare, Forties-style--with a Eurasian beauty packing a gun and on the prowl in post-WW II Shanghai. Amalie Berenger is the adopted daughter of a French couple, both dead; she has lost both fiancÉ and father to the Nazis; her American husband shot himself when he learned of her sour secret; and now she has some scores to settle. So Amalie first tracks down the mother who gave her away at birth: Anne Innes, wife of wealthy shipper James, mother of three (Amalie's half-siblings), and director of an orphanage for mixed-blooded children. She is attracted to an Innes family friend: hard-drinking Jesuit priest Michael Cassaday, hitherto chaste. But Amalie is obsessed by former Nazi Klause Englehart, who ruined her life (a shameful love affair) and was responsible for her father's death. After a row with Innes and rough sex (which Anne discovers), she even attempts suicide. On, however, to Yenan--to Amalie's natural father, the brilliant Chan Ping Ho, now a leading Communist and a provincial governor. Amalie is welcomed, pitches in to work for a new China (the People's Liberation Army is about to move into Shanghai), learns brush painting, and unsuccessfully attempts to share her father's enthusiasm for the Communist way. Now, ""knowing who she is,"" she confirms her love for Michael, sees the Innes family in a new light, returns to Communist-taken Shanghai--where James is jailed, Anne's orphanage empties, and they're all in danger. But before the final escape, with the Innes family (Anne is dying) and Michael, Chen will present Amalie with a prisoner--Engelhart--and her demons are laid to rest. Lightly sketched people with a bit too much background baggage for snappy action: so-so romantic suspense.

Pub Date: May 1, 1983

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1983