CURSES! by Aaron Elkins

CURSES!

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Gideon Oliver, professor of anthropology and specialist in the study of skeletons (The Dark Place, etc.), is asked by old friend and mentor Dr. Abe Goldstein to return to a reactivated dig at Tlaloc in the Yucatan. Five years ago it was shut down after an ancient Mayan codex found there was stolen by site director Howard Bennett--who'd sent a letter confessing all and promptly vanished. Gideon, arriving at Tlaloc with wife Julie, Finds all the old crew there--ever-cheerful land-developer Leo Rose; Gideon's one. time student Harvey Feiffer; prissy writer of children's books Worthy Partridge; health-food entrepreneurs Preston and Emma Byers, with Emma now into crystals and New Age spiritualism--amateurs all. A new arrival is Stan Ard, a tabloid reporter writing about the most recent find--a document just translated as a series of grisly curses on anyone disturbing the dead. Meanwhile, a threatening note to Gideon followed by a murderous attack and a series of other nasty incidents set the camp on edge, as workers dig through the old cave-in of a secret passage in the pyramid where the codex was found. Gideon makes a startling discovering there, but even more confounding is the murder of Stan Ard soon after. There's a second, near-fatal attack on his own life before Gideon makes the crucial connection in a far-fetched plot that's heavy on detail, short on drive. Fun for anatomy students and archaeology buffs. For others, a bit of a slog.

Pub Date: March 15th, 1989
ISBN: 89296-263-1
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