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 The ever-prolific Cash-Spellman's latest (after Bless the Child, 1993, etc.) features all the now-familiar, requisite thrills, chills, and randy romps. Throros Gagarian is one of the richest men in the world, but his success angers the Gods only when he tries to re-create a paradise-on-earth in the form of Mora Utu, his own island in the South Pacific. To test out his new toy, Gagarian flies five close friends to the isle for ten days of what he hopes will be sexual fantasy fulfilled; to this end, each of the men has been instructed to invite a female companion, with the understanding that each man will not be limited to ``spend time with'' only his particular invitee. But the women--an architect, an athlete, an editor, a model/actress, and a stunning and brilliant socialite who also flies rare planes--soon realize they're being exploited and bond together. When Tony, the most boorish of Gagarian's friends, rapes Marika, the model, and the other men want to brush the incident under the rug, the women leave the men entirely and set up camp outside the main compound. Guided by the mystical powers of Gagarian's servant, the wise Nelida, the women supposedly gain knowledge of their own unique powers; the men, under the influence of Nelida's also mystical husband, Emilio, supposedly learn about the balance of power between the sexes. By the time Mora Utu has flaunted its own power in the form of an isolating typhoon and has ``demanded human sacrifice'' in claiming two of the guests, the weekend seems a disaster--until, as is customary in Cash-Spellman's messy sage-style sizzlers, love saves the day and everyone still alive gets home in one, newly aware, piece. What entertainment value this an empty-headed, would-be thriller might have had is dissipated by its crudeness. (First printing of 100,000)

Pub Date: Jan. 23rd, 1996
ISBN: 0-446-51701-1
Page count: 464pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 1995