THE SEARCH FOR PEKING MAN by Christopher G. & William Brashler Janus


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On the heels of Harry L. Shapiro's Peking Man (1974, p. 1292) comes the contribution of another principal in the bizarre story of the ""million-dollar bones."" Janus, an international investment banker, still doesn't know why the Red Chinese asked him to find the missing remains of Sinanthropus Pekinensis (they disappeared under unknown circumstances in the confusion of December, 1941, while being transferred from Peiping Union Medical College to safekeeping in the U.S.). But he's managed to keep up a steady stream of publicity ever since, of which this book is merely the latest driblet. Unlike Dr. Shapiro, Janus has no pretensions to expertise--he provides a little sketchy paleontological background and then settles happily into a series of mysterious phone calls and rendezvous, strangely reticent eyewitnesses and almost-witnesses, State Department and FBI irons in the fire, and shadowy international ramifications. Partly because of the minimal prose and partly because the events really haven't yet developed an intelligible pattern, it all sounds faintly charade-like rather than dramatic. If we're lucky, the plot will be picked up by Eric Ambler--in the meanwhile, you might as well wait for the next newspaper installment.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1975
Publisher: Macmillan