THE VIVERO LETTER by Desmond Bagley


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A very busy mystery-suspense which scrambles archeology, skin diving, murders, gangsters, and a chase in an unlikely but entertaining dig. British Jemmy, ""a little grey man in a grey job,"" arrives at his brother's farm to find a murdered man on the road and his brother dying from gunshot wounds. The mysterious interest displayed by a millionaire collector, Fallon, and an archeologist and his wife, Katherine and Paul Halstead, in an old tray belonging to Jemmy's family, points to a motive for the killing. Miles later, and with the help of an ex-F.B.I. man, the pieces are joined. The ""trays"" which matched one owned by Fallon was actually one part of a mirror, designed by a sixteenth-century Spaniard held prisoner by the Mayas, presumably smuggled out with a letter to point his sons toward the riches of the lost city of Uaxuanoc. The Vivero letter is also known to the cultivated gangster Jack Gatt who with Fallon, Halstead and Jemmy, set out to find Uaxuanoc. The lost city--with the help of some fancy skin diving by Jemmy, is found but its real treasure is not revealed until a siege by Gatt and his minions all but wipes out the company. Jemmy finally does in Gatt and has a vision of the ""treasure"" before awakening to the ministrations of now happily-widowed Katherine. Dig-dig, bang-bang, glug-glug, good fun.

Pub Date: Sept. 20th, 1968
Publisher: Doubleday