THE JADE ALLIANCE by Elizabeth Darrell


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A tottering mix of melodrama and wilting romance in turn-of-the-century Hong Kong--featuring lantern-slide scenery and enough ethnic stereotypes for a year's worth of Terry and the Pirates. Devoted twins Ivan and Nadja Brusilov, who fled from Russia after an uprising killed their father and (presumably) their mother, are now in the jade business--which Ivan deplores. He also objects to Nadja's infatuation with English Andrew, who's involved in a marriage scandal and does anti-revolutionary sleuthing for the British to prevent a Chinese/Russian alliance. The Brusilovs thus come under suspicion, but it is Ivan's reckless seduction of docile willow-blossom Mci Leng (daughter of Brusilov employee Ho Fatt) that brings on violence--Ivan is almost killed, Nadja is drugged and disgraced, and false jade is slipped in amongst the real. Meanwhile the Brusilov Mum has come to Hong Kong, very much alive, steaming with mis-aimed passion (she thinks Andrew is her late husband) and sets about vamping Andrew. (""His supreme masculinity lit the sensual lines of her face""), but fortunately she's swept away by a concluding typhoon after Andrew has run Ho Fatt (the ""Chinaman"") to ground for running rebel propaganda through the Brusilovs. And the lovers entwine, having survived the worst that the ""devious minds"" of the Chinese could devise. Awful, and guaranteed to offend.

Pub Date: Sept. 28th, 1979
Publisher: Putnam