SHELKAGARI by Harold King


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King (Closing Ceremonies, 1979, etc., and coauthor of Code of Arms, 1981) offers a sluggish melodrama about the search for a diamond as big as the Ritz. It's 1929 and a group of intrepid adventurers is climbing through the Himalayas in search of a fabled diamond necklace that once belonged to Alexander the Great. Our heroes are: Abagail Abbaye, a beautiful young American; Yurey Romanovna, a Russian blue blood in search of adventure; and their guide, the ruthless Englishman John Barbaree. The necklace is found in a Tibetan monastery, but it's nothing compared to the other bauble they've learned about: Shelkagari, a diamond purportedly as big as a calf's head that, legend has it, lies in the forbidden Kingdom of Lo, in the Back of Beyond, just around the comer from You Can't Get There From Here. But before the threesome can search for it, the vicious Barbaree kills a Tibetan monk, makes a grab for the necklace, and then abandons Abagail and Yurey in the wilderness. After some wild lovemaking, the two struggle back to civilization, but--for reasons never convincingly explained--they part from one another, with Abbaye pregnant. Back in Chicago, Abbaye marries a tolerant newspaper owner who raises young Miller as his own. Years later, Miller finds the necklace--but not Shelkagari. The big prize is left to his son, Ben Kane, who will do his own Harrison Ford turn through the Himalayas. Strictly industrial grade.

Pub Date: Aug. 4th, 1987
Publisher: Donald Fine