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Emeralds to die for.

Who is the mysterious lady disguised in sunglasses and scarf who placed the gems for sale with a Parisian jeweler in the 1970s? She demanded that they be reset, in an apparent effort to conceal their provenance—that’s how Ramtame, the brooding Algerian boy who served as assistant to Jules Levant, remembers the fateful day. Ramtame grew up to be a brooding Algerian man who also remembers every ethnic slur ever hurled his way in the long-ago days of blatant political incorrectness. Yes, those who dismissed him once will pay for their evil ways. Back to the emeralds: Kitty Nguien Fleischman, sultry, boob-enhanced Eurasian mistress of a megamillionaire, wants at least one! She collects such baubles when not writhing around dramatically in orgasmic bliss. Her lover does his damnedest to get his hands on the ring that holds the most famous of all, the Princess Karima stone (named for the aging Arab beauty who now owns it), to no avail. What is the mysterious flaw within its green depths that makes it so very, very valuable? Lips are sealed. Don’t even ask! Segue to Allegra Sheridan, talented, beautiful, struggling jewelry designer. (Note to author: young, hip women in 2004 do not wear the garments described here as “slacks.”) She, too, spends a lot of time in the sack, with Todd, a man of insatiable sexual appetites and truckloads of money made in Manhattan real estate. Princess Karima is about the only one who sleeps alone, alas (flabby arms and wrinkly neck—apparently she doesn’t know the name of Kitty’s plastic surgeon). But it’s time for Ramtame, the brooding Algerian, to stop sulking and put his master plan for world domination through terrorism into action. Shadowy deals are struck in Arab alleys, and all these people skulk around trying to figure it out. Hey, who was the mysterious lady in sunglasses at the beginning? Let’s just say the English royal family still doesn’t think much of her.

Toothless thriller, written to old-fashioned glitz specifications: European settings, tons of silly sex, and scheming bitches by the score.

Pub Date: Oct. 5th, 2004
ISBN: 0-451-21274-6
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: NAL/Berkley
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2004


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