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In Canadian Hamiltons alluring seventh archeological novel (after 2002s The Etruscan Chimera), her globe-trotting American antiques dealer and sleuth, Lara McClintock, goes on a buying trip to Thailand, where she also tries to track down William Beauchamp, a fellow dealer whos gone missing. Meanwhile, Laras stepdaughter Jennifer is in the country to meet the family of her Thai boyfriend, Chat. As befits the mysterious Asian setting, nothing is what it first seems. The shifts of scene between contemporary Bangkok and 16th-century Ayutthaya, the ancient Thai capital, may confuse some readers, but on the whole the author does a fine job of blending history with the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the Orient. Corpses pile up in both past and current plots, with parallel motives rooted in the quest for power, jealousy and greed. A list of both ancient and modern characters eases the task of keeping all the names straight.
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