This is a classic 1950’s-era South Pacific adventure novel. The plot is filled with rogues and villains out to steal that which Frisco has legitimately stolen first. Frisco has allies but he’s never certain he can entirely trust them. Among them is a beautiful native girl named Anna as well as a Cockney named Jaske, a Chinese merchant, and an American going by the name Deering. From some he can gain clues to how to acquire the rest of the diamonds and from others he can make deals to his own advantage. But just who will help and who will hinder remains an open-ended question.
Author Dan Cushman has written a number of novels that take place in the South Pacific as well as the Congo and the Yukon, all based on his own adventurous life and experiences. Later he turned his hand to writing western/historical novels featuring Native Americans and Montana history. He is probably best known for his novel, “Stay Away, Joe” which was turned into a film starring Elvis Presley.
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. I was in the mood for a good rollicking adventure yarn and this one fit the bill nicely. I managed to learn a little more about the regions where the story takes place as well as some nice details about the provenance of some famous diamonds that found their way through this area. But at its heart, this is a solid novel of back-stabbing, conniving adventurers intent on gaining riches the old-fashioned way. Trading, dealing, stealing, and murdering, all on the way to a satisfying ending.