BEIJING, 1941: The ancient bones of the famed "Peking Man" are placed in two wooden crates for shipment to the United States to escape the invading Japanese army. Read more...
BEIJING, 1941: The ancient bones of the famed "Peking Man" are placed in two wooden crates for shipment to the United States to escape the invading Japanese army. The bones are never seen again. San Francisco, 1980s: The greatest treasure in the history of paleontology remains missing--until a frantic stranger named Jimmy calls on noted anthropologist Ellen Christie and shares a scintillating secret with her: he may have the famous bones in his possession. After allowing Dr. Christie to examine an intriguing skull in a dank Chinatown basement, Jimmy is forced to flee with the evidence, a couple of violent thugs in hot pursuit. As Ellen navigates the treachery of the city's elite criminals along with Jimmy's brother, Dan, her dreams of academic stardom draw closer. Unfortunately, so does danger.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-09-17
- Reviewer: Staff
Hart (Dead by Midnight) combines a treasure hunt with a tribute to San Francisco’s Chinatown of the early 1980s in this diverting reissue of a 2000 title. Physical anthropologist Dr. Ellen Christie answers a knock at her door one evening to find Jimmy Lee, a young Chinese man with an unexpected request. Taking her to a basement room in Chinatown, Jimmy shows Ellen an oddly shaped skull that she identifies as belonging to the “Peking Man” fossil group. Jimmy’s happiness at the prospect of making a hefty profit from his rare discovery is interrupted by the arrival of two thugs, and in the ensuing scuffle both he and Peking Man disappear. With help from Jimmy’s brother Dan, Ellen attempts to retrace his last few days and figure out where he could have happened upon such an unusual find. During their search, Ellen comes to understand the intermingled hardship and beauty of life in Chinatown. Hart’s tale deftly blends thrills with more thoughtful moments. (Nov.)