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TREASURE OF THE GOLDEN CHEETAH
by Suzanne Arruda
Penguin, September 2009
368 pages
$24.95
ISBN: 0451227891


Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Jade del Cameron and her almost fiancÚ have a falling out, just because she faced down a lion who was stealing her cheetah's kill. Sam Featherstone has a real problem with Jade's fearless nature; she has a problem with being tied down, confined. The timing couldn't be worse. Jade is leaving to be second on a non-shooting safari to Tanganyika, shepherding four actresses on a film shoot. The first on the safari is Harry Hascombe, a man who has come on to Jade in the past, as Sam well knows.

Just before Jade leaves, there is a death at the Muthaiga Club: a native man seems to have gone berserk and killed the director of the film just before killing himself. The show must go on; the safari leaves on schedule. Sam has doubts about the incident at the Club, as does Jade. Their intuitions work in different ways but come up with pretty much the same conclusion.

The safari tries Jade's patience in many ways. Harry does behave himself, for the most part. The women steer clear of each other as much as possible. The men play cards and practical jokes. Petty and not-so-petty grievances surface as the work on the film progresses. Jade tries to stand back and observe, making connections and noting relationships. This becomes important as some of the pranks get a little out of hand.

Jade is at risk during the safari, both from native curses and from at least one person working on the movie. As she tries to keep her wits about her, she comes to realize just how much she depends on Sam for his intelligence and his acceptance of her abilities. Sam, working his way to the safari, comes to some realizations of his own. Arruda has created a situation that leaves the reader wondering where Jade and Sam will go from here. The setting is, not surprisingly, magnificent. Jade has a feel for the African continent that is almost ingrained. Arruda's plots are complex and satisfying without that feeling of "let's throw another twist in just for the fun of it."

All in all, another good entry into this series.

Reviewed by P.J. Coldren, October 2009

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)


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