Kyle Donovan has his older brother Archer and the U.S. government to thank for extricating him from a tight spot, namely, trafficking in amber stolen from the former Soviet Union. So when Archer and federal law officers ask for his help in handling a potentially touchy international incident, Kyle reluctantly agrees.

Billionaire businessman Dick Farmer has laid claim to a fabulous ancient Jade burial shroud, which may have come from the lost tomb of the fabled Jade Emperor. If the story of its origins is true, Farmers claim of ownership and display of this artifact could damage already shaky relations with China.

The U.S. believes that gemologist Lianne Blakely is helping to steal Jade treasures from her employers, the powerful Hong Kong Tang Consortium. However, Lianne, the illegitimate daughter of Johnny Tang, one of patriarch Wen Zhi Tangs sons, has worked hard to gain the respect of her Tang relations.

Liannes instincts go on alert when Johnny insists that she introduce herself to Kyle Donovan. As it turns out, she doesnt have to: he approaches her first. Someone has set Lianne up for a deadly fall. In a world suddenly turned hostile and unforgiving, Liannes one hope may lie with a man who is bent on hiding his own dark secrets.

The Donovan family saga continues in spectacular fashion with JADE ISLAND from Elizabeth Lowell. Clear your calendar: you will want time to savor every word. (May, 375pp., $7.50)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith