Page-turner doesn’t do justice to this excursion into the Peruvian jungle as environmentalists try to fight the incursion of the outside world and the destruction that often follows. The bonus is the love story of a tribal chief and an altruistic aid worker who is trying to continue her lost fiancé’s efforts. In this story, written with breathless intensity, the author expertly portrays the seriousness of the imminent disaster without trivializing it.
The helicopter Myla is riding crashes in the jungle while she is wearing the uniform of the oil company that is invading the area. She has infiltrated their operation and is working for an environmental organization determined to save as many of the local tribes as they can. But when she is discovered by chief Damon Hanson, she must earn his trust. Damon’s English mother was captured years ago; though Damon and Myla are able to communicate, his experience with the invading company leaves him reluctant to listen to her when she tries to explain her reason for being there. As a connection between them develops, Myla is able to prove herself. But disaster strikes when disease is brought to the region’s pristine habitat. There is a race against time and man as two people bring their worlds closer together. (SAMHAIN, Jan., 280 pp., $16.00)