RUTH DYER DYER, a teaching assistant to the renowned archaeologist
Dr. Alan Prendergast, reluctantly accepts a summer assignment to
accompany him to St. Croix in the United States Virgin Islands. The
expedition is a last-minute arrangement financed by an
environmentalist group taking advantage of the fact that turmoil in
the Middle East has cancelled the originally planned excavation.
Ruth is needed because she was brought up in a tropical climate by
missionary parents and is fluent in Spanish. A relatively
insignificant dig becomes national news when recently buried bodies
are discovered at the ancient site at The Cape of the Arrows.
Prendergast's hidden past becomes public knowledge, cannibalism
among ancient tribes a major interest, the inter-island drug trade
and the government-sponsored underwater laboratory at Columbus
Landing in Salt River are all front-page news. While her younger
colleagues enjoy the local music and night life, Ruth discovers
that her values are undergoing a profound change. Her engagement to
a student at the Yale Divinity School is threatened by her
attraction to an older, divorced man, the famous photographer Rolf
Swartin. Despite her strict upbringing, Ruth finds she is capable
of hiding the truth, sympathetic to local political intrigue and
ambivalent about murder. Her future life, once so carefully planned
and clear, now offers disturbing new options.
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