St. Martin's, August 2004, 24.95, 320 pp.
In the Barrens of Canada's Northwest Territories, diamond prospector Big Jim Hardy strikes it rich at the Lac de Lune Mine when he finds a three hundred and eighty-four caret blue green diamond. He increases security but commandos steal the big gem and millions of dollars in small diamonds, killing the security guards and Jim. Before dying, he wrote the name Venus Diamond in blood; RCMP Sergeant Roland Mackenzie believes that U.S. Fish and Wildlife agent Diamond was a key player in the theft and killings.
Venus identifies Jim as U.S. federal undercover agent Buzz Radke who was tracking weapons and diamond smugglers. After Mackenzie is arrested because evidence points to him as one of the killers in the Lac de Lune Mine murders, Venus is assigned to find the diamond. It is on the Lay-A-Day Ranch where a white supremacist group intends to trade the diamonds for arms in their war against the U.S. government. The diamonds are stolen by a go between who was supposed to insure the gems were real before a final trade with a weapons dealer. Instead, the head of the Lay- a- Day Ranch is killed and Venus follows a trail of and destruction leading to the mastermind.
The protagonist of THE GOOD DIAMOND is hard to understand or empathize with but that hardly matters since there is so much action in this exciting crime thriller in which readers learn about the legitimate and the seamy sides of the diamond trade. Venus realizes nobody can be trusted as she is sure the witnesses she interrogates hide information from her when they are not totally lying. Skye Kathleen Moody pens another winner in this long running series.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner