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The Map Thief
Synopses & Reviews
Beijing, China, 1421: It is a momentous time for the Ming Dynasty. Honoring the completion of the Forbidden City, a fleet of unprecedented size sets sail under Admiral Zheng He. Zhengs mission is to chart the globe, trading for riches and bringing glory to Chinas emperor. Among the crew is the talented cartographer and navigator Ma Zhi, whose work will lead to the first true map of the world–but whose accomplishment will vanish when the fleet returns to a very different China than the one it left.
Lisbon, Portugal, 1496: At the height of Portugals maritime domination during the Age of Discovery, the legendary explorer Vasco da Gama embarks on a quest to find a sea route to India. On board is navigator Antonio Coehlo, who guards Portugals most secret treasure: a map that already shows the way.
New York, present day: Mara Coynes new client has left her uneasy. Republican kingmaker Richard Tobias has hired her, he says, because of her skill in recovering stolen art and advocating for the rightful owners, but Mara senses that he is not telling her everything. Tobias reveals that a centuries-old map was stolen from an archaeological dig he is sponsoring in China, and he wants her to get it back. But as Mara begins her investigation, she uncovers the shocking truth: The map is more valuable than anyone has ever imagined, and her clients motives are more sinister than she suspected.
Weaving rich historical detail and astounding fact into a fast-paced suspense-fiction ride, The Map Thief is an incredible entrée to the murky underworld of stolen artifacts and the thieves and traders who broker them. From Hong Kong to the Italian countryside, from Lisbon to the remote reaches of Communist China, and literally around the world on the ships of fifteenth-century explorers, Heather Terrell takes readers on a globe-trotting adventure of epic proportions.
"Attorney Terrell follows The Chrysalis with an uneven sequel that reprises art-sleuth heroine Mara Coyne and spans six centuries and five continents. Coyne, who specializes in recovering art 'with a controversial past,' is hired by 'legendary conservative kingmaker' Richard Tobias to find a rare Chinese map that has been stolen from an archeological dig. Dating from an expedition of Admiral Zheng He to circumnavigate the earth, it is the 'first map in history to accurately show the entire world' and was smuggled into Europe after an isolationist emperor ordered all accounts of the expedition destroyed. The map found its way to Portugal, where explorer Vasco da Gama used it to 'discover' a sea route to India. There are lots of people hoping to suppress the existence of such a map, and Mara and archeologist Ben Coleman play a potentially deadly game of cat-and-mouse against powerful and sinister forces as they try to locate it. The imaginative narrative shifts among Zheng's expedition, da Gama's historic voyage and Coyne's investigation, but unfortunately, Terrell slows the action with superfluous characters, awkward dialogue and languid prose. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The author of "The Chrysalis" returns with a captivating plunge into the world of stolen artifacts and takes readers on the thrilling search for a legendary map that could shake the pillars of history.
About the Author
Heather Terrell is the author of The Chrysalis. A lawyer with more than ten years experience as a litigator at two of the countrys premier law firms and for Fortune 500 companies, Terrell is a graduate of Boston College and of the Boston University School of Law. She lives in Pittsburgh with her family.
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