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The Diamond Conspiracy: A Novel

The Diamond Conspiracy: A Novel

by Nicolas M. Kublicki, Scott Lindquist

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The last thing Department of Justice lawyer Patrick Carlton wanted was this case-a minor antitrust suit over a small diamond mine in Arkansas, forced on him by a vindictive boss. Settle it and be done with it, he’s told, and he goes about doing just that-until he finds out what lurks beneath the surface. The conspiracy he uncovers, beginning with an obscure


The last thing Department of Justice lawyer Patrick Carlton wanted was this case-a minor antitrust suit over a small diamond mine in Arkansas, forced on him by a vindictive boss. Settle it and be done with it, he’s told, and he goes about doing just that-until he finds out what lurks beneath the surface. The conspiracy he uncovers, beginning with an obscure 1920 geological survey and leading all the way to South Africa, Siberia, Rome and the White House, revolves around one obsession: diamonds.

Carlton lands the case of his life, and it will be his last if he can’t locate a hidden Russian diamond stockpile, bring a corrupt White House chief of staff to justice and break up a diamond monopoly controlled by the nefarious Waterboer Mining Co.

Carlton, an unlikely and reluctant hero, finds help from a disparate group, including a beguiling female coworker, a CIA desk-jockey and a flamboyant millionaire-entrepreneur. Lined against them is an array of factions looking to use the diamonds to further their own agendas. Carlton’s quest to find the diamonds-and save his own skin-takes him across the Atlantic and into the Barents Sea, to the Vatican and inside the White House. Forced to confront one foe after another, Carlton finally gets Waterboer in the place he can hurt them most-a courtroom. A compelling page-turner from beginning to end, Kublicki delivers the goods with the legal and military realism of Grisham and Clancy.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Using the monopolistic practices of the diamond industry as his blueprint, Kublicki builds an impressively complex plot in this well-crafted, exciting political thriller. It begins innocuously enough when a suave billionaire named Max MacLean buys the site of a former diamond mine in Arkansas. His attempt to develop the old mine triggers a series of threats from various governmental groups; then MacLean's lawyer is murdered after completing the transaction. Patrick Carlton, a hard-nosed attorney from the Justice Department, takes on the case, and he and his attractive younger colleague, Erika Wassenaar, soon find themselves being chased by a series of would-be assassins. The investigative trail eventually leads to a powerful, corrupt South African diamond conglomerate, Waterboer, which is trying to purchase a reserve of Russian diamonds in an attempt to maintain control of the world supply. Assisted by MacLean and a CIA agent named Pink, Carlton and Wassenaar head off to Murmansk to try to get to the stash first in an adventurous subplot that features plenty of unexpected twists and turns. Kublicki's background as a Justice Department attorney helps him authenticate the details of a conspiracy that stretches to the highest levels of the White House, and he keeps the tight, riveting plot clipping along despite several characters who are one-dimensional and cartoonish. The pace slows toward the end, as Carlton journeys to Italy to enlist the aid of the Vatican and then a Mafioso to try to bring down the diamond cartel, but Kublicki shows more than enough of the right stuff to make this a readable, engaging debut. (Nov.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
A department of justice maverick lawyer, Patrick Carlton is plucked from the biggest case of his career and thrust into a small antitrust case involving a diamond mine in, of all places, Arkansas. (Aside from Colorado, Arkansas is in fact the only state that produces diamonds.) Carlton becomes suspicious when the shark law firm representing the mine agrees to a ridiculously high, ridiculously quick settlement, and he recruits the beautiful Erika Wassenaar, a newly minted lawyer, to help him investigate. Waterboer, the monopolistic diamond behemoth of the world (think DeBeers), will stop at nothing to maintain its artificially inflated diamond prices, and Carlton suspects that it is somehow involved with the Arkansas mine. Curiosity and determination lead him to uncover a conspiracy that runs rampant through the upper echelons of the United States, South African, and Russian governments, but he gets assistance from the unlikely duo of the Mafia and the Vatican, with quite a few other surprises along the way. Tightly written and fast paced la Tom Clancy's thrillers, this debut takes readers on a whirlwind, worldwide journey through corruption. Recommended for most popular fiction collections.-Stacy Alesi, Palm Beach Cty. Lib., Boca Raton, FL Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A surplus of sparklers threatens the stability of Russia, the Vatican, the South African diamond monopoly, and Arkansas.

Arkansas? Indeed. Not far under the Arkansas topsoil lie zillions of the gem-grade lovelies, a discovery made in the 1920s but hushed up by a few murders and the distribution of cash from the bottomless pockets of Waterboer, a diamond monopoly very like the real-life DeBeers. Since the 19th century, Waterboer has controlled the business either by buying up the output of every mine in the world or by shutting them down. But the secret of the Arkansas gusher is about to be blown, as the property has passed into the hands of eerily handsome Max MacLean, clean-as-a-whistle scion of a Sicilian mob family. Concurrent with Max�s purchase of the mine that could shake the jewelry world is a bit of trustbusting at the Department of Justice, where cigar puffing, cowboy boot wearing, former Catholic schoolboy and ex-corporate hotshot Patrick Carlton has been yanked from the case he�s been on for months and ordered by his creepy boss to settle a claim by yet another would-be Arkansas diamond miner. Even though he�s up against a monstrous and evil Manhattan law firm, Carlton�s able to get a surprisingly generous settlement. Could Waterboer be behind the deal? Oh, yes. As they are behind the machinations in poor old Russia, where retro-Stalinists are itching to parley tons of diamonds filched from the flow to Waterboer into a coup d�etat. How to fix? Call in the College of Cardinals. They�ve got their own stash, don�t they? Sorting all this out to the advantage of the free world and free markets will take Carlton to the frozen north, where rogue submarines wander, and to theEternal City, where rogue Cardinals wander and will require much assistance from and, ultimately, a pleasant tumble with, lovely rookie Department of Justice prosecuting attorney Erika Wassenaar. Even the mob helps out.

Tom Clancy for the legal set.

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6.24(w) x 9.24(h) x 1.31(d)

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