THE PRESENCE
By John Saul

Fawcett Crest, 1997

Reviewed by Shirley Wetzel

Anthropologist Katharine Sundquist, frustrated with her New York City museum job, is thrilled when an old grad school friend, Rob Silver, contacts her out of the blue and offers her the chance to work with him on a unique archeological site in Hawaii. The change, she believes, will be good for her asthmatic, unhappy teenage son Michael as well. A prominent Japanese businessman is footing the bill, providing her with everything she could dream of to aid in her research.

The archeological site, however, is more than unique, it is impossible. Katherine attempts to make sense of a skeleton which appears to be ancient in a provenance only a few hundred years old. Information obtained from Yoshihara’s sophisticated computer system makes the issue even more murky.

Michael, initially resistant to the move, soon becomes part of the island life, making new friends, learning to scuba dive... even making the track team. After an illicit night dive, however, his health takes a turn for the worse. One of the boys involved dies, and other troubles follow. Katherine quickly finds that her island paradise is fraught with danger, not only to her self and Michael, but possibly to the world.


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