Congo
Hardcover
Published in 1980 by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
336 pages.

Paperback
Published in 1993 by Ballantine Books
313 pages.

Karen Ross, of Earth Resources Technology, must find a way into the Lost City of Zinj, deep in the heart of the African Congo for two reasons. First, to discover why and how members of two previous ERT expeditions were brutally murdered; and second, to discover the location of a diamond mine containing diamonds with unusual properties. Ross pulls together a third team which includes Peter Elliott, a gorilla expert, and Amy, a gorilla who has learned over 600 words of sign language.

With the help of two African warriors and other team members picked up along the way, they follow Amy toward the Lost City. Once the team sets-up camp just outside of the Lost City, they are attacked by an unknown species of gray gorilla. Several members of the team are killed and wounded -- others try to fight off the attacking gorillas. The desperate situation is halted by Amy, who "speaks" to the gray gorillas in their native "tongue."

The team discovers the location of the diamonds only to discover that the diamonds are only quartz. Amy agrees to lower a detonator into the diamond mine, at her human friend's request, to destroy the mine and, hopefully, confuse a group of Russians also searching for the mine, buying themselves time to get out of the Congo safely.

On their trek back to civilization, a gathering of black gorillas is waiting for Amy. Amy is torn between her love for Elliott and her desire to return to her home. Elliott, devastated by Amy's plight, releases her to her real home -- with the other gorillas in the Congo. After a special goodbye, the helicopter takes the human team back to their lives, as Amy begins her new life where she belongs.





Do you always know the ending of your book, or are you sometimes surprised as to the outcome? Generally I do not know the exact ending. This means, especially in suspense stories, that as I come to the ending, I am tearing out my hair, saying "How will I finish this thing?!" So I guess in that sense I am recreating the experience of the characters, who also don't know how it will end.






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