Nikolai Borodin has been assigned to the Soviet diamond export agency's London station for one purpose only: to keep in close touch with the System, the ruthless worldwide diamond cartel headquartered at 11 Harrowhouse Street. Recently, the System has been buying large quantities of one-carat diamonds mined in Siberia. But now contraband from the same source is showing up on the market, and the System wants the smugglers stopped.
In a quiet suburb of New York City, a mansion on a gated estate houses one of the most powerful crime syndicates in the United States - an elite Mafia whose dons belong to the finest families that the WASP establishment has to offer. Millions of dollars flow in and out of 19 Purchase Street, toted by bagmen who gladly risk everything to share in the syndicate's profits. Nothing disrupts operations - until a courier gets a dangerous idea.
When Grady Bowman and his new girlfriend, Julia Elkins, travel from San Francisco to the Far East to get Grady back into the gem business, a jeweler in Bangkok tells them the extraordinary true story of two female Japanese pearl divers who discovered in the Andaman Sea an oyster bed filled with priceless, naturally blue pearls. The divers were murdered for what they found, and now the son of one of the divers wants revenge. As Grady and Julia hunt for the source of the priceless pearls, they are led to the estate and oyster farms of the world's wealthiest pearl dealer.
After years of stultifying office work, Joseph Wiley will try anything to get rich in a hurry. He's hustled all kinds of products, but each venture has left him deeper in debt, chained tighter to his office desk. When his latest moneymaker goes up in smoke, Wiley doesn't even bother to quit his job. He takes every cent he has to the airport and flies south, landing in Colombia, where he will make his millions - or lose his life.
From a centuries-old building on a narrow street in the heart of London, a firm known as the System, the world's most lucrative and least-known cartel, maintains a stranglehold on the world's diamonds. The company selects the stones a customer can buy and decides how much he must pay for the privilege. One dealer is tired of the game, and so he sets out to destroy the System forever.
Phillip Springer has been grading diamonds since he was eight years old. His eyes are as sharp as any magnifying glass, and he has used them to turn the family diamond business into a global concern. Besides their love of diamonds, the Springers have another interest: the occult, ESP, and the mystical power of gems. Phillip has never fully believed in such superstition, but a sudden death in his family forces him to contemplate things he thought impossible.
A woman steps out of a limousine on the Upper East Side, her jewels glittering brightly, and the doorman looks her over. A few phone calls later, the heist is planned. Thieves descend on the woman's home, planning to swipe the jewels and depart silently. Instead the robbery turns violent. Mitch Laughton doesn't intend to solve a murder case, but he will find the stolen jewels. A professional investigator of stolen gems, he is hired by the victims' insurance company to recover the $6 million haul.
The train slips across the horizon, its serial numbers painted over, its cars empty save for the soldiers who guard the cargo. Its mission is classified, but there are four men waiting in the night, keeping a close eye on the mysterious train. They know it carries something far more dangerous than a nuclear bomb, and they will do anything to get their hands on it. Unlocking the train's secrets requires a daring crime, and victory seems within their reach. But they did not count on Hazard.
The people of Southern California worship the sun, but their idol has forsaken them. For more than two weeks, rain has fallen on this earthly paradise, destroying crops, loosening the ground, and sending coffins into backyards, forcing rattlesnakes out of their nests into people's homes. A little rain never hurt anybody - but a lot can kill. The Seaside Supermarket near Laguna Beach is doing brisk business when an earthquake hits and the ground begins to slide....
It's not the prostitutes who are keeping Lillian awake. She may share her apartment building with a bordello, but the sounds that seep through the walls do not bother her. Ever since her boyfriend left her, taking her heart and all her clothes, the Paris nights have been unbearable. And so she takes refuge in the only place she can be herself: Sascha's, where the insomniacs of Paris go to drink, dance, and fall in love. There's Mr. Bread, a slumming millionaire.