The Vivero Letter was published in 1968 with a cover design by Gino D’Achille.
‘The old brass tray which had lain around the Devon farmhouse of the Wheales for centuries was considered of no account—until it was exhibited in a local museum and found to be of pure gold and of great archeological value. A photograph in the local paper started a rush of bidders from America. In the midst of the bidding came sudden, violent death.
The tray was one of a pair, which together held the key to the Vivero Letter, written four hundred years before by a Spanish conquistador held captive in Yucatan by the fearsome Mayas. Ownership of the letter, which promises unimaginable riches to whoever can discover the secret of the twin trays, is disputed by two rival archaeologists. Spurred by the need to avenge a senseless murder, young Jeremy Wheale decides to take a hand.
He persuades the archaeologists to join forces in a search for the lost Mayan city which Manuel de Vivero so glowingly described. Also seeking it, for the sake of the treasure it is alleged to contain, is a powerful underworld character who finds ready allies in the cut-throat convict labour force which roams the jungle armed with guns and machetes. In the ensuing clash amid the perils of the dense Mexican rain-forest in which a lost civilization lies hidden, Desmond Bagley employs all his outstanding narrative skill and authentic background knowledge to create a new high level in the thrilling adventure stories which have made him the best-seller he is.’
Images and first edition blurb © & courtesy of HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.