This adventure story, according to the book jacket, is the hottest #1 best seller in France since Papillon. And it is, in fact, a well-told account of slashing through jungles, battling malaria, cheating equally crooked native scouts and bedding various women, and searching for gold in Costa Rica. But you have to have sympathy for Zyke to sustain you through 280 pages of exploits. This is not, after all, a man with a noble goal: he is simple selfish and greedy. Zyke, who's a ""six-foot-tall, two-hundred-pound muscular hunk who packs a .357 Magnum, a devilish sense of humor, and the daring of lndiana Jones,"" has the scruples of a barracuda and an ego the size of a Mack truck. He and his wife had lived in the Caribbean until their young son died. Then, ""gambling, doing drugs--we had traveled all over the world looking for the right deal. From the opium dens of Asia to the casino in Monte Carlo by way of Macao, Bangkok and Las Vegas, I had looked for it everywhere--and ended up here in Central America, flat broke."" Zyke made some money in what he calls the ""import-export business"": ""It's easy enough to make fast money by arranging an exchange between a cooperative arms seller and an equally cooperative coke-dealer."" But his gambling costs him whatever riches he finds. Breezy enough if you enjoy the exploits of a soul who just plain doesn't want to work for a living.