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 Colombian druglords try to ship a billion in cash from Las Vegas to Mexico. The CIA, DEA, and FBI deploy dozens, spend millions, and launch the very latest in superspy ultralight planes to keep the money at home and teach the bad guys a lesson. Ing took technothrills to the tropics previously in The Ransom of Black Stealth One (1989). The technogizmo this time is Nemesis, a featherweight spy plane commissioned by the Coast Guard, capable of coasting on station miles above the earth for weeks at a time to keep an eye on the drug trade. Loaded with exceptionally keen-eyed TV cameras, computer-generated maps, and all the comforts of home, Nemesis is just one in Ing's enormous cast of characters that also includes confused vacationers, tiny pilots, FBI agents disguised in double- knit and drag, a Mormon archaeologist with an Indiana Jones complex, mystical Indians, and Peru's Shining Path guerrillas. All these interesting people and gadgets come together when the Colombian druglords--who have moved their operations to southern Mexico, taking with them the mad mountain Maoists--seek to solve their cash-flow problems by stuffing a billion in ill-gotten American gains in an ancient propjet. The plane is to be camouflaged with a load of unwitting Americans expecting a free flight to look at Mexican condos. American intelligence, however, is onto the plan from the beginning and implements a sting to divert the loot and thwack the Colombians where they live. The extraordinarily complex plan requires a stunt-double propjet, two of the wonderful spy planes, and the cooperation of a few culturally pre-Colombian Mayans. The enormous cast can be confusing, and the setup takes extraordinarily long--but the tone is light, the gimmickry supports the fun, and the chase, when it comes, is a ripsnorter.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-312-85105-7
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Tor
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1991


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