A snappy but plot-happy chase thriller by a first novelist with more style than many in the CIA-KGB crowd. A freelance reporter interrupts a no-good who's bugging newspaper editor-magnate Hammersham's office, then saves the editor's life. As a reward he's sent on a special mission to New Zealand to see what's happened to a mysteriously disappeared scientist who has developed a super-tree, a fir that grows at four times the normal rate--which will save the newspaper industry from bankruptcy. The reporter is attacked in Singapore, but gets away to New Zealand where a series of bodies crosses his path as does a fallen Soviet satellite bearing experimental biological warfare pathogens. Now the CIA and KGB are after him--and his newfound friends--as they bolt through the forests and over impassable rivers in hopes of carrying their news and proofs to the World Health Organization. Hectic and too, too much--but Scott will no doubt settle down soon and apply his classy manner to worthier riffs on the suspense keyboard.