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On a visit to his old friend Colonel Chulu (Hijacked!, 1975) in the Golden Triangle, the opium-rich area where Burma, Laos, and Thailand meet, fifteen-year-old Jason Wright is kidnapped along with journalist Angus Bain and scientists Meg and Peter Lacey by rebels from Burma's Shan State who are trying to arrange passage for a million dollars' worth of uncut heroin. The Shah are promptly overpowered by Hau, another border tribe, led by none other than Yasumo, the Japanese terrorist Jason crossed in the previous book. With ruthless Asians everywhere, leftover Kuo Min Tang on the east ridge, and somebody's war going on to the north, the four Europeans escape and are off on a chase to the Thai border, lugging the heroin. There's no doubt that Marks knows his territory; the descriptions of the opium trade lanes and of the captives' forced march under the Hau are compelling. But aside from local color, Marks flattens the reader with a Steve Canyon attitude toward Communism (""The North Vietnamese, like Communists everywhere, have suspicious natures, for they assume that other people are like themselves"") and toward addiction: ""I know the pattern, I'm afraid--brilliant student, exams all too easy, a bit bored, so smoking pot at parties. . . anything for a stronger kick, till finally the hardest stuff of all--heroin."" Exotic turf, old-style adventure.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1977
Publisher: Nelson