A quasi-technothriller featuring Galveston boatman and tough guy John Rodrigue, whose office looked ``like Philip Marlowe had relocated in Papeete''--though that was before the hurricane hit and submerged it. While trying to salvage it and his boats, Rodrigue becomes involved with Neesay, a Venezuelan anthropologist now on assignment in Texas--and doing sub rosa spy work for Weizman, an Israeli, who, with Neesay's help, has finagled a NASA employee into tapping into Mission Control Center with unforeseen results: the all-women-manned spacecraft now in orbit has had all its telemetry jangled and, unless something happens fast, will burn up on reentry. Wrestling with rain, wind, mud, secret codes, dead bodies galore, the DEA, the governments of Brazil and China, as well as Weizman's attempts to use him, then eliminate him, Rodrigue--in wry, heroic style, with his omnipresent slug of rum- -sets about righting matters for the Western world. His reward: some quality time on a tropical island with the most beautiful astronaut who ever walked the earth--or flew above it. Much electronic/technical (boats and otherwise) talk, in a far-fetched tale that lacks the punch of Drop-Off and Big Fish. Still, Rodrigue is one very appealing Creole.