The author of the seven-volume Brotherhood of War series takes time out from his ongoing saga of US Marines in the Pacific theater (Close Combat, Line of Fire, etc.) for an urbanely twisty and well- told tale of derring-do in a WW II backwater. In the fall of 1942, leatherneck fighter pilot Cletus Howell Frade (who became an ace in the unfriendly skies over Midway and Guadalcanal) is abruptly recalled to the States. The OSS has picked him to lead an undercover team posted to neutral Argentina, whose coastal waters are being used by vessels from other noncombatant nations to refuel and revictual German U-boats. Raised on a Texas ranch by an uncle and aunt, young Clete is a natural for the dangerous, politically sensitive mission: he's fluent in Spanish, was born in Argentina (to a long-dead American mother), and (through his maternal grandfather) is heir to a sizable petroleum enterprise that does business south of the border. Once in Buenos Aires, Clete gains immediate access to the city's clubby, privileged haut monde on the strength of his family and commercial connections. He also makes peace with his estranged father, an immensely wealthy grandee and former colonel who (though plotting against the Castillo regime with the likes of Juan Peton) agrees to help Clete take out a supply ship as an object lesson to the Third Reich's covert allies. Even so, before he can get aloft to guide the US sub that sends his target to the bottom, the rookie saboteur must evade the clutches of a Nazi se§orita who's developed a potentially fatal attraction for him. In the end, thanks to the ties of honor that bind officers from any country's military, Clete comes through with flying colors while the villains of the piece get approximately what's coming to them. Absorbing, well-written entertainment that's evocatively detailed as to time and place.