Gerson has a new typewriter. After years of devoting himself to historically real or barely fictionalized characters, he has also begun writing in other categories--this is suspense, you might say. Douglas Gordon, a peerless New York surgeon, is summoned back to the Orient by his wife of a few days during a furlough from Vietnam--the lovely Eleanor Chang. Eleanor is still lovely and ""overwhelms"" him with ""erotic desire"" but she's also a courier for a syndicate trafficking in gold so that this moves on ten fingers, two feet and by assorted plane and junk (that's the boat) to the apprehension of Eleanor and the man for whom she works. Nine-carat merchandise.