They don't come much more saintly, brave, or shockable than Father Michael Stewart, who leaves Scotland to do good (not appreciated) in milk-less, drain-less, God-less Puerto Callado and discovers that ""the president and people of Paraguay have a lot to answer for."" Exploitation of the workers and a pre-teen prostitution ring are the least of it; genocide--a mad American missionary's slaughter and enslavement of the untouched-by-civilization Ache tribe--goes on while authorities look the other way. Soon Father Mike and a trio of reluctant cohorts are bringing off absurd rescue missions and pushing their luck--along with reader credulity--above and beyond. Authenticity may swarm through the landscapes (a convincingly nauseating creep around Asuncion's back streets) and through the rituals of an Ache boy's coming-of-age, but the stagey speechmaking and goodguy-badbuy characterizations cry out for plastic palms. And, for a story with a spiritual tilt, the parade of rape, torture, and decapitation seems a trifle over-exuberant in the telling. Righteous indignation a la Upton Sinclair, but any intended muckraking gets lost in the prosy muck.