A stylishly written first novel, though the author's understanding of marine biology and Mayan artifacts far exceeds his knowledge of women. ""Doc"" Ford, whose sketchy past includes some clandestine reconnoitering in Latin America, has moved to a house on stilts on Sanibel Island. There, he prepares bull shark specimens for schools and other researchers; befriends Jessica, a sexy artist who just wants to be pals; and agrees to help a friend, Rare Hollins, a pilot of contraband, reclaim his son from Zacul, who kidnapped him and then returned to the Masaqua forests. Rafe is murdered, the local authorities cover it up (for land-development reasons), and Doc, with brilliant, spacey ex-hippie Tomlinson, goes flying off to rescue his son, an adventure that lands them smack in the middle of a revolution. One side is headed by General Rivera, a baseball fanatic; another is led by Zacul, a torturer and renegade; and yet another is represented by Pilar Balserio, the ex-president's wife and Doc's former lover. Eventually, the boy is found; but before Doc and Tomlinson can return, they must watch a mass execution, recover a Mayan manuscript, find the ancient Mayan emeralds, and vanquish the evil Zacul.