Still smarting over the kid-glove coddling the Japanese got in Rising Sun? You'll love Hoyt's out-of-the-ballpark chauvinism as he fulminates against those three age-old Japanese cultural traditions: trade protectionism, white slavery, and baseball. As US President Harold Olofson, no genius but a stout- hearted statesman, presses Foreign Minister Masayuki Yoshida for long overdue trade concessions, his vice president's daughter, Linda Shive, is booking passage incognito on a tramp steamer on the latest leg of her Far Eastern getaway. Big mistake. Before you can say sayonara, the steamer has been boarded by pirates on suspiciously friendly terms with the captain, Linda's cover is uncovered, and so is the rest of her, as she's purchased for $2,000 by yakuza godfather Shoji Kobayashi and inducted into the ways of the japayuki--bondage, slavery, forced sex of every flavor. It's all captured on those handy Japanese camcorders so that videotapes can be sent to her father and, Kobayashi threatens, to newspapers all over the world if the president doesn't back down on his trade demands. Enter former CIA spook James Burlane, fresh from his triumph over terrorists in Red Card (1994). His mission: to penetrate the club culture where a gaijin sticks out like a white thumb, take out Kobayashi's murderous ring of henchpersons, rescue the damsel, administer summary justice to Kobayashi, and give Olofson's trade talks another chance. Assuming the identity of Sports Illustrated writer Darryl Lattimore, Burlane, who seems to be taking his moves from Ross Thomas's playbook, pretends to be writing an article on Japanese baseball in order to get close enough to Kobayashi (who just happens to own the Yokohama Bay Stars) to administer the coup de grÉce--slicing off one last Kobayashi digit for the way he mismanages his team. Deliriously xenophobic, irresistibly enjoyable.