An international dope-smuggling network hides behind a sleek conglomerate facade--in a glossy, slow-moving thriller that often bogs down in excess explanation, corporate paperwork, and gratuitous sex. But the sloggy pace here probably wouldn't be nearly as troublesome if the hero were more likable: Phillip Vanderlind, a top Houston ""maverick"" executive who bravely quits to start his own business, never really breaks out enough from the plastic, sexy, selfish corporate mold to elicit much sympathy. Even when Phillip's new enterprise collapses and he finds it impossible to land a new job (his old Houston corporation enemies are giving him bad references), it's hard to care. But it's not hard to guess that Phillip is making a big mistake when he happily grabs a job as President of Omni Leasing Corp. of San Francisco. Omni, you see, is a glamorous front for heroin importing, as Phillip soon learns from mastermind Averal Sutherland, his unscrupulous boss and (extraneously) a lover of sex with impeccably groomed transvestites. Afraid that Sutherland will have him killed if he refuses, Phillip agrees to go along with his real job--dope courier--but secretly resolves to bring Sutherland to justice, So, by the time the finale finally gets under way, it's a Phillip/Sutherland/FBI chase-arama on land and sea around the Bay Area. Some nice glittery dâ€šcor in Frisco--and McMordie obviously knows his capitalization and liquidation moves (too much so for most readers)--but with such a transparent basic plot and such unengaging characters, a much shorter book would have been a much better one.