Haywire: A Novel of Suspense

James Mills, Author Warner Books $23.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-446-51619-8
Mills's (The Power) unsettling new novel paints with bold strokes a cynical portrait of global drug lords and the vast profits they generate under the noses or with the blessings of governments and police. Embittered former DEA agent Doug Fleming, cashiered for a too-vigorous battle against Peruvian drug barons, has settled his wife, Karen, and son, Charley, into a new home and has built a computer business poised on the brink of major success. Then his world goes haywire. Faced with desperate choices forced by a crumbling marriage, deep debt and the surprise loss of seemingly sure contracts, Doug jumps at the chance to get paid a half-million dollars for smuggling $100 million worth of bonds from Peru to New York for the client of a friend. The deal is locked in Lima when Doug is told that nine-year-old Charley must carry the bonds in a stuffed toy lion and fly back to the States as an unescorted minor on the same plane with his parents. Doug demands and takes his payment, but in Miami he and Karen are held by DEA agents and separated from their son. Landing at JFK, they learn that Charley has disappeared during a major shootout, prompting Doug to call a DEA buddy for help, only to find that the CIA knows about the bonds. Enraged, Doug chases Charley through airports around the world, always one step ahead of DEA, CIA and Peruvian agents. In this chilling polemical thriller, Mills (whose last nonfiction book, The Underground Empire, limned the worldwide drug trade) draws a chilling scenario of extensive efforts to pressure citizens into government scams where ethics fall prey to the specious goals of a handful of powerful, frustrated gamesmen enmeshed in what he calls the ``political gimmick'' known as the War on Drugs. Major ad/promo. (June)
Reviewed on: 11/03/1997
Release date: 11/01/1997
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-0-446-60296-9
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