U.S. Marine Corps pilot Kathy Trayhern is again in deep cover on a dangerous South American mission. But this time her purpose isn't strictly job-related. She has a family wrong to avenge, and she sure doesn't need complications, like handsome drug runners.

Mac Coulter, posing as a member of a powerful drug lord's staff, is an ATF agent in disguise. He and Kathy don't know they're on the same side, so suspicions abound despite their strong attraction.

McKenna brings us a tension-filled, conflict-ridden novel. The undercover military details are intriguing, and many individual passages are well written. But these strengths don't combat a plot that often seems implausible, a narrative with excessive chunks of back story and scenes with jarring point-of-view changes. The characters do have a chance to explore some cultural aspects of Peruvian life, which proves interesting. (May, 384 pp., $6.50)
Reviewed by: 
Marilyn Weigel