“White Cargo” by Stuart Woods

If you are one of my regular readers (hello?  guys? <chirping crickets>), you would quickly surmise that this fine example of supermarket action paperback is not my typical fare.  And you would be correct!  This was picked out for me as a birthday present because the picture of the author looked “wholesome,” at least versus the competition on the shelf at Target.  Unfortunately, the story, dealing with the rescue of a brainwashed sex slave held hostage by a Colombian drug lord, was not exactly wholesome.  But entertaining, I suppose.

Lots of action and lots of details on flying light aircraft — the author’s hobby, I presume?  Perhaps the thinking was that injecting realistic bits of flight procedure here and there would offset the suspiciously far-fetched plot points.  For one thing, the idea of a drug lord lackey murdering wealthy Americans and sinking their yacht just to kidnap their daughter as a sex slave is kind of hard to believe.  Aren’t there easier ways to avoid attracting unwanted, wealthy attention to your operation?

The drug lord “The Anaconda” has a flaky plan for world drug trade domination that goes like this: recruit business leaders with no criminal background (so they will be “invisible” from law enforcement) from all over the US as distributors in his Avon-style drug network.  Invite them all to a week of training and fun in the sun at his humongous, capital-intensive, laboriously constructed, top secret drug refinery deep in the Colombian jungle.  There is absolutely no way anyone will tell the US drug authorities or Colombian military where to strike.

The Anaconda’s henchmen were kind of unintentionally hilarious.  “Just another day at the office” type white guys.

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