Mark Brooks in Scramble in the Tropics (Paperback)
Mark Brooks is getting married and honeymooning in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Who could ask for more? After his breakout adventure voyage down the Amazon River and his high-Andes Mountain trekking encounter with a notorious Marxist rebel group he plans to wed with his new love. "Sorry to postpone your honeymoon, Mr. Brooks, but you have been recalled by the DEA for one last covert operation!"
Mark must quickly rekindle his unique cipher communications training skills to break a trafficker's secret communications network by capturing an encryption device, reading its internal data and returning it, unnoticed. If successful, the agency can secretly monitor and upset the trafficker's reprehensible deadly plans. Under the guise of a honeymooning tourist, Mark has no choice but to revisit the Amazon River jungle border city of Leticia, Colombia and snatch the scrambler while at the same time keeping his innocent new bride in the dark. He soon realizes that she is too smart for his tricks. In Leticia, he meets and collaborates with Louie, a local Indian travel guide and DEA operative, himself in fear of his true identity being compromised. The situation on the ground is as dangerously fluid for the trio as the mighty Amazon itself. Mark is constantly reminded of the agency's advice he received at the mission's outset, "Trust no one!" During the operation Mark discovers that the encryption device is linked to a sinister plot much more sickening than the original Tres Fronteras (Three Frontiers) regions' illicit cocaine smuggling.
The crooks realize that during the middle of the night while under their watch the device has gone missing but they cannot divulge the fact to the patron for fear of death. They must locate it themselves…their anger causes them to see red…but in the wrong places. Their efforts to entrap the trio are met with a clever redirected double cross aimed at turning the tables against the gang leaders by using their own selfish lies against them. Plan "B" is successful only if the traffickers are convinced to believe their own lies. Someone must pay with his life but who shall it be? The details of the plan are painted in bright nighttime colors, some red, some "green."
"I'm getting too old for this," he complained at the start. Mark had planned on romance and relaxation in Rio. Instead, he's called out of retirement to confront his most daunting challenge yet. The gang's evil plans smell to high heavens and it is their lack of attention to detail that ultimately exposes them to risk their own downfall and bring them to justice.