"Black Serpent" is set in Northern California, and opens
with a scene showing blood-thirsty pirates taking over a
fortune in gold that's being transported by coastwise
schooner (from mines farther up the coast) to San Francisco.
The bad guys are renegade Indians, Russians, Mexicanos
and whites (all true), members of a bloodthirsty and terror-
instilling group called Sociedad Serpientes.
Jump to 2005, and a Learjet en route to Cairo. The crew
detours to try to save three Americans trapped in a
dry lakebed in Chad. (Flying adventure scenes).
These bad guys are Hizballah (aka Hezbollah, Party of
God, Islamic Jihad), "martyrs like a swarm of bees"
who are being smuggled into America by the Sociedad.
The primary good guy is, as usual, Link Anderson --
whose two closest friends are kidnapped by the
Serpientes in a chemical attack on the Weyland
Tom Wilson is a brilliant storyteller.