Book #2 in the NUMA Files series (published 2000)
From deep within the Venezuelan rain forest emanates the legend of a white goddess and a mysterious tribe with startling technical accomplishments. Few believe the tribe exists—and even fewer suspect its deity may hold knowledge that can change the course of history.
For National Underwater & Marine Agency crew leader Kurt Austin, an investigation into the sudden deaths of rare whales leads him to the Mexican coast, where someone tries to put him and his mini-sub permanently out of commission. Meanwhile, in South America’s lush hills, a specially assigned NUMA crew turns up the white-goddess legend—and a murderous cadre of bio-pirates intent on stealing medicinal secrets worth millions.
Soon, Austin and his crew realize they’re working the opposite ends of the same grand scheme. A billionaire California tycoon is poised to rise to power by monopolizing the earth’s vastly depleted freshwater reserves and ultimately dominate the world.
Austin has a hunch Venezuela’s mythical tribal goddess has some real roots in science, and may be the key to locating a secret formula that could turn vast amounts of seawater into fresh. But with each step into the bush, he and his NUMA team feel like fish out of water—and must fight a deadly, twisting trail of enemies through a dense jungle of treachery, blackmail, and murder.