Revenge is a double-edged, all-consuming sword, though it is not until he is too deeply immersed that Nicholas Ryder realizes the cost cannot be justified. New to South America, Caroline James, a feature journalist, quickly realizes "you could lose New York" in the enveloping arms of the Amazon; but when trouble arrives her secure world is obliterated, the oppressive heat and smell of fear reducing the jungle canopy to a claustrophobic web from which there is no escape. Acting as a guide for University Researchers, Nick tracks down the River Bandits responsible for the death of his brother and his family; but with the added complication of his growing feelings towards Caroline, it is not long before the roles of cat and mouse are reversed and he and the others must run for their lives. A straightforward investigation into the deaths soon escalates and impinges on the world of politics and power, where uncivilized savagery bubbles just beneath the thin veneer of refinement and respectability.