I wasn't twenty pages in before I suspected I had a stinker on my hands: The dialogue, the characterizations, the plotline was of trainwreck dimensions. We open with too-stupid-to-live mountaineers in Tibet, led by Ike Crockett, following a gold coin trail to hell--literally. Next we turn to the Kalahari and from central casting, a "beautiful" nun working among lepers, leaving no B movie cliche unused. The book is reminiscent of Journey Into the Center of the Earth as it posits there's an underworld of continents and seas inhabited by creatures that inspired Gargoyles and demons led by Satan himself. Except, well, it's easier to believe that premise in 1864 than in 1999, the date of publication. I gave this about 100 pages, where he kicked off this ridiculous, unconvincing war between the modern military and the underworld, before giving this a pass.