I guess you could say this isn't your normal thriller. Not what you would expect from an author like Ludlum and you'd be right. It was originally published under a pen name. Because this is a thriller that doesn't take it's self seriously at all.
The Hawk - Mackenzie Hawkins discharged from the army for conduct seriously unbecoming (shooting the balls off a statue in china and then urinating on the flag of the american consulate (from the roof, which was pretty impressive). The Hawk is a legend in the army and is undertstandably upset with his lot. Sam Deveraux is the army lawyer (about to leave the army), who helps the Hawk out of the army and is drawn into his retirement plans.
He sets up a corporation dealing in religious artifacts - well just one really - the pope, he wants to kidnap him (replacing him with the popes cousin - who looks just like him). Sam tries everything to stop the plan, but comes up against some serious roadblocks in the form of Mac's 4 ex-wives. Who all seem to show up just at the right rime to occupy Sam's time.
This is really good fun, yes it's dated, but actually part of it (frequent comments on the poor state of the world economy) fits right in.
One thing I didn't really get the was the ending. The pope's quite happy with the switch, as is his cousin. Mac doesn't get his ransom. Sam ends up with one of the ex-wives - or at least planning on it. What did Mac actually get out of all of it. Maybe I need to read the next one to find out.