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The Devereaux file
Spencer, Ross H.
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New York : D.I. Fine, Inc., [1989]

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Ex-police detective Lacy Lockington returns in this gritty follow-up to Spencers The Fifth Script. Now the resilient Chicago native travels to Youngstown and to Miami to track down an old friend who allegedly has become mixed up in dealings with the Mafiacutting into the profits from their lucrative cocaine trade, it is said. Rufe Devereaux is a veteran CIA agent and walking baseball encyclopedia, but he is already in over his head by the time he calls Lockington for help. Hes also dead by the time Lockington and his paramour Edna arrive in Youngstown, where more than just a pride of mobsters and a corpse await them... they stumble into an international espionage morass complete with a mysterious agent namedwhat else?Natasha. Chased by the mob, hunted by the CIA and foreign counterparts, enticed and intrigued by Natasha, Lockington instinctively knows that things are not as they seem. And if so, is missing cocaine money only the flotsam in Natashas seductive wake? Earthy humor, gritty suspense, and breathless chase are Spencers trademarks, which achieve high-water marks in his latest and best, The Devereaux File.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Spencer's world-weary, cynical, hard-drinking, two-fisted, inept Chicago private eyes are among the most entertaining characters in the genre. This time out it's Lacey Lockington, who has more miles on his odometer than his clapped-out Pontiac Catalina. Lockington is variously being followed, threatened, and protected by the CIA, the KGB, the Mafia, and a murderous group of right-wing loonies. It seems his drinking buddy, CIA agent Rufe Devereaux, has been bumped off, but Devereaux's much-wanted briefcase is missing. Each group thinks Lacey knows where it is. It's a typical (read promising) start to a Spencer novel that ultimately disappoints. Lockington isn't inept enough, his contretemps aren't ludicrous enough, the women who find him irrestible aren't bizarre enough. His griping about Chicago, usually good-natured, is strangely bitter, and the humor that usually grows from these devices doesn't quite work. Still, it's a new Ross Spencer, and that will be enough for his fans. --Thomas Gaughan

Publisher's Weekly Review

PI Lacy Lockington returns to solve the mystery of a drinking buddy's death in this entertaining but slightly flawed mystery. Before he was murdered, ex-CIA agent Rufe Devereaux sought a get-together with his old friend Lacy, a former Chicago cop. As a result of a nominal look-see, Lacy finds himself simultaneously tailed, and alternately questioned by the CIA, KGB, Mafia and a presidential hopeful turned evangelist hate-monger. The attractive Soviet agent Natasha knows most about the truth of this caper, so Lacy is fortunate to have her ``help.'' When he receives a package containing a clue, Lacy points his ancient Pontiac toward Youngstown, Ohio. Along the way, the evangelist, who tails and tries to kill Lacy, is himself stalked. Ever the survivor, Lacy finds more tips in Spencer's superbly believable gritty bars, and, knowing his dead friend's passion for women and country music, he eventually turns up a real surprise. After a slam-bang ending, a disingenuous dialogue explains all. Spencer ( The Ffifth Script ) keeps the plot racing with amusing dialogue. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved