Deveraux (the ""November Man"" of Hemingway's Notebook, etc.) is dragged forcibly from retirement when his former spymaster calls with a garbled message of warning just before he disappears, and once again Deveraux is the quarry of both American and Russian agents, even though he hasn't the faintest idea what they want. While Deveraux loafs and reads his life away in Lausanne, his ex-boss Hanley is being drugged to insanity on the orders of someone in Deveraux's old intelligence agency. Before he is dragged off to a top-secret American psychogulag run by the silliest nuns ever, Hanley phones Deveraux and raves on about ""Nutcracker,"" and how ""there are no spies."" Just knowing that he has heard cryptobabble is enough to bring teams of assassins to Switzerland to silence the November Man, who had sworn off spywork to please Rita Macklin, his live-in lover. Even though he's able to send his tormentors off a cliff, Deveraux still has to escape the apparently flawless aim of Alexa, an ultra-glamorous Soviet killer. But Deveraux's most dangerous enemies turn out to be, of all things, American political appointees in the spyworks. A better-than-routine thriller, but the fun here is less with Deveraux than it is with drugged Mr. Hanley, unlovely but lovable computer ace Lydia Neumann, deadly but confused Alexa, and the fast-talking, empty heads in Deveraux's agency who are ready to dump low-tech human spies for the latest in electronic gadgets.