EYE OF THE BEHOLDER by Brian Lysaght


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 A cynically stylish thriller from the long-dormant Lysaght (Sweet Deals, 1985, etc.). When his Cuban hosts send fugitive financier Robert Vargo back to Los Angeles to replace a cocaine clearinghouse shut down by the local police, the expatriate's return triggers violent reactions from Havana's drug-trade rivals, federal prosecutors, and the swindler's underworld enemies. Among those who want a piece of Vargo is comely, hard-driving Assistant US Attorney Julie Beck, who was within two days of indicting him on fraud charges when he fled to the Caribbean, leaving behind an insolvent conglomerate and three murdered witnesses. To aid in the hunt for Vargo (whose presence on American soil has been confirmed by unlikely intelligence sources), Beck's masters at Justice parole Bobby Lee Baker, the former lover she successfully prosecuted for warning Vargo that the feds were closing in. Though embittered by his time behind bars, the easygoing Baker, joins the search for the globe- trotting outlaw. In relatively short order, he tracks Vargo to a Chinese enclave south of LA where Covington Barrows, a DEA official who's in league with Vargo, has been muddying the waters in Washington. With nowhere to turn, Baker and Beck (back in one another's good sexual graces) join forces with mobster Dominick Romano, who has a score of his own to settle with Vargo. The runaway con man gets what's coming to him in a shootout at a suburban warehouse where he's awaiting an 11th-hour drug shipment, but not before admitting that Baker played no role in his original getaway. At the close, the ever-vindictive Beck has enlisted the aid of a reluctant Baker in bringing Barrows to book. A lively, eventful entertainment whose archvillain bears only a passing resemblance to world-class grifter Robert Vescowho, after 25 years on the lam, has recently been detained by Cuban authorities.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-684-80078-0
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 1995