THE MOST WANTED MAN IN AMERICA by John William & David Fisher Clouser

THE MOST WANTED MAN IN AMERICA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Ten years on the run as the ""senior fugitive"" on the FBI's most wanted list, this is a success story of sorts. Clauser started as a redneck cop in Orlando, Florida where he devoted himself to taking bribes and rolling drunks. Framed for armed robbery, he skipped bail and took off, only to be turned in by Mom. Escaping a second time from a Florida mental institution where he was certified a ""criminal psychopath"" he became the Florida Fox, running from New York to Cleveland to Toronto to L.A. to Mexico to Honolulu: changing jobs, hair color, cheap bars, flophouses and identities faster than you can say J. Edgar Hoover. When, in 1974, the cops stumbled over him he had become Dennis Ray Simons, a law-abiding, tax-paying, blue-collar stiff who wanted nothing more than ""to live the life I loved with my wife and my little cottage and my friends in San Francisco"" where he trimmed the lawn, belonged to the Fraternal Order of Eagles, attended football games and the opera. Fisher, who made a minor splash with Killer (1974), the story of a Mafia hit man, makes the Florida Fox look as good as possible. After he clears out of racist Florida, Clauser learns not to despise Jews and blacks, begins to appreciate ""the painting and the poetry and the music and the dance,"" eventually turns himself in to be adjudged sane and stand trial, becomes a real father to the two young sons he deserted, grows to be a finer and more sensitive human being, etc., etc., ad nauseam. A real diamond in the rough. Too clumsy to be anything but sincere.

Pub Date: July 2nd, 1975
Publisher: Stein & Day