To say St. Paul, Minnesota private investigator Devlin ‘Dev’ Haskell is having a bit of a rough time with his most recent investigation would be putting it lightly. Of course, considering Dev has a habit of leaping before looking, especially when there are long legs and a pretty face involved, it’s not really too surprising he’s found himself in over his head.
The particular case/pretty face causing Dev problems in Russian Roulette belong to a gorgeous French woman named Kerri, who tracked Dev down at his office – aka The Spot Bar – and hired him to find her missing sister, Nikki. Except, as Dev starts poking around it quickly becomes apparent Kerri is not French, she’s Russian, the two women aren’t sisters, and Dev’s not the only one looking for Nikki… the Russian mob wants her too.
And not only has Dev inadvertently stepped into the crosshairs of the Russian mob, he’s managed to step onto the toes of both local police and a Federal task force in the process. By the time the bullets start flying and car bombs exploding Dev doesn’t know which way is up or who he’d rather have more pissed off at him, Russian mob boss “Braco the Waco” and his buddy Tibor “The Butcher” Crvek or tight-assed career-minded FBI Agent Peters. Either way, Dev has his hands seriously full.
Russian Roulette is the book that introduced Dev Haskell to the world (doing things bass wckwards, I’ve already reviewed the second, Mr. Softee), and author Mike Faricy has created an endearingly inept character in Dev. Though not quite a drunk or a complete screwup, there’s no question Dev would rather be holding down a spot at The Spot or chasing a little skirt than actually, you know, working. When he does take a case, however, he latches on to it like a dog with a bone, usually to his own detriment. Give credit where it’s due though, because once Dev’s on the case he simply won’t stop until he gets what he considers a satisfactory resolution… even if he does get “shot, blown up, chased, and assaulted” in the process.
If you’re looking for a quick, fun read that also has a little bit of bite to it – they don’t call Tibor “The Butcher” because he trims a nice steak – take a trip to the Twin Cities and drop in on Dev down at The Spot. And while you’re at it, check out Mike’s guest post, “Having the Last Laugh,” in which he gives the story behind the cover of Russian Roulette, which was shot at the real Spot Bar in St. Paul.