Voodoo, Ltd.

The 1992 product of Ross Thomas’ ever fertile mind is devoted to the continuing exploits of the ruthless yet vulnerable Quincy Durant and the enigmatic, exceptionally devious Arthur Wu. VOODOO, LTD opens some years after the Philippine adventure chronicled in OUT ON THE RIM endowed Durant, Wu, and their colleagues with a considerable pile of working capital. Unfortunately, in the interim the vagaries of the stock market have left everyone in somewhat dire financial straits. Thus, Durant, Wu, Booth Stallings, Maurice “Otherguy” Overby, and the recently released Georgia Blue find themselves converging on the City of the Angels.

The task seems simple enough, but then when was it not when Durant and Wu are involved? Booth Stallings’ son-in-law, Howard Mott, has a client charged with a murder she can’t recall. In consequence, Mott hired two hypnotists to assist in retrieving the lost episode. Instead of illuminating the past, however, the two proceeded to blackmail his client.

Thus, Wudu, Ltd is engaged to locate the extortionists and recover the material they have for sale to the highest bidder. Needless to say, once Wudu, Ltd begins to turn over Southern California rocks, a host of disagreeable and lethal creatures emerge. At which point, not surprisingly, Durant and Wu find themselves wondering if the company pension plan might indeed go begging.

Unlike so many practitioners of the genre, where series featuring the same characters are de rigueur, Ross Thomas not only maintains the high level established in his earlier works but also manages for the most part to avoid repeating himself. The novels featuring Durant and Wu are exceptions to this rule but are nonetheless most welcome; since their first appearance in CHINAMAN’S CHANCE, which also saw the emergence of “Otherguy” Overby, Durant and Wu remain among Thomas’ most endearing creations.