It's 1953, and Luis Cabrillo has burned through the small fortune he earned from both British and German Intelligence in WW2. Now he has only his wits, his confidence, and his dazzling skills at lying and cheating to rely on.
Teaming up with Julie Conroy (a corker of a New Yorker), he follows his wartime instincts and goes where arrogance breeds wealth: to Washington D.C. and Senator Joe McCarthy, high priest of America's holy war on Red treachery.
Joe's problem is a sudden shortage of treachery. Luis can help him out, but for dollars. Big dollars. And when the C.I.A. gets into the act, followed by the K.G.B., F.B.I., M.I.6. and the Mafia, it makes for an explosive mixture ripe for a spark.
In Red Rag Blues Derek Robinson lends his signature wit to the hysteria and paranoia of the McCarthy years, toying with the notion that the world's most powerful nation is occasionally its most stupid.