A sadistic KGB colonel hires Drum to locate a dead man.
Axel Spade would not have liked the way he died. An international fugitive, Spade would have preferred being gored by a bull or gunned down by Interpol to dying quietly in his bed. But a weak heart claimed him in his sleep, and so Chester Drum, Washington PI and the closest thing Spade had to a friend, scatters his ashes in the Atlantic.
Drum's old flame, Marianne Baker, is by his side, but she leaves before grief has a chance to reignite their faded passion. That night, Drum is awoken by a KGB operative who has kidnapped Marianne. Axel Spade is alive, the agent insists, and he wants Drum to find him. To save Marianne, Drum will do the impossible, and bring Axel Spade back from the dead.