Notorious Summary

Notorious Summary

Alicia Huberman is attempting to get over the recent conviction of her father for treason. Alicia’s father just could not seem to keep his Nazi ideology from getting in the way of the good life in Miami, but Alicia has no such problems. The party is loud and obnoxious and populated by loud and obnoxious people—as these kinds of things usually are—except for one guest who nobody seems to invited. T.R. Devlin.

In a rather intoxicated state, Alicia drives Devlin around at a high enough speed to warrant getting pulled over by a traffic cop atop a bike. Devlin gives the officer a flash of some credentials and suddenly they are free to go. Devlin has been a source of irritation for Alicia practically all night and her pent-up antagonism spills forth amid accusations of double-crossing her by hiding the fact that he’s a cop.

Devlin’s no simple cop, however.

The attendance at the party was to confirm that Alicia really does not share her father’s treasonous way and is patriotic enough to recruit for a major espionage undertaking. They need someone with a background shady enough to allow for infiltration of Nazis. Alicia, still ticked with Devlin promptly turns down the “opportunity” to serve her country, but ultimately agrees to hit Rio with him for a scouting mission.

While in Brazil, Devlin falls in love with Alicia and Alicia announces she is through with her notorious ways. Then comes the news from Devlin’s superior that infiltration will require her to become romantically involved with a former beau, Alexander Sebastian. Since Devlin is too conflicted to make any decision for her, she misreads him as not caring enough about her to ask her not to do the job. When she agrees to go through with it, Devlin in turns reads her decision as confirming his doubts about self-expressed transformation.

The plan for Alicia to become involved with Alexander flows as smooth as aged wine. And speaking of wine, while attending a party at Alexander’s home, she takes note that a guest named Emil Hupka seems to be gesturing toward a wine bottle with unusual attention. After dinner, Emil’s improper display is the topic of conversation among the men who unanimously agree on the wisdom of his imminent elimination. A rather menacing figure named Eric seems almost too eager to take on this job.

Devlin is now in Rio masquerading as a PR guy when he contacts Alicia at the racetrack. She somewhat scornfully lets Devlin know that she has gotten him Alexander to fall in love with her by referring to him as a playmate. Devlin is somewhat taken aback by this side of Alicia, but smoothly transitions into the part of her jilted former lover for the sake of convincing Alexander of her feelings.

Not much later, Alicia informs Devlin and his boss that Alexander has proposed. Devlin is very much taken back by this turn of events, but again rejects the idea that he has a right to guide her decision. Now utterly heartbroken, Alicia goes through with the wedding. Following a quick honeymoon, they return to set up home with her overbearing mother-in-law revealing herself as a domineering influence on her son’s life.

Alicia takes advantage of her opportunity to fully explore the house and eventually comes to learn that there is only one key to its expansive wine cellar and Alexander never lets it get far from his sight. Devlin instructs here to broach the idea of throwing a party and using it to find a way to get the key just long enough to get behind the door of the wine cellar. Before the guests arrive, Alicia is given a brief window of opportunity to retrieve the key off her husband’s key ring without him noticing. After having passed the key onto Devlin who attends as a guest, she is able to slip away unnoticed during the party and go with Devlin down to the cellar. The secret of the cellar, they eventually discover, is that not all the bottles are filled with wine. At least one dark, wine-colored bottle is filled with a very dark soil-like substance that will ultimately be identified as uranium ore. Devlin accidentally drops it, spilling the contents over the floor. Alicia swiftly empties a similar bottle of its wine content and they scoop what they can of the ore into the empty bottle.

Their attempt to escape unnoticed is hampered when Alexander and another approach. Devlin decides the best course of action is to distract them so he turns and kisses Alicia. The distraction works briefly, but later Alexander notices that the key is missing. When the key has mysteriously appeared again on his ring the next morning, he makes a quick inspection of the cellar and discovers evidence of tampering. From this he quickly concludes that Alicia is not what she is pretending to be. Then he goes to inform his mom.

Alexander’s mother quick grasps the severity of doing anything immediately to Alicia. Any change in attitude toward her or her sudden disappearance would tip their hand that they are onto her. The only obvious course of action is maintain appearances while poisoning Alicia to death over time.

The next few weeks are marked by Alicia going from feeling unwell to not feeling well at all. Devlin’s boss hands her two pieces of news; the bottles are filled with uranium and Devlin has requested to be transferred off the case. Devlin denies such a request when next they meet and is especially concerned about her appearance which indicates a hangover. She denies this is the case.

Her failure to appear for their next scheduled contact meeting confirms for Devlin she was telling the truth and that she is actually quite ill. By now, Alicia has begun to suspect that she is being poisoned, but is far too weak to escape the home on her own. Devlin gets permission to attempt to rescue Alicia from Alexander’s home. When he sees her again, they both take turns finally confessing their profound love for the other. Devlin then physically carries Alicia out of the house with Alexander forced to watch and allow them to leave while doing nothing to stop them. He informs his especially suspicious Nazi associates that Devlin is taking her to the hospital. When Alexander tries to get into the car with his wife, however, Devlin assertively denies him permission, thus revealing to those associates the real truth of what is really going here. The knowledge that Alexander has married a spy and allowed her to live inside his home assures him of the same fate delivered earlier to Emil Hupka.

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