A Milan Jacovich Mystery by Les Roberts
Review: Cleveland PI Milan Jacovich is hired by a local city councilman to look into why someone is trying to kill him, an assignment that seems perfectly suited as training for his new employee, Kevin "K.O." O'Bannion, in Whiskey Island, the sixteenth mystery in this series by Les Roberts.
Councilman Bert Loftus is the target of a Federal investigation for all manner of government corruption, but that doesn't worry him as much as the several attempts on his life. Milan doesn't necessarily believe him — he initially thinks that it may be a ploy on the part of Loftus to generate some public sympathy — but when a bullet does pass uncomfortably close to the councilman's head, Milan begins to take the case more seriously. K.O., however, wants little to do with the man, who he believes probably deserves all the bad attention he's getting. When a murdered call girl has links to their own investigation, Milan and K.O. realize that Loftus is merely a player in a much, much larger scheme.
K.O., who was employed by Milan in the previous book of this series and played a part there, has a much larger role here … and it's a positive development for the series as a whole (though it isn't strictly necessary to remind the reader in every chapter that the character once served in Afghanistan.) For the most part, the chapters alternate between Milan's first person perspective and K.O.'s third person narrative. The author does a fine job of giving each a distinctive voice, allowing the reader to know each as individuals first, who are secondarily part of an investigative team. Milan is "old school", thoughtful and methodical; K.O. is brash and street smart, but also perceptive.
The most serious drawback in Whiskey Island is how long it takes the storyline to take shape as a murder mystery. Little of any substance or consequence happens in the first half of the book. It flows well but doesn't seem to go anywhere. The second half is more interesting as their case gets more complicated. In the end, this is a solid entry in this series, probably not so much for its plot but for the characters that are introduced — including the addition of a new Cleveland cop … and possibly a romantic interest for Milan — which presumably will be recurring in future entries.
Acknowledgment: Gray and Co. provided a copy of Whiskey Island for this review.
Review Copyright © 2012 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
King of the Holly Hop
Gray and Co. (Hardcover), June 2008
ISBN-13: 9781598510386; ISBN-10: 159851038X
Location(s) referenced in Whiskey Island: Cleveland, Ohio
— ♦ —
Whiskey Island by Les Roberts — A Milan Jacovich Mystery
Publisher: Gray and Co.
Publication Date: July 2012
List Price: $24.95