My rating: 2 of 5 stars
The Indian Sign by Les Roberts
It’s one of the Milan Jacovich mystery series. My first. My last, most likely. It was sort of a blast to read about all the sights in Cleveland. I used to hang out in the area Milan works and lives when I went to med. School but frankly this wasn’t worth the trip down memory lane.
Milan is a private eye and a PI cliché. That was my biggest problem with this whole novel. Everything is a cliché or cardboard cutout of every other story/idea in the genre. Milan is Slovian which was a little different but he’s obviously Phillip Marlowe or Spenser. His girlfriend exists for the sex and to harangue him about how dangerous his job is (I am so sick of this. There are women who can actually handle danger) and the plots/villains are right out of the dial-a-plot phone book.
There are two plots, the one with his actual client, who owns a toy company and suspects industrial espionage. The other is about an old Native American who he saw sitting across from his apartment one day and was dead the next. The man was in Cleveland from Michigan tracking his kidnapped grand child and another of his grandkids hires Milan to find the baby.
I should have known I was in trouble when some of the opening paragraphs were about the old man and Milan not knowing what Indians usually dress like. Um how about the people that they are? They don’t go around in regalia every day. I about quit when Connie, the girlfriend starting in on about his oh so dangerous job and how dare he tell the cops he actually saw the dead Indian and get involved by doing his civic duty. I about cried when he walked into an Indian bar and everyone started in with the ‘what’s a white man doing in here?’ riff three seconds later. I was a doctor on a reservation. I drank in predominately Native American bars. I was never once harassed and never saw any of the men get it either. From here on I skimmed and it wasn’t even worth that. This one is forgettable.
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