March 19th, 2017

rose

Book 11- A Shoot in Cleveland

11. A Shoot in Cleveland, by Les Roberts. I thought I had read all of the Milan Jakovich novels to date, but I recently discovered I missed a couple. Finishing this one starts my remedy of that. The fact that I can include it for my Book Riot challenge- for a novel set within 100 miles of where I live- is icing on the cake.This book follows The Cleveland Local, which has an ending that was life-altering for Milan. Milan is still trying to find his bearings when he is asked to take on what looks to be a fairly easy job: make sure a young star doesn't get into too much trouble when the movie he is headlining in works at various locations in the Cleveland area. Naturally this winds up being harder than Milan bargains for, and the young star, Darren Anderson, winds up dead. The dialogue, as always, is fantastic. It's comical watching Milan, who does not suffer fools and is not easily intimidated, try to put up with the Hollywood glitterati. Another thing about this novel (this series has a lot of continuity; I strongly suggest reading them in order) is that the reader really sees Milan's typically black and white view of things get shaken, particularly where Victor Gaimari, the nephew and heir apparent of the local mob, is concerned. I see in this installment a lot of the beginnings of Milan's subtle changes later on.

Currently reading: Cannery Row, by John Steinbeck.
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Book 29

A Cold Day For Murder (Kate Shugak, #1)A Cold Day For Murder by Dana Stabenow

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


This is the first Kate Shugak mystery but not the first I’ve read which in a way is a good thing. I know this won an Edgar award but it wasn’t all that interesting. I bought this from the author years ago when she was at a library talk then moved and found it in a box only recently so I’ve read many of Ms. Stabenow’s works since buying this (so if you didn’t find this one to your taste, try another). I had the feeling in this (having forgotten this was #1 and didn’t realize it until I logged in to do this review) that I dropped into the series mid-way. In a way that’s true because we’re seeing Kate at the end of her first career working with the police and before she starts as a consultant.

Kate, an Aleut, had left Anchorage after a domestic violence job had gone wrong, leaving her with a cut throat, ruining her voice. Her off and on lover, Jack (a Fed and a Caucasian) asks for a huge favor, to find two missing men in the wilderness around which she grew up. One is a young park ranger, very gung-ho and possessed of a wealthy statesman father, and the FBI agent sent to find him.

Kate doesn’t agree right away but as she digs into this, she comes into conflict with her grandmother, a powerful elder of the tribe, with her young cousin who wants Kate to help her escape life with their people so she can go to the greener, better educated pastures Anchorage represents to her, with the White miners that want to abuse the park and well just about everyone, including a family member who might be behind the disappearances.

As always with a mystery with Native characters, there is an unrelenting hot light shone on the conflicts between the Native peoples and the non-Native outsiders used usually as a reason for the crime (or at least a red herring) and/or the mistrust with law enforcement for the obvious reasons and there is definitely that here.

There is quite a bit of narrative distance between the reader and Kate in this. She comes across as very cold and not really someone I wanted to know better. I wasn’t particularly happy with how this one wrapped up either. It’s a short, decent mystery but definitely not the best in the Kate Shugak series.



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