Deep Shaker, by Les Roberts

Cover ImageFinished 6-17-09, rating 4, mystery, pub. 1991

Book 3 in the Milan Jacovich mystery series

The school had been old when I attended, and now my own son and Paulie Baznik were sneaking cigarettes in the same washroom where Matt and I had puffed them twenty-five years before, and there was something about the symmetry of it that appealed to me.  I felt a twinge of pity for those of my generation who had become creatures of the corporate, transferring halfway across the country to another milieu to keep their jobs, leaving their roots and their memories behind them.

Chapter 3

Milan, ex-cop turned private investigator, is asked by a long time friend to talk to his teen son.  His friend is afraid his 14 year old is involved in something bad and he wants Milan’s opinion.  Milan reaches the same conclusion as his friend – the boy is using and probably selling drugs.  Milan begins to do a little digging and finds that there is a huge drug problem in Cleveland that the police are trying to keep a lid on.   Milan steps on a few toes, but refuses to back down his investigation into the Jamaican ring of drug peddlers. 

Milan is much more maudlin in this third book.  He is facing problems in his realtionship with his girlfriend Mary and he is struck by how fast his two sons are growing up, with him only around every two weeks.  He is feeling alone and a little old as he approaches 40 and this books struck just the right chord with me.  The mystery was good, but this third time around showed so much more depth and I really ‘get’ Milan so much better now.  He is not just a man to right Cleveland’s wrongs, he is also a flawed and appealing character.

This series is set in Cleveland, Ohio and as a resident I must applaud Roberts in his love for the city.  Each book showcases another neighborhood and the descriptions are spot on.  It is interesting to note that Les Roberts is not from Cleveland.  He is from the Chicago area and lived in LA for many years.  After he began to visit Cleveland he liked it so much that he has decided to call it home, moving here in the early 90’s, around the time this book was published.