The Cleveland Creep
A Milan Jacovich Mystery (#15)
by Les Roberts
- Hardcover, 253 pages, 5.6 x 8.8 inches
- ISBN: 978-1-59851-071-3
#15 in the Milan Jacovich mystery series . . .
A simple missing-person case gets complicated when Milan Jacovich (pronounced MY-lan YOCK-ovich) discovers that 28-year-old Earl Dacey left behind a strange collection of voyeuristic videos in his mother's West Side Cleveland house. Was Earl just a pervert shadowing Catholic schoolgirls in Northeast Ohio shopping malls with his hidden camera . . . or had he become entangled with unsavory characters in the local adult film business?
When Milan uncovers a possible link to organized crime, the FBI gets interested—and Milan's “well connected” friend Victor Gaimari gets angry. After a dead body turns up, the Cleveland Police take over, and Milan figures he's off the case. So why does crusty Lieutenant McHargue ask him to lend a hand?
Still feeling the effects of a recent concussion and well aware of his aging body, Milan takes the advice of a colleague and hires an assistant. Kevin O'Bannion is young and eager to learn the P.I. business. An Army veteran with combat experience and a juvenile-crime record, he definitely won't shy away from a fight. But will he be able to control his volatile temper and help get the job done? Milan finds out soon enough—with his own life on the line.
A fun and fast paced mystery thriller, highly recommended. Midwest Book Review
Milan Jacovich is SO real. He nearly jumps off the pages . . . He and his creator might be aging but like fine wine, their vintage only improves with time. coolcleveland.com
Les Roberts has the ability to make murder, mayhem, child pornography, and the X-rated movie industry palatable by showing the reader that Milan looks at the world with a slightly misshapen lens. If he couldn't find the humor he couldn't do the job without losing his soul. Murder by Type
Solid prose and a consistent hard edge. Publishers Weekly
The subject matter is very disturbing, dealing with pornography and physical abuse. But the story is solid and there's a really exciting action sequence. Record Courier
About Les Roberts
Les Roberts is the author of 16 mystery novels featuring Cleveland detective Milan Jacovich, as well as 11 other books. The past president of both the Private Eye Writers of America and the American Crime Writer's League, he came to mystery writing after a 24-year career in Hollywood. He was the first producer and head writer of the Hollywood Squares and wrote for The Andy Griffith Show, The Jackie Gleason Show, and The Man from U.N.C.L.E., among others. He has been a professional actor, a singer, a jazz musician, a teacher, and a film critic. In 2003 he received the Sherwood Anderson Literary Award. A native of Chicago, he now lives in Northeast Ohio. More About Les Roberts
Question & Answer with the author...
Q: The Cleveland Creep is the 15th book in the Milan Jacovich series. How has the series evolved?
A: I knew my last book, King of the Holly Hop, wouldn't be the final book in the Milan series. But, I knew some things would definitely have to change for the new book. Like me, Milan is getting older, and I had to shift the situation so it would not only be more realistic, but more appealing for younger readers. I decided to add a co-protagonist in The Cleveland Creep, a young man in his twenties.
Q: Has the character of Milan changed over the years? If so, how?
A: As I mentioned, he's gotten older, and he's probably gotten one concussion too many. If you count back to the older books, he's probably had five or six head injuries, plus he played football in high school and probably got hurt back then, too. So Milan has to take it a little bit easier. Also, most of his old friends, with the possible exception of Ed Stahl, have drifted away because they got angry with him.
Q: In the new book, Milan investigates a murder involving the underground adult film world. Does Cleveland even have an adult film industry?
A: Sure, Cleveland has an underground porn industry, like any other major city. It's nothing compared to Los Angeles or Miami, but there are people around here who will do just about anything to make a buck.
Q: What influenced you to make this a part of your book?
A: Several years ago I heard a TV report about a guy going around to malls with a camera in his shopping bag, taking pictures up girls' skirts, which is obviously illegal. I also read several stories about high school girls—sometimes from very well-to-do families—who were “prostituting” themselves. Of course there have to be adults behind these operations, and I feel very strongly about kids being taken advantage of. Like animal abuse, this issue bothers me tremendously. Both issues found their way into the new book.
Q: You gave Milan a younger assistant this time. What's he like?
A: Kevin O'Bannion, or K.O., is a guy with a short fuse. He spent time in juvenile hall for beating up some of his neighbors who, believe it or not, were cooking a live dog over a fire–– for fun! When K.O. got out, he really had nothing to do, so he enlisted in the army and ended up spending three tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, which can do a number on anybody. Basically K.O. is sullen and a pissed-off kind of guy, but he's really bright and wants to become a law enforcement officer himself. Since he knows this isn't going to happen right away, he decides to sign on as Milan's assistant to get some experience. He isn't used to taking orders from other people, though, so there's some conflict between him and Milan in the book.
Q: A lot of Cleveland Creep takes place in Lake County, Ohio, rather than the city of Cleveland. What made you venture out into this more rural setting?
A: I like the idea of getting Milan out of Cleveland proper now and then. I'm not going to send him to Canada or anything, but I still like to keep him in Northeast Ohio. The only times I sent him out of the area were for a short time in Duke of Cleveland and again briefly in The Lake Effect. Otherwise, he's a local guy, just like I am. I don't leave Cleveland that often myself.
Q: Will there be another Milan book in the future? If so, can you tell us a little about it?
A: Yes. There will be another Milan book. I can only tell you it has a lot of characters who are local, corrupt politicians. You can do the math yourself.
Other books by Les Roberts:
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