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King of the Holly Hop
by Les Roberts

Everyone breathed a sigh of relief when Les Roberts decided to write another Milan Jacovich mystery. Milan is a character we have come to think of as a friend and when we heard he had his last adventure everyone was saddened.

Along came King of the Holly Hop: A Milan Jacovich Mystery). Expectations were high. The kind of high you get before a big event (Holly Hop?) and the kind of high that usually leaves you feeling a little flat because you had expected so much.

In the case of King of the Holly Hop, the expectations more than panned out. It is Milan Jacovich at his finest. The story was filled with interesting characters, most from Milan's High School Days at St. Clair High School.

We were re-introduced to fellow private investigator Suzanne Davis, a character we haven't heard from since Roberts' 2001, The Indian Sign. Her interaction with Milan adds a lot to the story and it keeps the Milan character very real.

We also get another look into the strange but endearing relationship between Milan and Mafia boss, Don Giancarlo D'Alessandro.

A murder occurs the night of Milan's High School reunion. He is retained by the attorney-husband of a high school classmate to direct attention from the number one suspect, also a classmate.

In his attempt to clear Tommy Wiggins, he uncovers information about people he has known for more than 40 years and wonders if he ever really knew them at all. This assignment is difficult for Milan both physically and emotionally.

Les Roberts has never let us down. He is a consistent, careful author who knows Milan better than many of us know ourselves. He stays true to this character, and as always, he writes a fascinating story with superb character development.

You will find yourself rethinking your own high school days and wondering what you might have overlooked then, and what your friends are doing today.

This book could either make you attend your next reunion, or run like the wind in the other direction.

King of The Holly Hop is a must read - whether you are new to the Milan Jacovich stories or have followed him throughout his previous 13 adventures.

The only remaining question is - when is No. 15 in the Milan Jacovich series coming out?

Reviewed by Debbie Hanson

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