JESSE MILES – The Middle Sister. Jack Salvo #3 Robert Peoples, trade paperback, August 2019.

   Jack Salvo is yet another LA PI — not, of course, that there’s anything wrong with that! — whose third recorded case involves a daughter who’s been missing for a week. As the title suggests, she’s the middle sister of three (age-wise) in a wealthy family, and since she’s known for having lived in the fast lane, including drugs, it comes as no great surprise to anyone that Jack finds her dead, presumably of an overdose of heroin that was purer than usual.

   Jack senses that there’s more to the story, though, and decides to investigate her death a little longer, even if he’s no longer being paid for it. There’s a lot of scum in Hollywood: hangers-on, cheap grifters, wanna-be’s, never-will-be’s, out-and-out crooks, and so on, and it also comes as no great surprise that the trail Jack find himself following leads him through a subculture populated by all of the above.

   Even though this is the kind of private eye story that’s been told many times before, the good news for PI Fans is that it’s better written than a lot of them. Jack Salvo, who’s also an adjunct professor of philosophy and logic on the side, is an amiable sort of guy with all he right kind of contacts and connections that a good PI has to have.

   The less than good news is Jack Salvo doesn’t have the sort of quirks and/or sparks to his personality that might let him stand out more among the better known PI’s working the same beat. Nor does he have a philosophy of life that keeps the story from sloughing off in the middle of the case, as all PI stories= do, even the best of them.

   For fans of LA-based private eye stories only, and Hollywood in particular. It helps, though, that there’s a lot of us.

Bibliographic Note:   Jack Salvo’s previous cases are available on Kindle only: Dead Drop (2014) and Church of Spilled Blood (2016).