Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Paperback: "The Big Keep" by Melissa F. Olson

Paperback: The Big Keep by Melissa F. Olson, 2014, 9781939996213.

Boy, the MARC record for this is pretty damn skimpy. I woulda' sworn Olson lived in the Twin Cities and I bought this for the library off a recommendation. Nope. Olson lives in Madison. At least I presume she still lives in Madison. She may have moved. I don't  know.

I enjoyed this novel a fair bit. This is one of the 20-30 books I grabbed for vacation trips over the summer. I held this and a few others back, after some renewals, to read. Olson's main gig is writing "urban fantasy" with vampires and such. This is a regular PI novel.

Lena Dane quit the Chicago Police Department after she found out a popular senior officer was a serial rapist and serial killer. Lena killed that same cop in self-defense when he attacked her and she resigned her cop job and has been working as a private investigator in Chicago. This means her work is the usual investigations of marital trouble, insurance fraud, so on, so forth. Then 14-year-old Jason visits her Chicago office one day and ask for help searching for his biological father. The bio dad up and left the family when Jason was a baby. Jason's mother has passed and now his stepdad is dying of cancer.

Lena first meets with stepdad to confirm everything is up and up and takes the case. Bio Dad skipped Chicago over a decade ago and Lena's regular database searching finds bupkis until she gets a lead he went out to Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Lena has been spending time with lonely Jason and bringing him along to her father's comic book shop.

Lena has a bad habit of overwork and obsessiveness. This has strained her marriage as her involvement in previous cases involved violent situations. Her husband wants her to dial things back. Lena has not yet told her husband that she is pregnant.

Things happen. Lena heads to Los Angeles and stays with a pal who works for LAPD. Lena tracks down Bio Dad to learn he died just a couple weeks ago. Lena is threatened to stay off the case. Lena is stubborn. Lena lies to Husband. Husband gets super angry. Lena is being followed. LAPD pal thinks Lena should abort the kid, quit the husband, and go back to police work. Jason has no other relatives beyond loving Step Dad and his facing a tough if in group and foster homes.

Anyhoo. Olson throws in some criminal excitement and family drama. I liked the book but likely won't check out the Sexy Vampire Kills Werewolves genre she works in. I do admit to enjoying the happy ending. Lena deals with her pregnancy fears. Lena and Husband work out differences. Bad guys are killed. Lena and Husband take in Jason when Step Dad dies.

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