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Church of Spilled Blood    by Jesse Miles order for
Church of Spilled Blood
by Jesse Miles
Order:  USA  Can
Amazon, 2016 (2016)
* * *   Reviewed by Barbara Lingens

Private investigator Jack Salvo is a pretty interesting character. He is a wise-cracking philosopher, who actually teaches that subject at a city college. When crossed he has no trouble defending himself. And he has acute powers of observation and deduction.

All of which are needed for his current assignment. It started out to be a lark, bodyguard to three Russian dancers in a swank house in Westwood, a wealthy suburb of Los Angeles. But all goes terribly wrong when one of the dancers is kidnapped while Salvo is watching. So not only are the local police involved but also the FBI, since this is an international incident. After Salvo is released from the questioning he decides to investigate on his own. One thing leads to another, and he ends up in Russia as the carrier of ransom, which consists of millions of dollars' worth of diamonds.

Even though it is quite convoluted, the story is easy to follow, and things move along nice and fast. There are some editorial mishaps - at least two that I remember - but they caused only a temporary pause. It was fun to read about familiar Los Angeles locations. But for me the title should have been The Russian Caper because the Church of the Spilled Blood was only a meeting place. I was looking forward to so much more about it and St. Petersburg. Nevertheless this is a scintillating read.

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