On a punishing midwinter day in Cleveland he sits on a bench, snow collecting on his shoulders, staring up at the building in which Milan Jacovich (The Best Kept Secret
, 1999, etc.) happens to have his p.i. office—this ancient, stone-faced Native American. Milan tries hard not to take serious notice. He's aware that curiosity is one of his major character flaws, that it gets him into trouble, and that it makes his girlfriend Connie wobbly about the future of their relationship. So Milan grits his teeth, reins himself in, and does a good job of minding his own business—until the following day, when the mysterious Indian disappears, and Eddie Ettawageshick turns up at Milan's door to unload his troubles. Eddie's a member of the Odawa, a tribe that has settled in backwater Cross Creek, Michigan, and Joseph, the old man, is his grandfather. Sedentary Joseph, says Eddie, made the journey all the way to Cleveland because his daughter's baby was kidnapped. But the Odawa are hardscrabble people, Milan points out, a thin bet for a fat ransom. And why Cleveland? All Eddie knows is that his grandfather knew something important enough to bring him there. He begs Milan to discover what that something is. Connie in mind, Milan tries to resist, but he can't walk away. Reluctantly, he buckles down, finds a baby, and solves two murders. As for Connie . . . well, win some, lose some.
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