Slavs, as Milan Jacovich observes, aren't prone to forgive and forget. So it's not easy for Milan to say yes when his former lover, Channel 12 sales exec Mary Soderberg, wants to hire Milan Security on behalf of Steve Cirini, the smarmy charmer who stole her away from Milan. The Cleveland cops like Steve for the strangling of rising Channel 12 star Virginia Carville. Since the other suspects, though they offer strikingly different opinions of Ginger--was she a careerist saint, a hard-nosed pro, a hot- bodied bedmate, or an amoral user?--share a conspicuous lack of motive, it looks like a tough case--unless, of course, Milan minds failing and watching Steve twist slowly in the wind. But a cryptic series of notes on a diskette Mary filches from Ginger's desk leads Milan to an explosive story Ginger was working on, a story that casts many of the suspects in a nasty new light. Working through his own romantic problems--a particularly masterly scene takes Milan and his current partner from tender, spirited lovemaking to breakup--Milan follows the trail of Ginger's story to a satisfyingly surprising denouement. The only flaw in Milan's seventh case (The Duke of Cleveland, 1995, etc.): a vital clue cribbed from one of the best-known contemporary mysteries. Otherwise, all is low-key perfection.