Tales of Tomasewski
Manufacturer: Musa Publishing
Jake Thompson, aka Jan Tomasewski, is in cop purgatory—for doing the right thing. Jake has a nose for cases that punish him for doing what’s right. In fact, the hospital issued him a frequent-patient card with extra points—for habitually doing the right thing. A crayon box full of victims, villains, and friends vibrantly color the cases Jake encounters on Chicago’s gritty Southside and follows to the Caribbean, Hong Kong and beyond.
Staecker, the author of four previous books, has written an excellent, fun saga in this new offering. The title character, Jake Thompson (who changed his name from Jan Tomasewski when he joined the Chicago police), narrates the story line in an engaging, witty, often touching manner that brings the back-streets of Chicago to vivid life. In punishment for a mistake he made during a major sting operation, Jake is assigned to the Chicago PDs “crap list,” his official police work confined to meaningless duties in a division filled with misfits. But Thompson’s a classic anti-hero, a smart guy who has a way of getting himself involved in “off the books” mysteries. Thus his “tales,” a set of linked short stories about his personal investigations – finding missing people, uncovering corruption, even traveling to Hong Kong to help find a serial killer.
Staecker’s well-drawn characters are fully fleshed out. Jake’s friends, family and fellow cops have personalities, with real problems that carry forward the stories; even some of the criminals show real human traits, something that is less and less common in much police fiction. Staecker’s skillful use of dialogue, in crisp, clever style, make Jake’s story a fast, enjoyable and often humorous read.
Tales of Tomasewski is currently available only in Kindle or Nook format, but it is well worth the effort to get a copy and enjoy the stories. Highly recommended.
Reviewed by: Terry Shoptaugh (2012)