Book cover design & photography: John Boden
When musician and composer Eva Perouk is found dead in Mexico City, press baron Sir Reginald Carver sends his ace investigative reporter Mike ‘Jacko’ Jackson to find out who did it. Sir Reggie is unwilling to reveal the exact nature of his previous relationship with Eva, but Jacko begins to suspect it has some bearing on the case.
The investigation is far from straightforward, and is further complicated by corruption within the Mexican police. Jacko forms a difficult relationship with the officer in charge of the case, and together they begin to unravel the apparent contradictions in the evidence.
After it becomes clear someone in the criminal underworld doesn’t want Jacko to investigate, newsgroup enforcer Larry the Lamb is sent to protect him. However Jacko suspects Larry may have been sent to spy on him, or close the investigation down should he stray from the narrow parameters which have been set by Reggie.
Hacking into Eva’s voicemail and email becomes a priority, in order to find out about her recent past. With the tacit agreement of his editor, Jacko is willing to break the rules, to uncover the truth about Eva Perouk.
Several of the characters in this book are based on the creative progeny (or maybe alter egos) of my friends. Some of them have been used by one individual, some are shared, some previously had no discernible characteristics, and some were well rounded. Thanks are due to George Hinchliffe, Ian Wood, and Dave Walklett for the loan of their musical and literary offspring.
A quick search on the internet for Eva Perouk, Banquo Vadis, or Milovan Srdenovic will reveal movies, music, the Perouk Trophy competition, and much more besides.
This was the first book I wrote in this style. It is a style derived primarily from two things. I much admired the short chapters, and the gradual revelations, of the late Robert Parker. I also liked the idea of telling the story in the dialogue, as suggested by James Ellroy. But it also owes something to pulp fiction, and even Evelyn Waugh, in the eccentricity of the characters, and extreme nature of the plot. This was toned down a little in subsequent books, and in “The Few Things We Have” the technique was used to tell a much more serious story.