Picking up a copy of The Case, I was unsure what to expect. I enjoy reading novels from authors that I have never heard of before because I have no preconceived ideas about how good the book is going to be. Sometimes, I read books recommended by others and while many are fantastic, others leave me wanting more.
Therefore, when I was asked to review The Case by Leopold Borstinski I jumped at the chance; it is always good to discover new authors especially those who write crime thrillers, one of my favourite genres.
The Case: A story about several cases and one particular briefcase
The Case glimpses into the life of the bold and ballsy private investigator, Jake Adkins. To begin with I was under the impression that I would be reading about one case in particular, hence the title, but it turns out that this is more a personal memoir recalling elements from many of Jake’s cases. We learn about how, when he started in the industry he had a partner, who unfortunately met with an untimely death, how he had once been in the army and how he ended his career because of a Mob Boss. We also get to follow along on his final investigation involving a precious briefcase.
From the comfort of my sofa, I get to envisage what life as a P.I. would be like; both the highs and the lows. I am invited into a world of corruption, boring surveillance jobs and hard-hitting life-and-death situations involving not only the mob but also the KKK, the FBI, the CIA and Britain’s finest.
It opened my eyes to all elements, including how lonely a life like this could be. Working silly hours and flying across different States, it is no wonder that Jake doesn’t ever mention a wife or family of his own. He does however relive his chance encounters with the many lonely wives, girlfriends or daughters of the people he is tailing; perhaps a little too frequently for my liking. I am not saying I am prudish or stuffy, I am simply highlighting that I picked this novel up expecting a hard-hitting crime investigation to open up before my eyes, and not the zipper of some man who has gotten frustrated watching one too many trysts through the lens of his camera.
That being said, the narrative is compelling. It is a novel that flits between time zones, sometimes skipping a decade or two only to come back to it during a pertinent point of reminiscing in the future.
Narrated by Jake himself, he lets slip only what he wants the reader to know at that point but then goes on to reveal more at a later stage. This not only keeps the story moving at pace but also unveils more about Jake’s personality.
For crime fiction fans, this is a tame read, with very little bloodshed actually taking place. However, neither is it one of those cozy crime reads we all sometimes delve into for a bit of light-hearted relief.
The Case is a gritty read that includes some violence and an awful lot of sex. As a quick read, it didn’t dazzle but the story wasn’t drawn out either, and while I can’t rant and rave about this particular novel, purely because in places I felt like I was reading Jake’s diary of illicit sex scenes rather than a crime thriller, I am interested in Leopold Borstinski’s book series and have high hopes for a more explicit crime story dripping with suspense and drama and perhaps a cliff-hanger or two.
Who Is Leopold Borstinski?
Leopold Borstinski is an independent author whose past careers have included financial journalism, business management of financial software companies, consulting and product sales and marketing, as well as teaching.
His writing career to date includes a series of books about the Lagotti family set in the 1960’s focusing heavily on gripping violent and dark humour, as well as several standalone novels.
Have you read any of Leopold Borstinski’s novels? Would you recommend any to others?