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Messed Up In Missoula

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Jake Orlo's latest novel is now available and wow, is it a page turner! 

Sometimes doing what's right can lead straight to disaster.

Thomas Catlin is a police detective in Missoula, Montana.  Not exactly the crime capital of the world.  You would expect things to be a little quieter there.  But you'd be wrong.

His partner William Jones, an unlikable and untrustworthy cop if Catlin ever met one.  And when a drug bust Jones sets up goes bad, Catlin has even more reason to distrust him.  What he doesn't know, however, is that failed drug bust is about to lead him down a rabbit hole of deceit, treachery, and the most damaging little black book since Capone's accountant's.

Jones' sister Mary is Catlin's chief suspect, and when her first love rolls into town right before her husband turns up dead the day after the failed drug bust, Catlin know he's on the right trail.  Sometimes, however, what we think is true, what we know is true, and what is really true don't line up.  In those times it's good to have a badge--and a better partner.  Now teamed with a whip-smart female detective named Delaney, they start to home in on a secret that many will kill to get, and still others will kill to protect.

Jake Orlo wrote as a hobby during his career in the world of computers and corporations before foregoing it all to devote his time to write full-time in western Montana.  Messed Up In Missoula is his second novel.

Marketing description

After a drug deal goes bad leads to murder, a Missoula, Montana, detective struggles with his moral compass as he fights to unravel the mystery before any more residents of his town turn up dead.

Book Description

A drug deal gone bad.  A partner he can't trust.  And murders he can't explain.


Thomas Catlin's job as a detective in Missoula, Montana, seems to be going from bad to worse.  Teamed with lowlife detective William Jones, a guy he hardly knows and barely tolerates, everything goes to hell when a drug bust Jones set up goes bad.  Suspecting Jones' sister Mary, Catlin finds himself slipping down a rabbit hole of intrigue and murder when Mary's husband turns up dead the next morning--not long after Mary's first love arrived in town after a stint in the marines.  Problem is, when the clues seem this easy, when the perp seems this clear, trying to do the right thing can lead to disaster.


Soon teamed with a new female detective named Delaney, the two dive deeper into the seedy underbelly of Missoula as they try to put this case to bed.  But nothing is ever that simple in a murder investigation and as the complications rise and the danger escalates, Catlin and Delaney start to hone in on a secret that many will do anything to get and others will kill to protect.


A taut, high-wire act of a murder mystery, Jake Orlo's second novel is a thrilling addition to the oeuvre.  Thomas Catlin is a revelation, a rough-around-the-edges detective with the toughness we've come to expect from our heroes working in the darkest corners of society.  And as blackmail ratchets up the intensity, Catlin's inner battle is classic noir detective fiction at its finest, a probing look at the evil men --and women--do and the toll it takes on the souls of those dedicated to protect and serve.  Full of rich detail and razor sharp dialogue, Messed Up In Missoula is a quintessential murder mystery that brings life to a classic new anti-hero amidst the wild frontier of civilized Montana.

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