Omaha Stakes by Mark Everett Stone (Files of the BSI: Book 5)

This is the fifth book in the Case files of the Bureau of Supernatural Investigations, as usual it is best to read these in order as the books themselves mention events from previous instalments. Please do not read on if you haven’t read the previous books, reviews can be found here.

Omaha Stakes is almost a where do we go from here book, after the events in Chicago The Windigo City, Kal has been left in charge of the BSI whilst his boss BB goes to a huge meeting with the heads of all the paranormal protection agencies throughout the world. This puts Kal in an odd position as he is a proactive guy, who is realising the time and effort it takes to be at the top. Kal is looking for an excuse to get out and fight some bad guys, when a case falls into his lap which only he can sort out.

In Omaha Stakes Kal is the mouse in a cat and mouse story, constantly set up to not know the rules of the game he has entered. Is Kal about to be outclassed or will he manage to die another day? This book is interesting for the secondary story that Kal is interlinked with that takes Team Epsilon; in Omaha as hidden back up for Kal go on a journey of self discovery.

It is interesting how this version of Team Epsilon comes together to help keep Kal out of too much trouble: Canton Kal’s best friend, after the events in Chicago has definitely become a stronger character with many more chapters being written from his perspective which broadens the scope of his character, although he and Kal being Soul Brothers does mean there is quite a lot of “What would Kal do?”, but it is nice to see him becoming team leader and handling the responsibility rather well.

The rest of the team are not so clearly defined Alex who from the start has always been a side character, finally gets a bit more personality, although this could be the fact that he is back in the field again. His character is funny but overly intense. Jeanie and Patricia are given the mother roles in this story, although both of these characters are strong and independent in their own right they mostly seem to worry about Kal in Omaha Stakes. The new team members Dove and Dom will hopefully be given bigger roles in the future.

The tales of the BSI series have always been about Kal growing up and this story really shows the changes he has made over the last few books, it is crazy to think that this would be the life of anyone and that they could keep doing this job day in and out over 10 years, which is roughly how long Kal has been a BSI agent, how much longer can he do this? Will his burgeoning relationship with Jeanie change his life?

These stories can feel sometimes formulaic, but with each new challenge there is a freshness that keeps you interested, you do need to know who will have survived by the end of the story. I really enjoy the pop culture references that stream from the characters lips it almost makes it feel like a game to see how many references you can spot and recognise before you are told where they come from.

7/10 With each new challenge there is a freshness that keeps you interested.

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