St. Martins, August 2003, 23.95, 288 pp.
The rock concert at the All-Chicago Sports Arena in Chicago is over and the world's most popular boy's band, Boys 4U, is celebrating the end of a six-month tour. The joyous occasion comes to a screeching halt when the body of the unofficial leader of the group Roger Stendar is found dead, a bullet in the back of his head. The autopsy shows that he had anal sex right before he died but there were no marks to indicate he struggled.
Chicago police detectives Paul Turner and Buck Fenwick are assigned to the case and when they do a search of the crime scene they find the gun with no bullets in it. Somebody shot at the stage where the group was performing and they find other evidence of sabotage. When a second band member is killed a few days later in the same manner, Turner and Fenwick realize they have to stop the killer before he cancels the entire band.
DEAD EGOTISTICAL MORONS shows readers a glimpse of the sickening side of what goes on behind the scenes in the music industry. Mark Richard Zubro has written an exciting police procedural where the homicides are solved by tried and true investigating techniques. The members of the band engage the reader's sympathy because they act like mixed up scared kids who need adult supervision. The protagonist doesn't want to play daddy but at least two of the members of the band want to cast him in that role. The lead detective defines grace under pressure as he is bombarded from all sides to solve the case quickly.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner