St. Martin's, Oct 2002, 24.95, 310 pp.
Internationally famous and highly regarded rock critic Mick Sever accedes to writing an article on a new reggae group Derrick and the Laments headed by the charismatic Derrick Layman, whose songs advocate violence especially against women. At a recent Derrick and the Laments, two women were killed. Now at the celebration party after the group‘s debut American event, someone kills another girl. The Miami police arrest security guard Roland Jamison, since he is standing over the body holding a bloody knife.
Sever was on the scene when the police found Jamison hovering over the corpse, but he noticed the confused face of the accused. The police reject Mick's plea that Jamsion is an innocent dupe so he begins his own inquiries fueled by his success as a true crime writer of one book involving a murdered rock star. The police and the music industry refuse to help Sever and even try to physically remove him from derailing the rise of a potential reggae superstar, but the author-journalist keeps trying to uncover the truth.
The murder mystery takes a back seat to the insightful look at the music industry especially the publicity behind luminaries, famous people, and future stars. The investigation has some action as assailants try to stop Sever, but feels more like a cozy even with sex and drugs in the background. Readers who enjoy a comprehensive look at the world of rock from the perspective of an insider rolled into a who-done-it will enjoy Don Bruns debut tale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner