31 January 2010

DARK SIDE OF THE MORGUE: A Spike Berenger Rock'n'Roll Hit - Raymond Benson

From the back of the book: Musicians in progressive rock bands in Chicago are being murdered--one by one. The local police have no clues, but several of the musicians who fear they're next on the hit list claim that the killer is a ghost from the past--a woman who was reported missing and presumed dead for over thirty years!
The Rockin' Security team is called into actio. Spike and his partner, Suzanne Prescott, travel to Chicago to investigate the case, only to find that no one wants to talk. As Spike digs deeper, he begins to unearth a lode of deadly secrets involving sex, psychedelic drugs, and, of course, rock'n'roll. And it isn't long before the private detective becomes a pawn in a very dangerous game.
I love finding new-to-me authors and books. Especially when the book turns out to be as good as this one did. A nice plus, Lee Child's blurb on the front, "Benson is a top-class thriller craftsman who know showbiz and music like the back of his hand. And unbeatable combination."
Well, hell, that line alone put the book to the top of the nightstand section of Mt Git'r'Read when it arrived in my order from High Crimes Mystery Bookshop. And I was lucky to have some quiet shifts during our last activity, so I took it in with me and finished it quickly. A very compelling, turn-the-page-faster, kind of book.
I love the name Spike, ever since James Marsters first showed up on Buffy the Vampire Slayer as bad boy William the Bloody aka Spike, so I had a fairly immediate interest in the main character of the book, part owner of Rockin' Security, the go-to security peeps if you are a rock star and need some protection or private investigatin' done. Might be shallow, but there it is. The book stands up just fine in its own right without my little shallow added bonus.
There's no such thing as this progressive rock movement in Chicago, or Chicagoprog as it's called in the book, but the way Benson writes prog-rock family tree, you'd really think it existed.
The mystery is good, even though I figured out the whodunnit about halfway through. I didn't mind, though, the story was compelling and I wanted to make sure I was right, there were a couple of characters who had the motive and opportunity.
Five compelling rock'n'roll beans......

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