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  • Mystery/Back Stage of a Rock Concert - Yes, Please

    What a fun read, full of interesting characters and some details on the work that takes place behind the scenes of a rock concert tour. The characters are briefly sketched, with more details offered in the few chapters that are written from that character’s point of view. The primary protagonists are Danny, an investigative reporter who now works in radio and Daisy, head of publicity for the music tour that is bringing rock star Martha out of retirement. They are working closely with a police task force from Scotland Yard who, in turn, gets help from some international police forces. The reader is quickly made aware that the rock tour is a vehicle for some illegal activities which are being committed by the promoter, Novak who is working with an international crime boss, Baka. Both Novak and Baka have long been in the sites of a special organized crime task force at Scotland Yard, and the head of this force is willing to work with Danny and Daisy as they seem to have an inside track. Early in the book, Martha is kidnapped by Baka in the attempt to get Novak to agree to different terms for the illegal activity in which he has become involved. Danny and Daisy’s top priority is finding Martha, while the police are more interested in the organized crime angle. There is duplicity on all sides, with everyone agreeing to be open and transparent, but then holding back information from the other parties. The book moves at a quick pace which is accomplished in part by the short chapters and the short sentence structure that help the reader increase their reading speed. There is considerable intrigue as Danny and Daisy, along with several others, try to locate Martha and try to understand Nowak’s place in the organization. The intrigue pulls the reader along without relying on unnecessary cliffhangers and tension to maintain interest in the book. It is easy to read, and the writing encourages the reader to read “just one more chapter’ before putting the book down. Overall, it is an interesting, well written action thriller. It is easy for the reader to see the places as well as experience the action, which increases the enjoyment of the book. The descriptions of the characters are more detailed in terms of emotions and behaviors than specific appearances, allowing the reader to create their own image of the various people in the book. For the most part the conclusion is satisfying up until the last page. On the last page the author throws in a huge cliffhanger that leaves the reader with the feeling that in order to find out the result, they will have to read the next book. I have no objection to leaving some issues “open-ended”, allowing the reader to craft their own results for some issue; but I dislike having something added in the final page or two of a book that clearly creates a set-up for an entirely new drama for one or more of the characters of the current book. Unlike relationships that develop over the course of several books in a series, this is a ploy that seems to put one or more of the characters in jeopardy, then abruptly stops, leaving the reader no choice but to read the next book to find and resolve the next issue. Different readers have different responses to this type of writing. In general, I stop reading the series because it seems there may be no real end in sight. My thanks to Matador Publishing and NetGalley for providing me with an advanced digital reader copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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