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Bloody River Blues [Mass Market Paperback]

Jeffrey Deaver , William Jefferies
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Dec 1 2000 Location Scout Mysteries

Jeffery Deaver is the New York Times bestselling author of The Empty Chair and The Devil's Teardrop. Here his trademark "ticking-bomb suspense" (People) explodes off the page in another heart-stopping thriller.


Hollywood location scout John Pellam thought the scenic backwater town of Maddox, Missouri, would be the perfect site for an upcoming Bonnie and Clyde-style film. But after real bullets leave two people dead and one cop paralyzed, he's more sought after than the Barrow Gang. Pellam had unwittingly wandered onto the crime scene just minutes before the brutal hits. Now the feds and local police want him to talk. Mob enforcers want him silenced. And a mysterious blonde just wants him. Trapped in a town full of sinister secrets and deadly deceptions, Pellam fears that death will imitate art, as the film shoot -- and his life -- race toward a breathtakingly bloody climax.


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From Amazon

John Pellam, scouting locations for a new film in a small town in Missouri, inadvertently witnesses a double homicide and some serious gunplay that left a cop paralyzed. He didn't see the guy who ordered the killings, but the police don't believe him. The U.S. attorney who thinks he knows who was behind the murders has bet his career on Pellam's identification of a criminal the feds have been trying to nail for years. They'll do anything to get Pellam's cooperation, including threatening his new girlfriend, shutting down the movie, and keeping Pellam from inking a deal to get his own film made. That project is Pellam's ticket back to the top of the heap in Hollywood, a perch he fell off of when he supplied the drugs that killed his best friend. The cops want Pellam's testimony, the mob boss wants him permanently silenced, and the film's director wants him to finish the job he's been paid to do. But first Pellam has to find his way out of the traps they've all set for him, and he does it with style, wit, and a self-deprecating charm that makes him a hero to everyone--well, almost everyone.

William Jefferies, who usually writes under the better-known nom de plume of Jeffery Deaver, has a couple of other Location Scout mysteries to his name (Shallow Graves, Hell's Kitchen). Pocket Books has reissued them as Deaver titles ("writing as William Jefferies"), but regardless of their provenance, they feature topnotch writing, snappy dialogue, solid pacing, and excellent characterization. Bloody River Blues was overlooked by Deaver's fans when it first came out eight years ago. Now that the publisher has cleared up the mystery of who actually wrote it, it ought to get the attention it deserves. --Jane Adams

From Publishers Weekly

Movie location scout John Pellam is working in Maddox, Mo., when he goes out for a case of beer. This innocuous outing lands him in big trouble when his beer collides with the door of a parked car whose occupants subsequently commit a rubout. Next thing he knows, Pellam finds himself being pursued by the killers, who fear Pellam can identify them; by the local police, because a cop was shot during the rub-out; and by the FBI, who think the murder was related to a racketeering case. Vincent Gaudia, the man who was killed, had turned witness against his boss, Peter Crimmins, who is wanted on RICO charges. The official bag of tricks used by the feds and police against Pellam includes interrogation, threats of prosecution on false charges, disruption of Pellam's life and business and hints that the film he's working on could be shut down. Jefferies ( Shallow Graves ) adds a twist that gives Pellam the last laugh while he makes his point about the baseness of the so-called good guys. Although the book works technically, reading a tale so replete with unpleasantness is still no picnic.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars relatively solid tale from the back catalogue Oct. 29 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
i've been enjoying these early thrillers from Deaver a lot. (especially his RUNE series) this one is no exception. Its not exactly high-brow, but its a fast, entertaining read, as all his early thrillers have so far been. They have good plots, which are not very complex, and are easy to get your head around, they are also full of twists, as is the norm with Deaver.
however, this one is a tiny bit disappoinging, because the cahracters are not as fleshed out as he is capable of.
but, the writing is very good once again, the plot sustains interest, its a quick and enjoyable read, and is reccomended to all fans of Jeffery Deaver.
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5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT GREAT GREAT!!! Oct. 2 2002
By eric
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book just sucks you in on the life of Pellam, a scout for a film company. He was a witness to a shooting that he wishes he never witnessed.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Witness To Murder Feb. 24 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
John Pellam works as a freelance location scout in the movie industry. His latest job has taken him to the supposedly sleepy town of Maddox, Missouri. He unknowingly bumps into a hired killer minutes before a hit takes place. Also caught up in the murder is a policeman who is shot and wounded. Both the cop and the killer remember Pellam and want to find him, though for obviously very different reasons.
Because a policeman was injured the local police department is very keen that Pellam comes forward as a witness and they become very aggressive when he claims that he didn’t see anything. The killer has assumed that he left behind a witness to his crime, and so takes it upon himself to eliminate the danger.
This early Jeffery Deaver provides a nice little thriller with a few surprises thron in, yet there is nothing that really grabs you and distinguishes it from the many other books in the genre.
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3.0 out of 5 stars SINGING THE BLUES May 23 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This second in the location scout mysteries by Jeffery Deaver, writing as William Jefferies, is one of those books that probably would never been re-released had it not been for Deaver's incredible success of the past five or six years. It doesn't have the complex plot twists or non-stop action Deaver has mastered lately. The hero, John Pellam, is upstaged in this book by Donnie Buffett, an incredibly complex and multi-facted character. Buffett's character dominates the book, while Pellam is left being abused and mistreated by the ever nasty FBI and the local police force. The identity of the mystery blonde is pretty evident, if you remember those film noirs of the forties and fifties; the big boss' reason for wanting Vince Guadia dead is pretty obvious, too. The back and forth mob activities get confusing at first, and then downright, mediocre. The elimination of one of Pellam's friends is also predictable and the hitmen Bales and Steve From end up reminiscent of Laurel and Hardy, or the Two Stooges. I admire Deaver's writing style, which is evident in this book; it's just that it's such a cliche-ridden book, I was disappointed knowing how great Deaver is now!
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2.0 out of 5 stars A weak attempt in the past of an excellent writer April 20 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
John Pellam, while scouting locations in Missouri for a movie, due to a casual incident, is taken as the key witness of a street murder that leaves two people dead and a cop paralyzed, from then on he is wanted by the Feds and the boss of the gang of thugs who committed that crime.
Although I liked the other episodes of the location scout series, I was not pleased with this one, I have experienced a slow cold boring novel with a poor plot and shallow characters with the exception of Donnie Buffet, the crippled cop. Suspense was not well recreated when it has to be done and I could count just only one interesting twist that turns the whole story the other way, now Pellam goes after the perpetrators of the crime (the Feds, the thugs) , trying to find who was behind that act and why.
This novel was written around or before 1993, it is clear that at that time Mr. Deaver was polishing his writing skills in order to become the excellent writer that he is today. So I conclude that William Jefferies and Jeffery Deaver are both the same "individual" but two different "writers"
If you are looking for a good location scout mystery series novel, better try another attempt like Shallow Graves, is in my opinion the best of the trilogy (Shallow Graves - Bloody River Blues - Hell's Kitchen)
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