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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
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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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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4.0 out of 5 stars DIFFERENT DEAVER Dec 23 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I enjoyed this book tremendously. If it hadn't said Jeffery Deaver on the cover, I never would have guessed the author. It doesn't have the pace, the painstaking clues, and the twists and turns in the plot that you expect from Mr. Deaver. What it does have is a fascinating group of characters, tremendous humor (most of it rather dark), and an interesting setting. The hero, John Pellam. is likeable, quirky and reminds me of many characters Harrison Ford has played--the average guy who is pushed too far and resorts to action. Donnie Buffett, the cop who was paralyzed by a gunshot wound early in the book, is no stereotype. His reactions to his terrible injury run the gamut and strike true. The only female in the cast is mysterious, but not in a femme fatale way. You keep wondering "what is she *doing* here??" The setting is Maddox, MO, a economically depressed river town whose only claim to fame is FDR once mentioned it in a Fireside Chat as an example of towns hard-hit by the depression. In this hard-scrabble town, a movie is being made. Hollywood lurks in the background.
I recommend this enjoyable book highly.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A Lightweight Mystery Dec 13 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
John Pellam, a movie location scout with a checkered past, finds himself caught in the middle of a real life murder for hire scenario in which he becomes the main witness. Withstanding pressure from the local police, federal agents, and the perpetrators, he must take matters into his own hands and bring down the curtain on the case. Along the way he becomes involved with a mysterious blonde, assorted hit men, and a partially paralyzed policeman.
Deaver's John Pellam is a reasonaably interesting character. He personifies the typical anti-hero, and we get a fairly clear picture of his strengths and weaknesses. Except for Donnie Buffett, the partially paralyzed police officer, all of the other characters are shallow.
This is a moderately interesting book. The story line is straight forward and we learn early on much of what we need to know to follow along as observers with Pellam. There are not many twists and turns to ratchet up the suspense level here. I'd say this is a nice book to curl up with beside the fireplace on a long winter's night. It's an easy read to help while away the hours.
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