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Jamaica Blue Hardcover – Oct 10 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (Oct. 10 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312304900
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312304904
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14.2 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,121,685 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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First Sentence
I'm tellin' ya, Mick, this kid is like the second coming of Bob Marley. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Mick Sever, a rock journalist and best selling author, is invited by a promoter to see the latest hot act-- a reggae/rap band led by an angry young man named Derrick Lyman. The band impresses Sever, however, there appears to be a problem. At two previous concerts, young women who attended the concert were later found murdered. The band travels to Miami where they will open the Brandy concert and, hopefully, get a lucrative recording contract.
Unfortunately, at a party on a boat, a young woman is not only found stabbed to death but one of the band's security guards is found holding the knife. When the guard is arrested, Sever feels the wrong man was arrested. He tries to prove that he is correct.
Amateur PI books can be a bit problematic. To be successful, they must be believable. Just as important, the characters have to be engaging enough to allow the reader to accept the necessary suspension of reality and overlook the fact that, say, a rock promoter as a PI is highly unlikely. Don Bruns succeeds in his first effort. Not only is Mick Sever a believable character, but, being a rock promoter allows him to reveal many interesting facets of the recording industry. Of course, Don Bruns, the author, can supply us with much of the information given that he is a songwriter, musician and ad executive. Mr. Bruns has done his homework well in creating this very, very good mystery by working well within the formulaic genre. He breaks no new ground. The novel is paced well and is kept to a reasonable length. Problems include weaknesses in the more minor characterizations. I never truly got a good feel for many of the suspects. However, Don Bruns deserves a lot of credit for hitting a homer his first time at bat.
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Format: Hardcover
Derrick Lyman, the leader of a Jamaican Reggae and Hip-hop group, Derrick Lyman and The Laments, is hailed as the new Bob Marley. A veteran rock journalist, Mick Sever, is invited by the group's manager to write about their rising fame and emergence as superstars. However, two women have been found murdered after their concerts. This arouses curiosity in Sever, who begins to ask questions about the murders. The trail leads to another murder after the band's appearance in Florida, and a dangerous investigation by the rock journalist-sleuth ensues. This is a solid debut by Mr. Bruns, who intricately weaves suspense within the backdrop of a music superstar culture. The author is a musician, songwriter, and advertising executive...
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Format: Hardcover
Mick Sever is the most intriguing character to hit the whodunit genre in a long time. A freelance rock and roll journalist, Sever is brought to Jamaica to review the hottest Reggae band since the Wailers. The leader, Derrick Lyman, is a charismatic Rastafarian who mixes violent political lyrics with intense tunes and has a cult following. Unfortunately, young, attractive, female members of that following keep turning up dead after his concerts. Mick decides the real story is in the murders not the music and begins a pursuit of the guilty parties that puts him in as much jeopardy as the victims.
With his ex-wife Ginny along for support he draws ever closer to the truth, while deftly negotiating the seamy underbelly of the music industry. Bruns does this sort of thing far better than Kinky Friedman, Greg Kihn or others who have gone before. Mixing tidbits about real rock legends with fictional ones gives this first novel a sense of realism and urgency that keeps pages turning. The relationship between Sever and ex-wife is a highlight of the book-how many slueths work with an ex?
If you are into music at all, or if you just like a good mystery, this book will scratch your itch. Hopefully there is a sequel around the bend as Mick Sever deserves a long run.
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Format: Hardcover
When an old friend asks him to check out a new band, rock and roll reviewer Mick Sever drops his book tour and heads for Jamaica. It looks like Sever's friend, promoter Bobby Vane has hit the jackpot. Derrick and the Laments is magical--and Sever writes a complimentary review. Surely the two murders that happened after the band's shows are just coincidence. But when a third woman is killed--and one of the band's roadies accused of the murder, Sever knows he's got to look more closely. He's sure he saw confusion, not guilt in the accused man's eyes.
Author Don Bruns writes convincingly about the music business and the power, money, drugs, and sex that surround it. His descriptions of the charismatic band leader Derrick ring true. JAMAICA BLUE is a well written first novel for Bruns. I would have liked to see more attention to potential red herrings, however. Although Sever identified several potential suspects early on, he never seemed to get around to investigating them--surely a top journalist would have tracked down these loose ends.
JAMAICA BLUE isn't a perfect novel but it marks a promising first mystery. I'll be looking for more novels by Don Bruns.
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