Since I missed my usual Sunday review yesterday, I thought I would post one today. Again, thanks to Carl Brookins for sending the reviews.
Author, Bill Moody
pub. date: 1999
248 pages, hardcover
Another fine novel in the Evan Horn series. A smoothly written psychological thriller. it’s tight, fast-paced, and should greatly please fans of this type of novel. It will also please fans of jazz music which today have nearly faded into oblivion.
We aren’t talking about fusion jazz or the highly commercialized, big-venue stuff. In fact, the practitioners of those kinds of highly commercialized music are the targets of a killer, the killer who forces piano player Evan
Horne to become a detective, on pain of more killings. Horne is reluctant but he allows himself to be cajoled into taking on the assignment, first by Cooper, his detective friend, then by the FBI which cannot match Horne’s knowledge of jazz, a key element in the story. Horne is really trying to make a comeback as a piano player after a serious injury. Cops and Robbers is not a gig he wants to play right now. The book is a compelling look inside the life of the performer who works the small clubs, as well as into the mind and psyche of a killer.
The title refers to Charlie “Bird” Parker, arguably one of the greatest saxophone players whoever lived. Moody evokes memories of a time when acoustic jazz was played in small smoky clubs all over the world to
audiences of deeply dedicated fans who were as obsessed with their music as hip-hoppers are today. It was a time with roots from early Armstrong, from Coleman and Coltrane, when Brubeck and Joe Williams, Count Basie and singers like Chris Connor and Anita O’Day were on the charts.
But, whether the music and the artists draw you, or whether you like well-written crime fiction in any setting, here’s a story that will draw you in and satisfy your need. Moody is a knowledgeable master of his element.
I give this one a firm positive recommendation.