Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Hard Day's Death (Spike Berenger) by Raymond Benson

As a rock reporter I always enjoy a crime novel set in the music world. With this new series Raymond Benson treats me to a setting that I would surely enjoy. The main protagonist, Spike Berenger is a PI who works for the music business. In this novel he is hired to prove that a rocker's son isn't the one who killed his dad. This father seems to be a mix of John Lennon and David Bowie with all the exes you might expect as well as a connection to some kind of cult. During his investigation Spike also encounters two gangs who seem to be modelled after Slipknot and The Ramones, playing music in the streets but also dealing drugs.
Aiding Spike are his beautiful ex-goth female partner, a Rage Against The Machine fan slash computer wizard and an ex-FBI agent.
Raymond clearly knows the music world and gets the most out of the setting without turning it into a gimmick. Spike is a likable and tough main man. The plot is surprising enough to make the mystery part satisfying. The only problem I had with the story was with the street gangs. Although an original idea it felt a bit too much like a comicbook to me.

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