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Bloody River Blues (1993)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0671047507, Mass Market Paperback)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
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:45 -0400)
"Hard-living Hollywood location scout John Pellam found the perfect backwater Missouri town for shooting a retro gangster film. But when real bullets leave two people dead and one cop paralyzed, Pellam--an unwitting witness to the brutal hits--is suddenly the South's most wanted man. 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 must focus on facing down a killer before his own story fades to black."--Publisher description
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