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Blood Country
     

Blood Country

by Dan Jewell
 
Blood Country: A Nashville Sideman Mystery

In Nashville, it's conventional wisdom that if you're a sideman looking for work in the music business, you'd better have a steady day job. Guitarist Joe Rose has a day job, and his business card reads: "Sideman Investigations, Put Someone on Your Side."

Rose is hired by strung out Country Music

Overview

Blood Country: A Nashville Sideman Mystery

In Nashville, it's conventional wisdom that if you're a sideman looking for work in the music business, you'd better have a steady day job. Guitarist Joe Rose has a day job, and his business card reads: "Sideman Investigations, Put Someone on Your Side."

Rose is hired by strung out Country Music superstar Vern Hamlin, already a guitar legend in music circles at the age of 36. Vern, who's also a producer and president of Great Axe Music, employs Rose to reopen a twenty year old murder case-the killing of his father King Hamlin. Before his death, King was a successful country singer himself and an even better businessman. He left a sizeable estate when he died, all under the umbrella of Hamlin Enterprises. The company includes several auto dealerships throughout the South, furniture plants in Mexico, a casket plant in Danesberg, Tennessee, vast real estate holdings, and the more publicly recognizable music company, Great Axe, now run by his son Vern.

Vern's decision to reopen his father's murder case has been prompted by a mysterious letter asserting that the man accused of the murder, Billy Wolf, killed in an escape attempt shortly after the murder, was not guilty. The letter writer identifies himself as "Monkey" and asks Vern to talk to "Blue," "Dirt Dobber," "Snake," "Bird," or "Charlie Chan." According to the letter writer, these people will help him find the real killer.

Because of Vern's drug and alcohol problems, his uncle Claude, CEO of Hamlin Enterprises, doesn't approve of his nephew's plan to reopen the old murder case; he fears it will jeopardize Vern's present sobriety and damage his tremendously successful work at Great Axe. But Hamlin's personal assistant, Jessica Apple, suspects the old murder is actually the cause of his substance abuse and that pursuing the investigation will help him get closure. Apple, however, doesn't like Rose and distrusts private investigators in general.

First, Rose questions the "Monkey" in the letter, Vern's friend Monk Sutton, a Desert Storm vet with PTSD. When Rose reveals that he knows Sutton's claim to be a Special Forces soldier during the first Iraq war is a lie, that he was instead stationed in Hawaii, the surly vet attacks Rose with a grass trimmer. After Rose subdues him, Monk still says he knows nothing about King's murder.

Soon after Rose's interview with Monk, the man is found dead. The police are uncertain if it's suicide or murder. Rose next meets with Hamlin's sexy ex-wife, entertainer Roxanne Hamlin, who is promoted by her publicist as "country music's answer to Lady Gaga." She attempts to seduce Rose in order to dissuade him from pursuing the investigation.

Rose also encounters an oddball Professor who writes mystery novels, a violence prone private investigator, a corrupt small town police chief, as well as a crazed songwriter with a big gun. Rose's search eventually leads him to question members of the Hamlin family, including Vern himself, his uncle Claude, his grandfather Floyd, and Vern's promiscuous stepmother, Monica Malone, now married to the controversial pastor of a Nashville megachurch.

As he digs deeper into the case, Rose is forced to examine his own attitudes toward women and his relationships with them, especially his ex-wife Patty Hill and girlfriend Cathy Greene. In Blood Country, sideman/P.I. Joe Rose rips off the rhinestone mask of the Nashville music scene and exposes the murderous secrets of sex and revenge that a respected family has buried for twenty years.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781432765835
Publisher:
Outskirts Press, Inc.
Publication date:
01/31/2011
Pages:
354
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.79(d)

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