Reviewed by: Jess
Approximate word count: 70-75,000 words
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Kathryn Lively is an accomplished freelance writer, novelist, editor and EPIC award winner. Some of her titles include: Little Flowers, Pithed, Rocky Horror Twitter Show, and a set of short, funny skits titled Schtick to the Script.
Penned under the name L.K. Ellwood, you can find: Fade Out and Murder Most Trivial. She also writes the Ronnie Lord series under this name, including: Saints Preserve Us, Pray For Us Sinners and coming in 2013, Deliver Us From Evil. For more information on Kathryn Lively you can follow her on Facebook and Twitter, or visit her website at or check out her blog.
Matt “Lerxst” Johnston, Gramma’s boy, music tutor and local celebrity is awakened to his attempted suffocation via smothering by an attractive stranger. He comes to realize this is the beginning of an adventure that will lead him down a path of murder and mayhem while encompassing a little of the sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll you might expect from a bassist in a RUSH tribute band.
Ms. Lively’s writing made the time spent reading this book quite enjoyable. I love a good plot twist, and by putting the main character into scenes that contraindicated my assumptions, she was able to entertain me throughout the novel. This tactic kept me guessing and reading long after I should have been asleep. The storyline had the potential to be witty and darkly comical, but came across as intriguing instead as Lerxst’s sweetness is in direct contrast to the situations and supporting characters he finds himself involved in. The ending was a bit far-fetched, playing out more like a made for TV movie, but that only added to the lightheartedness of the read and gave it full closure.
I rarely have to read a sentence twice but found it a frequent need during the first half of the book. Lively has a strategy of bisecting an action sentence with another full sentence or two of the character’s thoughts. This segmentation was difficult for me to get used to and I felt it interrupted the flow, although not too badly.
One thing to note, instead of using the word God in slang terms, she uses Ged instead. It was just odd because it was quite frequent. The mental intent was already there, so I didn’t understand why the change.
The book was previously published under the title Dead Barchetta, then revised and republished as Rock Deadly. I felt the book could have used one more edit when published as Dead Barchetta due to the omission of small words like: as, if, when, etc. To celebrate the release of a RUSH album, an additional edit was completed and the revised title of Rock Deadly was given. I'm uncertain if these minor errors were caught then. No spelling mistakes were found.
Rating: **** Four stars