PLATINUM BLUES by Deverell William


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Deverell, known in his native Canada mainly for his energized but formulaic thrillers (Needles, High Crimes, Mindfield), lightens up very effectively in this tale of a small-town lawyer brought to the big city to chase the gold at the end of a musicpiracy rainbow. When low-key, burned-out widower Oliver Gulliver's teen-aged daughter Elora brings alcoholic former rocker C.C. Gilley home to Foolsgold, California, her father expects trouble. But he doesn't expect the form it'll take: Gilley, who's been writing song after song for the two months he's stayed sober as a condition of proposing to Elora, wakes up to find his car stolen, along with the priceless demo tape of one of his new songs, on the very night when Oliver's swinish brother-in-law Clarence Boggs vanishes with $35,000 in insurance premiums after a Foolsgold landmark burns to the ground. Before Oliver can file for copyright, a very similar song has been copyrighted by brain-dead performer Long Tom Slider, whose version becomes a monster hit, and Oliver, facing mountainous debts and unimpressed by the music lawyer he meets in L.A., decides to take this last chance at the brass ring and try the case himself. The characters Oliver runs up against--go-get-'em reporter Charles Loobie, deal-a-minute executive Bennie Ford, quietly sympathetic producer Tricia Santarossa, and a wacko cross-section of the California judiciary--are delightful; his adventures take him careening satisfyingly back and forth between crazy success and sobering failure; and the teasing flashforwards interwoven with the story--just who went crazy and killed whom at a prominent Hollywood restaurant?--provide just the right impetus. Deverell mixes some mean curves and off-speed pitches with his trademark fast balls--and comes up with his best book yet.

Pub Date: Sept. 11th, 1990
Publisher: British American--dist. by Simon & Schuster