A hip, twangy, mostly hard-boiled first novel centering on the rhythm-and-blues crowd around Austin, Texas. Bassist Martin Fender ("as in the guitar") agrees to a weekend gig reuniting the "almost legendary" True Love band; but at rehearsals, K.C., the lead player, has clearly lost it. That night, his fleshy redheaded girl crawls into bed with Martin, and Billy's making tapes in the other room while scribbling "Do the Do" on a piece of paper. A shot rings out: K.C.'s dead, his guitar is missing, ditto a kilo of cocaine. Suicide, says Lasko the weary, sardonic cop. Murder, says Martin, whose search for the killer and the drugs involves him with Cole and Neil, two rock critics, who are also soon dead; real-estate entrepreneur Stubbs; Ward, the rock-concert ticket scalper; the Futura Corporation with illegally floated bond certificates; and a message on an answering machine saying we "want 1969." Many complications later, Martin hears two gunshots on Billy's tapes and wraps up three murders, a drug-running scheme, and a major securities scam. Brash, insider's view of the R&B contingent, with a frisky plot twist or two. A strong introduction for Martin, whose sequel is in the works.