It’s been 20 years since Mark David Chapman shot John Lennon dead outside the Dakota, but overgrown groupie Neil Gulliver (The James Dean Affair, 2000, etc.) just can’t get over it. Especially not when Treasury agent Martin Halliwell cons Neil and his still-beloved ex, Stevie “Sex Queen of the Soaps” Marriner, into helping him run a sting operation to trap whoever’s been using the Lennon tribute “Imagine That!” concerts to launder dirty money. Halliwell’s shady ties reach back to Neil’s mentor A.K. Fowler, a journalist who taught cub reporter Gulliver a thing or two about cutting out the competition. But though Halliwell’s plan is risky to the Gulliver-Marriner liaison, since it requires Stevie to cozy up to her onetime beau Richie Savage (an ex-rock star who happens to be mayor of Palm Springs) while Neil romances ex-fiancée Leigh Wilder, Neil wants to do what he can to honor the late Beatle’s memory. When Richie is gunned down in his mansion, under the very noses of Richie’s driver Frank Gordy and Stevie’s bodyguard Armando Soledad, Neil’s left to flush out an assassin while protecting Stevie’s delicate neck.
If they gave frequent flier miles for time travel, this entry would give Levinson enough to go back to the Stone Age. His ricocheting between distant past, near past, and present and his constant shifting from first person to third—not to mention his inability to construct a subordinate clause that refers to the proper antecedent—make this whodunit more obscure than the jacket of Abbey Road.