High school journalist and rock enthusiast Larry Small hopes Rolling Stone will print his writeup of superstar Danny (Dr. Doom) Breckinridge's upcoming concert in Larry's small southern California town. The breaks couldn't be better, with Larry and school friend Doris spending the night with Danny and entourage at the mansion of rich local crime reporter Harry Grubb. (Harry, an enthusiastically sketched clichÃ‰, is a real old-time ""character."") But threatening letters complicate the action, and despite the good sheriff's efforts Dr. Doom's concert opens with a real murder. The guy who shoots the bass player, having aimed for Danny himself, could have been spotted from the start. But who has tampered with the same bass player's electronic hookup so he'll sizzle with his opening notes? And which of the two culprits is the actual murderer? Well, the sherriff gets more confessions than he needs and Larry doesn't get the Rolling Stone job--but his ultimate lesson (""I realized that I'd spent too much of my life wrapped up in rock. . . . If I'd paid attention in my physics classes, I would have known about volts and amperes. . ."") and his sudden unexplained romantic interest in fat Doris make for just as corny an ending. This is nowhere as cool as the author's real thriller, Mortal Instruments. But Bethancourt's inventive energy and his relish for a good story or standout scene, however hokey, make it diverting as always.