I’m delighted to welcome you to my stop on the blog tour for Cuttin’ Heads by D. A. Watson, with a review and giveaway.
Aldo Evans, Ross McArthur and Luce Figura, otherwise known as Public Alibi, are a rock trio gigging in their spare time. They’re good and over the past year they’ve been getting some decent engagements considering they’re an unsigned band. After being fired from yet another mind numbing call centre job, Aldo has no idea how he’s going to pay for his expensive new guitar. Not to mention child support and paying the rent.
Ross plays bass guitar and works as a hotel porter. He grows his own cannabis, loves Countdown and Blockbusters and isn’t opposed to using his special skills to subdue the more vocal, overbearing people who find their way into A&E.
Luce teaches music students, and at the moment her unrewarding task is ensemble lecturer. She is the drummer in Public Alibi and takes her music very seriously. Her students have been bribed into attending their gig at a small bar in Glasgow, so they were at the least assured of some sort of audience. When they’re approached by the smooth talking Gappa Bale of Easy Rollin Records after their set, it seems their luck might just have changed. Bale makes them an offer they can’t refuse.
“How many tickets do we need to sell?” Ross says. Aldo was about to ask the same thing. That was how you made the money.
“This will not be that kind of arrangement, Ross,” Bale answers. “Easy Rollin Records value and pay you for your musicianship, not for your abilities as sales people. As such, your remuneration will not depend on ticket sales. In point of fact, the event is already sold out. Your band will be paid a fee of three thousand pounds for the show.”
Aldo can’t contain a burst of laughter. “Aye, right you are, pal! Three grand for one show?”
Right from the start there’s a feeling of strangeness about Bale—the way he almost hypnotises when he talks. He’s far too smooth and has an answer for everything. But this offer is everything Aldo, Ross and Luce have ever wanted. A chance for success and fame. Music is everything to them, especially Aldo. But even so, Luce has doubts about Bale. Perhaps Aldo and Ross shouldn’t have been so quick to dismiss her concerns.
Extremely well defined characters and great writing drew me in straight away. Aldo, Ross and Luce are immediately likeable and sympathetic. All are dealing with events which have shaped who they’ve become. Luce and Ross with events from their childhoods and Aldo is struggling with juggling his responsibilities as a father with his desire for a career in music. As the storyline progresses and gets ever more creepy, the horror aspect becomes all too apparent. That, combined with details of the music industry, make for a riveting read. You can’t help but worry and wonder what our three heroes have let themselves in for. And more to the point, how are they going to get out of it, as it becomes obvious they’re in deep trouble.
Aldo Evans is a desperate man. Fired from his job and deeply in debt, he struggles to balance a broken family life with his passion for music.
Luce Figura is a troubled woman. A rhythmic perfectionist, she is haunted by childhood trauma and scorned by her religiously devout mother.
Ross McArthur is a wiseass. Orphaned as an infant and raised by the state, his interests include game shows, home-grown weed, occasional violence and the bass guitar.
They are Public Alibi. A rock n’ roll band going nowhere fast.
When the sharp-suited, smooth talking producer Gappa Bale offers them a once in a lifetime chance to make their dreams come true, they are caught up in a maelstrom of fame, obsession, music and murder.
Soon, Aldo, Luce and Ross must ask themselves: is it really better to burn out than to fade away?