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The Drummer

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  59 ratings  ·  13 reviews
80's band Savage Night was living the hair-metal fantasy when they discover they're in debt while touring overseas. To avoid the IRS, The Drummer shaves his head-banging locks and fakes his own suicide. Fifteen years later, the Singer has tracked him down in hopes of convincing him to come out of hiding for a reunion tour.
ebook, Nookbook, 564 pages
Published (first published September 1st 2006)
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Neal Hock
Sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll. Toss in some secrets and a man on the run. What more could you ask for from a book? It’s all there in The Drummer by Anthony Neil Smith.

Merle Johnson is a man of secrets. Lots of them. Deep, dark secrets that haunt him every day of his life. He wants to be left alone and have a “normal” life. So he moves to New Orleans and buys a former funeral home to live in, attempting to just blend in. But the secrets from his past come roaring back one night when a man from h
Benoit Lelievre
Rowdy and cynical, but not nihilistic, "The Drummer" will keep you reading for long, unhealthy stretches. Anthony Neil Smith writes with overwhelming anger and a curious sense of empathy and friendship. I have no idea why this book is not the talk of the crime writing community.
Apr 19, 2008 J.D. rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery/thriller fans
80's hair-metal band Savage Night imploded years ago after the mysterious death of their drummer in a suspicious fire. But the Drummer, Cal Christopher, is very much alive, having faked his own death to get away from his creditors, from the IRS and from the rock-star madness in general. Now, someone from his past shows up and threatens to expose him, and Cal has to explore just how far he's willing to go to keep his new life--and how far some people are willing to go to force him to confront the ...more
I gave this book 3/5 stars at My co-reviewer, Rob, gave the book 4/5 stars.

We often do discussion-style reviews at IB. Here's an excerpt:

"Susie: What did you think about it?
Rob: I liked it muchly. It was definitely my kind of book–loved all the music references.
Susie: I hoped at least one of us would like it. I found it easy to read, but I developed a distinct dislike of every character in the book by the time it was over.
Rob: Yeah, they weren’t a lovable bunch, but I li
Having faked his own death to avoid the IRS and rock star life, Cal Christopher, the drummer of 80’s rock band Savage Night is living a peaceful existence in New Orleans, that is, until the lead singer of the band tracks him down in hopes of reuniting the group. Bad enough, Cal has to deal with his identity being exposed, worse when people start turning up dead with the authorities fingering him for the main suspect. What follows is a highly atmospheric, fast paced thriller-esq story accompanied ...more
Jeff Barr
Competently written, tepid 'suspense' novel where not much happens and the main character floats along, directed by events. The MC's fatal flaw is never addressed, and he learns nothing except that 'everyone else is bad and deserves what they get'. Except of course, if said person is from N'awlins, in which case, they are saints. Pun definitely intended.
A good read, well-written, but not particularly exciting: a standout element is the impeccable line-editing; very clean prose with very few (if
Darcia Helle
This book had some pros and cons for me.

The pros: I love Smith's writing style. He sparks all my senses, without being overly wordy or descriptive. The plot kept me interested; the characters are fully developed and fun to get to know.

The cons: I felt some of the plot twists, especially in the second half, were unrealistic. While this is fiction, it still has to feel believable. Certain things that happened caused me to do a mental eye roll. The ending felt contrived, like Smith was reaching fo
this was a lot of fun to read!!! A novel for headbangers :)
Fifteen years after faking his death, the former drummer for Savage Night sees his carefully constructed alternate life begin to unravel when his former band mates start tracking him down. Smith does an excellent job of running the current story and the backstory together and that creates more depth of characterization than is typical in crime/noir novels. Tightly paced with a fun plot, but it's all about sex, drugs, rock'n'roll, and murder in this thrill ride. Where's the movie version?
Jun 24, 2014 Beau rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of 80s/90s rock and hardboiled crime fiction.
I just changed my rating of this book from 4 stars to 5 stars, six months after having read it. This is a fun book, especially if you like music from a time period of the late 80s and early 90s. It is a highly entertaining read. But here is why I changed its rating after 6 months: Every time I hear a Guns n Roses song on the radio, I think of this book. Any book that can have that kind of daily influence deserves an extra star.
Read on my nook. Another fantastic, fast-paced crime novel from Anthony Neil Smith, this time including some of my favorite things: metal, groupies, and New Orleans. I think I liked this one even better than Yellow Medicine. I've only got two more Smith books to read, hopefully he's busy writing more right now!
I liked this book, but I love New Orleans where I was pleasantly surprised to learn this was set. Would read more by the author.
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