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  • Writer's pictureIan Ayris

River Bottom Blues, by Ricky Bush - a review

The Blurb

Mitty Andersen knows that rising blues star Bobby Tarleton didn’t die of a heroin overdose.

He’d blown enough blues harmonica notes with Bobby to know that he’d never let anything get in the way of his music. MItty suspects foul play and he’s determined to put his investigative skills to work to find out what really happened.

Mitty hits the blues circuit with his partner Pete Bolden, and rounds up a posse disguised as a blues band. They gig the juke joints and blues bars throughout Southeast Texas and Louisiana, hoping to uncover the truth about Bobby T’s death. It doesn’t take long for Mitty to figure out that Bobby T just might be the latest in a decades long string of serial murders aimed at eliminating “those who play the Devil’s music.” First Para The last words J.P. Dillon heard before the ice pick slammed into his chest and pierced his heart were, “You’ll be playing with the Devil now, blues boy.” The Review And then the music starts. You can almost hear the guitar riff, the drums joining in the beat, the blues harp wailing it's first notes. That first para really does act like the first few bars to a blues song. The story follows Mitty Anderson - a journalist, blues officianado and no mean blues harp player himself - as he looks deeper into the mystery of how Bobby Talreton really died. But his investigation brings up more questions than answers, and soon he is embrolied in murders up to his neck. Whereas some novels immerse the reader in a specific location or city, Ricky Bush immerses the reader in the Blues. Every page is soaked in it. We feel the yearning, the pain, the sheer helplessness, coupled with the joy and the ecstasy - all of which define the Blues. Because the Blues is not just a language of misery. The Blues is a beat, a rhythm, a form of expression to turn those feelings we feel in our darkest moments into those moments of joy and ecstasy. The Blues, in short, is about overcoming. And in this book, Mitty Anderson has to go through it all.

If you love crime fiction, you'll love this book. If you love the Blues, you'll love this book. If you love crime fiction, and you love the Blues, this book is a dream come true. I absolutely loved it. One of the most fun, compelling books I have read in a very long time. River Bottom Blues is available for just £1.69 to download and £8.95 for the paperback, both from Fahrenheit Press here:

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