By: Don Bruns
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing
Publication Date: March 2009
Reviewed by: Holly Connors
Review Date: June 2009
If you’re looking for a good summer read, check out Don Bruns’ new thriller, Bahama Burnout. The fifth book in the Mick Sever series, Bahama Burnout keeps readers guessing until the very end in this whodunit rock-and-roll caper.
This time around, Sever, an entertainment journalist, is sent to the Bahamas to cover the opening of Highland Studios. In the past, the studio pumped out hit after hit, but then a devastating fire engulfed the entire facility. The charred remains of a body were found in the rubble and the police, with their primitive facilities (unable to test DNA) assumed it was the person who started the fire. But the corpse was never identified. Is the real criminal still at large?
Determined to keep their studio running, owners Jonah and Rita Britt rebuild the studio. By the time Sever arrives, strange things have begun happening in the newly opened Highland Studios. A recording session tape, recorded by seasoned engineer Jonah, is mysteriously erased, a priceless guitar is found smashed, and a voodoo doll that appears in Sever’s hotel room are some of the bizarre things that have happened in and around the studio.
Rita Britt is convinced that a ghost is causing all the problems; possibly the ghost of the person who died in the fire. However, Jonah and Mick are convinced there must be a logical explanation and set about searching for clues. Shortly after Mick arrives, the manager of Johnny Run, a once hot rock group who is cutting an album at the studio, is found murdered. Will the case get solved before another body turns up?
Bahama Burnout gets off to a fast start, with the destruction of Highland Studios on the first few pages. With Bruns’ easy writing style, it doesn’t take long to get into the story. Who are those strange neighbors – Bernard and his mother Etta May – and is that really Elvis’s Cadillac in their front yard? There are quite a few key characters in this novel, many with the motive and means to be the culprit, so don’t skip a page. Just when it seems the mystery is solved, Bruns takes his story in another direction to keep the reader speculating.
Quill says: A great summer read that will keep you guessing until the very end.