Here’s the full review, from the October 15 issue:
Blakely has an almighty narrative talent, so propulsive that he has readers turning pages before they know who these characters are or what they’re doing or why anyone should care. That’s especially useful here, because for the longest time the novel looks like two stories patched together, with nothing to do with each other. The first tells of Creed Mason, a has-been country-and-western musician lonely for the big time and riding the coattails of a Willie Nelson sort, who’s working to pay off an IRS tab. They rehearse, squabble, drink beer, and that’s about it; but so high-powered is the author’s skill that even a reader not fond of the milieu is still happy to go along. Even Creed’s efforts to repair a clanking tour bus make good reading. Between these chapters we meet Texas Ranger Hooley Johnson, struggling to connect the murders of two gorgeous young women and coming up against raw evil when he does. Finally, the two stories converge—they were linked all along, but that’s Blakely’s secret—in a stunning action sequence. A beautiful genre-bender.
A Song to Die For will be published on November 18.