Jimi After Dark

Stephen Mertz. Perfect Crime, $15 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-935797-75-3
At the start of this action-driven crime novel from Mertz (The Korean Intercept), Soldier, who’s on leave from duty in Vietnam, arrives at London’s Heathrow Airport in September 1970. Rock star Jimi Hendrix, an old friend of his to whom he owes a favor, has invited Soldier to London. Jimi’s last letter indicated that he needs Soldier’s help with “a situation.” Before he leaves Heathrow, Soldier takes care of three punks who attack him. Shortly after Soldier meets Jimi on a London street, they’re confronted by Scotland Yard’s Inspector Hudberry, who accuses Jimi of being mixed up with the gang left behind by the notorious Kray brothers, both serving 30 years in prison. Soldier soon makes short work of Hudberry. He’ll later contend with German thugs, drug dealers, and an ex-CIA agent who claims that the U.S. government wants Jimi dead. Hendrix fans may enjoy Mertz’s portrait of the iconic musician, even though this what-if scenario offers little new about his life and early death. Be prepared for a lot of macho posturing and a contrived twist ending. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/20/2017
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 312 pages - 978-1-64119-457-0
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