Just how far will one fan go to prove her loyalty? In her novel He Who Sings Last, Lisa Laird DiRosso expertly knits a blanket of obsession laced with suspicion and murder in a suspenseful crime novel centered on has-been celebrity Jimmy Covelli. He leads a quiet, post-fame existence until some ghosts from his past come back to haunt him after nineteen years, when an unsolved murder case is reopened by a zealous New York detective. Covelli charms and harms wherever he goes, and in his destructive path, he leaves behind a host of resentful family members and brokenhearted fans. Will the detective catch him and be able to prove his guilt? Find out in He Who Sings Last
Jimmy Covelli was a singer for a popular band in the 1980’s. He had fame, fortune and women but now, his star has fallen and he leads a quiet existence in California. Miranda Madison is a fan that has been obsessed with Jimmy since getting his autograph in 1983, an obsession that ultimately led to her divorce. New York Detective John Vintoni has been assigned a cold case from 1983 for which Jimmy was a originally a suspect but was never arrested due to lack of evidence. With advances in criminal investigation, will Det. Vintoni be able to finally arrest the man he knows committed the crime? Will Miranda’s meeting with Jimmy finally allow her to get over her obsession? Is Jimmy a murderer who will stop at nothing and use anyone to cover his tracks?
These are just a few of the menagerie of characters that appear in this novel. I did have a difficult time when starting this book. The story jumps between characters, places and times at a very fast choppy pace and without detail. I had no connection with any of the players and seemed to be along as just an observer, not actually involved in the story. But, as I kept reading, I began to “hear” the story as it would have been told during the old radio shows before television. I could actually hear the narrator’s voice describe Det. Vintoni leaving Sean’s (Miranda’s father) and Sean’s thoughts about the detective. “He’s not much to look at, Sean thought as he watched Vintoni walk to his car. He was sort of scrawny and elflike, but Sean liked him.” Once I embraced the narrator, the book made sense and became much more enjoyable.
He Who Sings Last is a fast paced, no nonsense crime drama with many characters and a to the point story line. There is not a tidy conclusion but definitely room for further investigations.