At the height of their success, the electric folk band Black Dog invited journalists to a desolate island for an infamous publicity stunt: the burning of a million dollars. But the stunt backfired and the band split up, increasing the value of their final album vastly. It’s this album that Tinkler’s got his eye on, and he hires none other than the Vinyl Detective and Nevada to hunt a copy down.
Narrowly avoiding a killing spree, negotiating deranged Black Dog fans, and being pursued by hack celebrity Stinky Stamner and his camera crew, the Vinyl Detective and Nevada discover that perhaps all was not as it seemed on Holy Island – and that in the embers of that fire are clues of a motive for murder…
A huge thank you to Titan Books for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
This is the fourth book in The Vinyl Detective series and it’s another great addition! I was immediately drawn in by the idea of a band burning a million dollars and wanted to know how it was tied into a murder. Did they really burn a million dollars just for the fun of it or was it to cover up something else? I had so many questions and I wasn’t disappointed. Of course the cover is also very eye-catching and so fitting for this series.
The story immediately opens with Tinkler wanting to hire the Vinyl Detective to find a record for him and I must say, how I’ve missed these characters! They are such a mismatched group of friends and I love seeing them together. Four books in and we still don’t know the identity of the Vinyl Detective or what he even looks like but it’s actually not as bothersome as it sounds! I become so engrossed in the plot for each book that I end up forgetting about it.
Another thing I’ve missed about these characters is Tinkler and Nevada’s bickering. I loved how Tinkler was still his usual quirky self and I love Nevada’s personality and how she’s like the alpha of the group. I’ve had my ups and downs with the roles she has taken on in this series but she was very much hands on in Flip Back and I loved it. Then there’s Clean Head (nicknamed after her shaved head) who I probably relate to the most because we both love reading but she is a badass driver whereas I’m not sadly. I loved how they all banded together in this book to find this record for Tinkler and how they all work together despite the danger they find themselves in.
That brings me onto the plot which I really liked but at times it did fall flat. Right from the start there’s a sense of danger as the Vinyl Detective is followed by a mysterious figure and later on, someone else tries to kill him and a group of people he’s with. That’s not the only danger he finds himself in though, there’s plenty more to come the closer they come to finding this record. They end up travelling to the island where the money was burned and I thought that was interesting but it’s also where my interest started to waver. For a while nothing really happened and they were doing some pretty mundane stuff, namely going for walks and a beach festival. Sure they were doing some sleuthing while they were there and searching the houses of the infamous band looking for this rare record but I quickly grew tired of it and was waiting for something else to happen.
The ending definitely made up for the slow pacing in the middle of the book. It picks up towards the end and there’s a massive twist I didn’t see coming. Once again the group of friends find themselves in hot water and have to fight their way out of it. I love how a search for a rare record always ends with their lives being threatened! There’s a funny bit right at the end as well. If you’ve read these books before then you’ll know how annoying Stinky Stamner is. He is just as annoying in this book and the ending will tick you right off, that’s a promise.