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Cover of The Hellhound Sample

The Hellhound Sample

A Novel

The definitive rock’n’roll novel, written by a definitive, award winning, best-selling rock’n’roll critic.

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YOU NEVER GET OUT OF THESE BLUES ALIVE.

James ‘Blue’ Moon, the greatest living bluesman, was ten years old when he saw Robert Johnson playing on a street corner. Now, more than seventy years later, he’s dying of cancer. His last wish is to reunite his estranged family — his soul-diva daughter Venetia Moon and his grandson, hip-hop mogul Calvin ‘Ice Blue’ Holland — for one final album. Enter his former protégé, hapless British blues-rock superstar Mick Hudson, who has unfinished business with all three of them, plus a posse of vengeful gangstaz and a mysterious figure with whom Blue struck a deal one dark, bloody night at a haunted crossroads back in his native Mississippi Delta. It’s a potent mix of secrets, nightmares and lies, spanning decades and continents. James ‘Blue’ Moon has one last chance to escape the hellhound on his trail … if the cancer doesn’t get him first.

Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Award winner CHARLES SHAAR MURRAY has been appearing regularly in print for four decades, and has long been recognised as one of the most admired stylists in British pop-cultural journalism. He is “the rock critic’s rock critic” (Q magazine), a “front-line cultural warrior” and “original gunslinger” (Independent on Sunday). The first two decades of his journalism, criticism and vulgar abuse have been collected in Shots From The Hip. He is the internationally acclaimed author of Crosstown Traffic: Jimi Hendrix And Post-war Pop and Boogie Man: The Adventures of John Lee Hooker in the American Twentieth Century.

This is his first novel.

It’s a killer.

 

Says the author:

“The characters in this book are all Grand Archetypes, stitched together on a slab in my lab from bits of various real people, fragments of legend and rumour and plain ol’ ordinary making-stuff-up. I’ve never met a bluesman exactly like Blue, a soul diva exactly like Venetia, an elderly Brit rock god exactly like Mick or a rapper exactly like Calvin…

“I don’t believe, in any rational or literal sense, that there was anything supernatural about the life or death of Robert Johnson. The myth of the crossroads is just that: a myth… but it still provides a metaphor which won’t go…”

Allan JonesUncut
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“Murray somehow avoids caricature, makes his characters persuasively credible enough to care about, and when he describes the music they eventually make together, the book really sings. The version they record of Robert Johnson's 'Hellhound On My Trail' sounded so good I wanted desperately to actually hear it.”
Deborah GrabienAuthor of the JP Kinkaid series
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“A phenomenal story, with a handful of characters so completely drawn, you think they're jamming in the next room.”
The Guardian
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“Veteran music journalist Murray has tremendous fun with this ober-the-top novel based on the enduring myth of Mississippi bluesman Robert Johnson ... The result is a jumble of excessive incident, though Murray's interpretation of Johnson's alleged pact with the devil compels, and the whole is ludicrously enjoyable.”
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Charles Shaar Murray

Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Award winner CHARLES SHAAR MURRAY has been appearing regularly in print for four decades, and has long been recognised as one of the most admired stylists in British pop-cultural journalism. He is “the rock critic’s rock critic” (Q Magazine), a “front-line cultural warrior” and “original gunslinger” (Independent on Sunday). The first two decades of his journalism, criticism and vulgar abuse have been collected in Shots From The Hip. He is the internationally acclaimed author of Crosstown Traffic: Jimi Hendrix And Post-war Pop and Boogie Man: The Adventures of John Lee Hooker in the American Twentieth Century.