Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe look-a-likes.
Throw in some G-Men and a mob boss out for blood and you’ve got yourself a party!
It’s 1977. Las Vegas. Impersonator Bruce Prezlee is about to put on a show. He’s interrupted by a man named Molly who tells him he knew his father and what happened to him.
That’s when the government-types show up and a raging gun battle ensues.
Bruce and the Marilyn Monroe impersonator, Norma Jean, are hustled into a van, leading to an intense car chase.
While we wait with baited breath to see where the story takes our heroes, we are occasionally taken off-course with scenes of a killer satellite doing deep, deep covert action as well as an assassination in Yemen.
How these things belong to the main story we haven’t been told – yet.
Aside from the action, there is also betrayal, making the reader wonder who is on whose side. The character introductions leave the reader rooting for the people thrown together by chance on this intense ride.
Some characters come and go and some we assume we’ll see more of in the future. There’s even a cameo of Walter Cronkite, who was anchorman for the CBS Evening News in 1977.
Questioning the alliance of every person is part of the paranoia experienced by the lead characters. There is also the specter of the G-Men – what do they want and why do they want it so badly?
Also, why does mob boss Don Franzetti believe Bruce and Norma are responsible for his son’s death? What does he plan on doing with them?
There is also a smattering of quotes from German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche that shed some light on human behavior.
The pacing of the book is fast, changing backdrops suddenly and making for a quick read.
Creator/Writer Ed Lavallee, artist Marcelo Basile, and writer Matt Cashel have put together a gritty, noirish tale that asks as many answers as it offers. We are left in the dark much of the time but that only whets our appetite for more.
Billed as “A lysergic trip to the center of American conspiranoia,” Pop Star Assassin has everything you could ask for: government black ops, frenetic action, and a quite impressive body count.
Lavallee, Basile, and Cashel do a marvelous job of exposing the sordid underbelly of 1970s Las Vegas, bringing us an intriguing story that is as much fun to see as it is to read.