Matt "Lerxst" Johnston teaches guitar lessons by day and rocks out on stage with his Rush/Grateful Dead cover band, Dead Barchetta, by night. He often finds himself passed out on his couch, but one night he wakes up feeling like he's suffocating. Indeed, some strange girl is trying to smother him. Once he gets her to back off, she tells him it was a case of mistaken identity. So he spends a while getting to know her. But soon, he discovers her story isn't quite right, and finds himself on the run from the police, heading to New York City on the Chinatown bus out of Virginia Beach.
Kathryn Lively has developed a fun, modern-day mystery in Dead Barchetta. I love all the amazingly unique characters, including Lerxst's brother who has some secrets of his own and their quirky grandmother with whom Lerxst still lives. Then there's the women in his life: the girl who tries to kill him, the rocker chick in NY and the cougar who is looking for something more than just guitar lessons.
Lively keeps the story ~ and the mystery ~ moving from beginning to end. It was genuinely fun to read Dead Barchetta. I would expect Rush fans would enjoy it even more with all the references to the band, including Lerxst's name and his band, which is named after the Rush song "Red Barchetta" and the Grateful Dead. But even someone like me who is not a fan can enjoy Lerxst's passion for his music and desire to figure out what is really going on!
My Rating: 4/5
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This review was written based on a copy of Dead Barchetta that I received from DLP Books in exchange for an honest review.