Thursday, September 5, 2013

"Billboard Man," by Jim Fusilli

Billboard Man, by Jim Fusilli
"A nameless man drifts through suburban Phoenix, has a one night stand, moves on to Memphis, has another. Variously feckless and murderous boyfriends seek revenge. The nameless man periodically worries about his daughter, who won’t speak to him. A quirky Wall Street shark seems determined to have him killed by a cashiered former MI-6 thug. In L.A., Saudi financing for a film collapses, and producers and an agent scramble to find new money. Chapter by chapter, the nameless man acquires many names, but it’s only a third of the way through the novel that a comprehensible plot thread emerges. Fusilli, rock and pop music critic for the Wall Street Journal, carries these ambiguities off, mostly with oblique hints and well-drawn characters. The Wall Streeter’s prodigious self-regard makes him memorable. The MI-6 thug’s reputation in the spook community as a dangerous nitwit is funny and well crafted." -- Booklist

A man alone takes to the road following the brutal murder of his wife. After years lost to drifting and isolation—except for the comfort of the kind of women he cannot deny—he finds himself swept into a world of violence and danger, his life in the hands of a madman. Freed by an unexpected savior, he returns to the road, still a haunted man who remains the target of his estranged daughter’s scorn.
But as he wanders from the red-rock spires of Arizona to Sun Studios in Memphis, he succumbs to sordid temptation—and is soon accused of murder. To clear himself, he must find the real killer, unaware that his nemesis, a Wall Street power broker, is manipulating him from afar and has unleashed a killer on his trail—and the trail of his daughter.
The second novel in the Sam series, Jim Fusilli’s Billboard Man pulls the drifter off the long, dark road once again—long enough for him to find that the world is small when so many people want him dead.

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Meet the Author

Jim Fusilli is an American writer. He serves as the rock and pop music critic of The Wall Street Journal and is the author of six novels. A native of Hoboken, NJ, he lives in New York City.

Fusilli's debut novel, the mystery "Closing Time," is the last work of fiction set in New York City published prior to the 9/11 attacks. The following year, Fusilli's mystery "A Well-Known Secret" addressed the impact of 9/11 on the residents of New York City. Two novels for adults followed: "Tribeca Blues" and "Hard, Hard City," which Mystery Ink magazine named its 2004 Novel of the Year.

In 2005, Fusilli wrote "Pet Sounds," his tribute to Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys' classic album. Described as "an experiment in music journalism," the book combines the rhythm and emotional weight of his fiction with the often-unorthodox observations of his music criticism for the Journal, for whom he has written since 1983.

Fusilli served as the editor of, and contributed chapters to, the award-winning serial thrillers "The Chopin Manuscript" and "The Copper Bracelet." His novel for young adults "Marley Z and the Bloodstained Violin" was published in 2008.

Fusilli has written and published many short stories; in several, he developed Narrows Gate as the setting, depicting the city in different eras. "Chellini's Solution," which appeared in the 2007 edition of the Best American Mystery Stories, features Narrows Gate in the years following World War II. "Digby, Attorney at Law" portrays the fictional city in the early 1960s. "Digby" was nominated for the Edgar and Macavity awards in 2010.

Fusilli is married to the former Diane Holuk, a senior public relations executive. They have a daughter, Cara, a graduate of the New School.

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