Nightclub manager and music promoter Benny Gower murders a gangster’s son and goes on the run. An old enforcer, Wynn McDonald is brought out of retirement to find him and make his death as painful as possible. Aidan Thorn’s When the Music’s Over starts with the younger man, Gower, but the book’s centerpiece is Wynn. The old man is like a cross between Michael Caine and Mike Ehrmantraut from Breaking Bad, all weary and regretful. As he is sequestered by the bastards Weir and Castle to find Gower, his previous life seems to calcify his bones as he sees old ways in new, uncomfortable light. He starts unsure of Gower’s guilt. As he follows leads and everyone only has good words to say about him, Wynn begins to wonder what the hell he’s doing. 

This is Aidan Thorn’s first longer-form work (his previous releases are short story collections Criminal Thoughts and Urban Decay), and he’s written a soulful piece about an old man in a horrible Birmingham underworld where bad men will kill you if you’re an inconvenience. The plot is not twisty and turny, but it is full of little character moments that make you want to spend a lot of time in its company.

A good read.

You can buy When the Music’s Over at –