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3.8 out of 5 stars
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3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 19 September 2007
"Music's not 'a living' boy. Music is living."

Dreda Say Mitchell's gripping second novel reads like the work of an expert musician. A lyrical masterpiece, the prose is heaped with easy flowing imagery so that the words seem to sing from the page. The intricately crafted, hard-hitting narrative, with its baseline beat of 70s racism, is delivered complete with its own soundtrack featuring amongst others the artist and composers Vivaldi, Junior Murvin, Natalie Cole, T-Rex and Bob Marley. You'll be humming along to the Killer Tunes for weeks.

The life of rap sensation, Lord Tribulation (LT for short), is thrown into turmoil following the suspicious death of his much-loved father, King Stir It Up, and the firebombing of a house by a 15-year-old youth as he listens to LT's latest hit. A smear cmpaign in the press aligning his music to violence puts the kibosh on the recording contract LT had hoped to sign. But it is the reappearance of his childhood sweetheart that motivates him into finding out the truth behind his father's death. In the race to find the KIng's best jacket, LT and Bernie are exposed to the racist violence of the 1976 Notting Hill carnival through a series of cleverly hidden tapes that explain the King's secret past. A past that could catch up with them and see them dead.

Killer Tune is a brilliant, engaging, suspense-filled second novel from an exceptionally talented author with a unique and exciting voice. I can't recommend it enough.
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on 18 July 2010
Just finished this book after a week - started well but got lost in the middle somewhere. It just didn't keep my attention anything like Geezer Girls which I read within 24 hours. Looking forward to Gangster Girls.
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on 22 February 2016
This is the first book I have read by this author and I was attracted to it by the subject matter - I left school in 1974 and spent most of the summer hanging out with friends listening to the music featured in this book. I like the way the story flips between present day and 1976 with the narrative featuring a father and son, both involved in the music business. King stir it up, a legendary 'toaster' is in ill-health and knows his death is imminent. He has carried a secret with him since 1976 that looks to be uncovered. King Stir it up is ready to tell his story to a young reporter but is found dead in an area of London before this happens. His son, Jeremiah, who goes by the name of Lord Tribulation and is making a name for himself on the music scene, has been left 'clues' by his late father that lead to him to discover the secret. Racial unrest in London in the 1970s is well documented, leading Jeremiah to some shocking revelations regarding his father's earlier years. The reappearance of Jeremiah's childhood sweetheart Bernie is bitter-sweet as she is the reporter to whom King Stir it up was about to tell all. The characters are credible and I had great empathy with both Jeremiah and Bernie as they struggle with their past demons
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on 15 October 2007
I've been eagerly waiting for another book from Dreda Say Mitchell since reading Running Hot a couple of years ago. Killer Tune does not disappoint: it has all the verve, style and dizzying plot twists of Running Hot plus an almost poetic quality to the prose. The characters are realised in 3D. I couldn't put it down - go on and treat yourself to what must be one of 2007's best reads.
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on 27 July 2010
This is such a well written and clever book i love the way the structure of the book echoes the 'killer tune'. I found it a bit difficult at first to adapt to the rhythm of the different speech patterns and idioms of the characters, but once i did they too added to the book's rhythm and pace. Hugely entertaining.
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on 8 July 2011
Started this book some time last year, i usually read a book in 2-3 days i am still only halfway through this one and dont see me getting through the rest of it any time soon, maybe if i have absolutely nothing else to read, very disappointed
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on 5 June 2011
I am a HUGH fan of Dreda Say Mitchell and usually really enjoy her writing, however, this book just did nothing for me. Found it difficult to get into which is never usually a problem with this author. Would not recommend this book at all!
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on 4 September 2011
The book isnt what i thought it was going to be. Personally I couldnt get into this one but i have to say that Dreda Say Michell has written some brilliant books and this is the only one i could get on with. My fault
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on 23 August 2013
but worth getting into as I thought it developed well. Dreda gives her characters great voices and the plot was interesting and believable.

An important talent in 21st century Britain
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on 10 December 2012
As a fan of the author books. I am relly disappointment with this one, it is hard to read and not on the same lines as her other books, like Geezer girls, Would not remmonded this book.
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