What’s a rock star to do when his talent fails him and his career has withered and died? Fed up with never-ending humiliations, Dave Masters fakes his own death in an attempt to boost his record sales, walking away from an industry that turned its back on him.
But what’s a dead rock star to do when he realises too late that he can’t live without the stage? Dave decides to set up as his own tribute act, and starts all over, soon discovering that building a new life isn’t as easy as he might have thought.
Dead Man Singing is a rollercoaster ride through Dave’s posthumous life; his brushes with fans, lovers, rivals, stalkers, gangsters, the law and the most dangerous enemy of all – himself. Can he come out of the other side of death alive?
Steve Couch is a writer and editor living in Bournemouth with his wife and two sons. He has an English degree which he has put to good use over the years by being paid for watching films and playing computer games. When he’s not writing, Steve works as a football coach in local schools and at MAN v FAT football. Dead Man Singing is Steve’s debut novel.
Matt Shine for www.femalefirst.co.uk (Guest Review) - 14 Sep, 2023
Dead Man Singing will make you want to cry and laugh in equal amounts, as Dave Masters tries to relaunch his career amusingly after his faked death, a position fraught with danger. The reader will find themselves engrossed in this story that leaves them guessing the outcome until the last pages. Great book - great storyline.
SteveB (Guest Review) - 18 Oct, 2023
It’s set in the early 1990s and focusses on the dwindling career of Dave Masters, a musician who, in his hey-day of the 1970s/80s, was something of a pop icon. Depressingly, he’s now no longer performing with his band and has been reduced to appearing alone in seedy pubs and clubs. It all becomes too much… he can’t carry on. After listening to a song by one of his musical heroes, he decides to fake his own death in an attempt to boost his record sales but, in the process, realises that he can’t live without the stage and comes up with a plan to re-launch his career… (*no spoilers*).
It’s a clever and intriguing story – given total authenticity thanks to the author’s impressive musical knowledge of bands, gig venues and the like. It captures what one imagines is the life of a touring band perfectly – with all the humour, arguments, rivalries, frustrations, lies and highs. Entwined within all of this is a compelling story of relationships, family, likeable characters, gangsters(!) and Dave Masters’ battles with himself.
It’s wonderfully written and a real page-turner.
Brian Case, for BHLiving Magazine (Guest Review) - 02 Jan, 2024
A rocking good story that hits all the right notes
This is a well-conceived story which has direction and raises some thought-provoking questions on life itself. The majority of the characters in the book are convincing and you get to know them in a way which helps to paint a picture of that era, from smoky bars, and phone boxes with their unique aroma, to venues which in some cases are now regrettably long gone. Dave seems to be reliving his best years but inevitably things start to go 'Pete Tong' as one lie leads to another lie and his previous rock and roll life comes back to haunt him.
This is a debut novel by local Bournemouth author Steve Couch, and I have to say I was very impressed with it. My music era was the 70's and 80's so there is a lot in this book to which I can relate, was a regular reader of NME (New Musical Express) which does get a mention in the book although I felt the author possibly could have added in the other major media influences of the time, like Radio Luxembourg and the rawness of early years of Radio 1, which I am sure would have added some extra authenticity. This said this does not take anything away from the enjoyment of the book.
My final comment is back to the book itself; I will not spoil the surprise but whoever came up with the idea of the trubute band name and the name of that final album, I offer my congratulations, genius!