Author: Gary Cusik
Publisher: Alibi, April 2015
Tommy Reylander is a police officer, but in his spare time he loves performing as — Elvis! Yes, this part-time job gives him great pleasure. But alas, one night, after performing for a group of senior citizens, he is killed.
The detective assigned to the case is Darla Cavannah, one of the best investigators working for the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation. Tommy (the now-dead Elvis) used to be Darla’s partner, so she actually begs her boss to have this case. She gets the case, but she has only three days to solve it.
Darla is not sure why Tommy was killed. It could be related to his police work or it could be related to his Elvis impersonations. Or it might be something else. Darla has earned her reputation honestly as she really is a good detective. When additional Elvis impersonators are killed, Darla starts looking in that direction. She uncovers some seriously bad characters: mob guys.
Officer Elvis was a solid and thoroughly well devised detective novel. The author, prior to his writing career, was a Creative Director for an advertising agency. It shows in the story. This is a creative story that includes intelligent use of humor. Laugh-out loud humor. There’s one more thing I liked: a nice creative twist at the end.
This whole phenomenon of Elvis impersonators has been something of a puzzle to me over the years. I’m old enough to remember the real Elvis Presley. I was a little past 20 when he gained massive popularity. That’s a little past the swooning age, but I still felt a strong “connection” whenever I’d hear one of his songs. I can also remember exactly where I was when I heard that Elvis had died.
Elvis was not just popular with girls. All the guys I knew loved his music too. In fact, my husband and I went to an Elvis Presley movie for our second date. (Our first date was a blind date, so on this second date we were all alone. Well, along with Elvis up on the big screen.)
My husband and I have talked about the Elvis impersonators. We really aren’t sure why impersonating Elvis is so popular. Some times it seems as if they are making fun of him, but I prefer to think its because the impersonators really like him and/or his music. It could alsol be that impersonating Elvis is just a fun thing to do. I thought the use of Elvis impersonators in this story was a clever part of the plot.
I strongly recommend Officer Elvis.
About the author:
Gary Gusick is the author of The Last Clinic. A former advertising executive with more than thirty years experience as a copywriter and creative director, Gusick has won numerous national and international awards for creative excellence in advertising.