The Gary Morrissey Series by

Harry G. Pellegrin

Modern Issues,

Classic Style






 

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It has been rumored that LOW END has made certain government agencies so uncomfortable that it has been placed on a list of publications that the mass media reviewers are advised to avoid and to which no publicity should be given.

     Gary Morrissey has a way of finding trouble. Actually there's no real talent for it on his part, it seems that the troubles make their way to him. He thinks that life has handed him a very poor five cards, but they're really no worse than anyone else's. His perspective is narrowed though. You see, people have this uncannily bad habit of passing away. Suddenly. Unexpectedly. And right in Gary's back yard.

The police are always suspicious of Gary -- how can there be so much smoke and no fire? Of course, the real murderers don't care for Gary either because Gary has this uncomfortable desire to have the cops get the right man, as long as it isn't him!

Gary's friends. Hmmm, musicians, bikers... He likes the young ladies too. As a semi-starving musician making his way through a series of day jobs taken only to feed the belly and the landlord, he rubs elbows with some real characters. Living in Yonkers in the 1980's, Gary is close enough to New York City to keep his finger on the pulse of the music business and close enough to the Bronx and New Rochelle to keep his world decidedly tawdry.

Read about Gary and his world in LOW END published by American Book Publishing and in the soon-to-be-released sequel -- DEEP END: The Wreck of the Eddie Fitz.

About LOW END:

A murder mystery with a twist involving a least-likely detective, a disillusioned, New York City musician named Gary Morrissey. Gary finds himself involved in a murder investigation of his own making when shadows of government corruption and hints of premeditated genocide are cast over a friend’s murder. The author’s own experiences are reflected in his lead character, whose love for New York City and for its less-than-attractive suburbs and citizens emanates from every page and whose musical knowledge and expertise provide a unique background for the events that unfold.

Gary Morrissey, a working musician slowly succumbing to a day job, has just learned of the death of a mutual friend, session bass player Devon Jones. The report comes via the person of Martin Seddon, a good friend of Gary’s. “Captain” Marty doesn’t believe that the official story of Devon’s death is truth. Although neither of the men have any idea of what they can do to find the unofficial truth, Gary feels a certain loyalty and a desire to help Marty since he’d helped Gary recover and cope after a nasty divorce.

Devon had been gunned down by police officers during a response to what was purported to be a loud domestic dispute. However, Devon had been preoccupied with what he’d concluded to be a large-scale drug dealing conspiracy and had been in fear for his life. Were the police really responsible? Had there been truth to his conspiracy theory? More from a sense of duty to a friend than any desire to get involved with what could possibly be a high-stakes illegal empire, Gary decides to ask a few questions.

Gary figures he can research Devon’s last few months of life by visiting some of his haunts and talking to those who knew him. Burdened by his own emotional wounds and the prospect of a new relationship with Lisa, a smart and attractive young lady, Gary is pulled between helping a friend and keeping Lisa and himself from joining Devon on the obituary page. His investigation, at first half-hearted and inept, gradually gains a position of prominence in his life as he crosses paths with a Yonkers Police Department homicide detective with a skeleton – literally – in his family closet, the sergeant-at-arms of the Devil’s Own, a small, local outlaw motorcycle club trying to maintain an air of legality in a tough neighborhood, and a high-roller drug czar who may not be what he seems.

Gary is falling for Lisa contradicting his own policy to avoid emotional dependence at all cost. Lisa too finds herself developing an emotional attachment that she says she doesn’t believe exists in ‘real’ life. She also has a secret that she is trying to keep Gary from discovering.

Devon thought he had evidence in his possession that would prove the existence of a wide-scale government attempt to kill off the Baby Boomers before they reach Social Security age. Why before this age? His assumption was that the government would want to do this rather than go bankrupt paying out Social Security benefits to the largest group of recipients ever. While Gary feels this theoretical ‘conspiracy’ is ludicrous, he becomes more and more convinced that, although it might not have been the government who had killed Devon, he just might have had evidence of something, and that something just possibly had been proven lethal.

About DEEP END:

Gary Morrissey is a semi-professional musician.  It’s not that he doesn’t have the talent or the technique to be professional.  No, life has dealt him a bad hand and he is incapable of playing the cards successfully.    Rather than risk further failure, he relies on an adequately lucrative dead-end day job to pay the bills, occasionally performing ‘live’ gigs and padding his wallet with a commercial recording session when he can’t escape it.  Divorce and a short-lived and bittersweet rebound romance have left him emotionally exhausted. He lives in a spacious apartment in an old building located in South Yonkers, a neighborhood what realtors would describe as ‘interesting.’

He had taken up scuba diving during more prosperous times.  His dive buddy from Open Water certification—Dave, a   motorcyclist with a handgun—has reappeared in Gary’s life and has managed to embroil the two of them in a shady salvage operation sponsored by a decidedly larcenous dive shop owner named Felix.  What could the waters of Long Island Sound possibly conceal worth salvaging?  On a dive Felix had discovered the wreck of what he believes is a schooner barge nestled in a rocky area seldom visited by boaters—Execution Rocks. [Schooner barges were old sailing vessels rendered obsolete with the advent of steam.  These schooners were stripped of their masts and the empty hulls used as barges.]  This schooner barge is constructed in typical eighteenth and nineteenth century fashion with large brass spikes holding hull sheathing to the underlying structure.  Due to the wreck’s proximity to heavily traversed waters, Felix plans to salvage this brass at night.  Gary and Dave are just the guys to help.  No one knows the name of the schooner. In a nod to the pop culture, the guys jokingly name the wreck the Eddie Fitz, after the famous Great Lakes wreck, Edmund Fitzgerald.

A few weeks into a series of grueling night dives at the site, Gary surfaces close to the pinnacle of the rocky formation and makes a grisly discovery.  A young woman’s body is chained to the boulders below the high tide mark. 

After interrogation by all the proper authorities, Gary is disgusted and unnerved to find yet another representative of the law enforcement community leaning against his car in the Marina parking lot.  Detective Bradley O’Neil of the Yonkers PD is known only too well by Gary.  Three years previous, O’Neil’s friend in the homicide squad, Malcolm O’Brien had murdered two of Gary’s fellow musicians and friends.  O’Neil has (correctly) surmised that Gary had something to do with O’Brien’s permanent removal from the Yonkers scene and although out of his jurisdiction, he still wants to exert whatever pressure he can on Gary.  Gary believes it is because of the O’Brien connection and in a way he’s right.

 

O’Neil has been plagued by murders committed within and outside the shadow of his gold shield.  He’s having difficulty convincing his own department and those in other jurisdictions that these killings are related.  None of the victims have anything in common; there are no similar modes of either death or subsequent disposal of the victims’ remains.  He’s made himself something of a pariah throughout a list of agencies.  What he sees in these murders is not the normal ‘common thread’.  His belief is that the brutality of the crimes indicates a link.  That is exactly why no one will believe his postulations.  Hey, the City is a brutal place with brutal perpetrators—the mantra he’s heard from the Bronx to White Plains. 

Brad O’Neil has wasted too much of the department’s time trying to tie a bunch of semi-cold cases together.  He feels Gary owes him quite a bit in that he had never opened any kind of investigation of Gary re O’Brien’s demise.  Brad had felt there might be evidence against Gary to be found.  Because of this, he feels he can force Gary into a bit of indentured servitude by performing some legwork for him.

Gary has been more than happy to be below anyone’s radar for the past three years and is very reticent to don the tee shirt with the red target on it once again.  He’s also met Helen, a nice young woman for whom he appears to have developed an emotional attachment.  Even so, Gary feels he can’t escape Brad’s scheme without risking more than would be by simply agreeing to it.  Brad shows Gary the case files on the murders.  It is a creep how of dismemberment, mutilation, and dissection—yet none of the victims died in a particularly vicious fashion.  Most are poisonings or a small calibre gunshot wound to the back of the head at close range. About half the victims had been known to frequent four bars in lower Westchester County and both Brad and Gary conclude that these bars might reveal a common thread.  Gary’s assignment: check the bars, get a feel for them.

To further complicate Gary’s world, a studio session leads to an invitation to play with a Blind Benny Beausoleil, a very hot and popular bluesman in New Orleans.  Benny owns a club and fronts the house band.  He has heard Gary play and feels Gary has the chops to replace the guitarist who he’d been working with—a guitarist who had turned up dead in Jackson Square Park.

Gary decides to side-step Brad’s investigation and flies to New Orleans taking Helen with him.  Gary—and most folks around him—are astounded that Blind Benny has flown a little white boy down to the Deep South to play in an all-Black blues band.  Couldn’t Benny find a suitable (and better) guitar player in the Mississippi Delta?   Blind Benny has been blind since birth and doesn’t see people as black or white.  He responds to what’s in their souls and he finds Gary to be sufficient in that respect.

Why?  Why interest in Gary?  Why this interest in the wreck of a small schooner barge? The trail leads to a Cajun Kreuol voodoo cult with roots in the mountains of Haiti and a wild ride for Gary as he tries to keep both the law as well as a voracious murderer from taking him out of the equation.

 AVAILABLE NOW !

The Classic Guitar Method: Now in one volume, much of what the novice classical guitarist will need to know to lead him or her to the recital stage. From proper instrument care and maintenance to the necessary technical skills, musical mind-set, and the standard repertoire—all exposed and explored with enough detail and insight that the student will wish to keep this book handy years to come as a ready reference source.





With the aid of a good teacher, the student will rapidly progress through The Classic Guitar Method attaining technical proficiency and musical eloquence.

This method stems from the need to incorporate a number of schools into a single cohesive curriculum. Years of honing a logical approach to the guitar and the creation of music culminate in this volume. As a self-proclaimed Disciple of Valdés-Blain , much of that famed teacher's focus can be found in Mr. Pellegrin's method.

ISBN: 978-1-4116-9442-2

Published by PAB Entertainment Group, P.O. Box 2369 Scotia, New York 12302

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Harry G. Pellegrin

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LOW END is Published by Bedside Books, an imprint of American Book Publishing.

ISBN 1-58982-074-6

LOW ENDCopyright 2000 Harry G. Pellegrin

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