Benny Gower is a stand-up guy caught up in a world of crime sustained by drugs, violence, and intimidation. He's the nice guy of the underworld, running nightclubs and musicians, kicking cash up to the powers that be on the regular. He even manages to turn his junkie girlfriend away from the poison she pumps into her body. So naturally things all go to shit for him in a moment of red rage that leaves the heir apparent to the criminal organisation dead and causes a retired hit man to strap on the tools of the trade to hunt down Benny.
WHEN THE MUSIC'S OVER is a revenge fueled romp into the underbelly of noir.
When Benny guns down Weir (the man caught sleeping with his's girlfriend and the supplier of her habit) his world turns for a second time, with the first, being the catalyst for his entry into the underworld - the same underworld he now finds himself on the run from.
The story largely follows Wynn, the hit man commissioned from retirement to track down Benny as he questions all known acquaintances in order to locate his quarry. The tact allows the author to progressively provide the reader with insight into Benny's character and context to the almost justifiable homicide. There are also nice touches of character development that make Wynn more human than just a generic hit man.
WHEN THE MUSIC'S OVER is a quick read that sits nicely in the carved out niche of noir.