A Roundtable Interview with

Harry Pellegrin



~Review of LOW END~

Interviewed by Brian Kaufman



Harry G. Pellegrin is a Bronx-raised author with an extensive background in music, both what he calls "museum music," and rock-and-roll.  In "Low
End," he brings his love of music and good detective fiction together through Gary Morrissey, his darkly complex protagonist.  Harry notes:

"Fictional characters who either lead idyllic
lives or apparently overcome total emotional carnage
in the span of three paragraphs have always put me
off.  I want Gary to be a true-to-life human being. 
When he's cut, he bleeds--and copiously...Gary has
a hard time successfully coping with others' opinions
of him.  He takes all the negatives spoken over him
and considers them gospel.  In fact, even when he is
complimented, he tries to find the ulterior motive..."

"Low End" features a murder mystery, complicated by a conspiracy theory centering on drug use.  Harry is outspoken in his opposition to drug use,
an interesting sub-text to a novel about a musician:

"I am quite anti-drug. I have seen too many
lives destroyed by 'recreational' drug use. (My
protagonist) and I...both were introduced to meth
as a fix for sleepiness and drunkenness while on
the road with rock bands.  I was lucky and got out
of the trap, many friends didn't.  Drugs ruin brains,
stifle creativity and shorten lives.  The Baby Boomer
generation has either fostered or been the catalyst
in some of the most sweeping changes and advances
our society has experienced.  I often wonder how
much more might have been--if drugs hadn't burned
out so many minds."

In a twist geared toward enhancing the novel's believability, Harry uses actual New York locations in his story.  Some of the characters are real
people as well, including Martin Seddon, a pre-production film designer.  I asked Harry how Martin reacted to the death of the fictional Martin in the book...

"He thought it was hysterical that he had
been murdered. Marty is probably the most good-humored person I've ever known...His only negative comment about LOW END was, 'Do I really drink that much? I have a drink in my had whenever I'm mentioned!' Martin is as good a friend to me as he was to Gary..."

I asked Harry what's next for his protagonist ("Low End" is the first book in a series). 

"...Gary has an uncanny knack for being in
the wrong place at the wrong time.  His story will
pick up three years after the action of "Low End."
Gary is once again thrust under the scrutiny of
the police when he and his scuba dive buddy find
a murder victim in the waters of Long Island Sound.
This victim is not the product of your ordinary,
garden-variety crime of passion or murder-for-hire. 
It's a very different spin on homicide.  I don't
want to spoil the story, so I'll say no more..."

As for Gary Morrissey, guitarist and reluctant detective, happiness is going to continue to be elusive:

"Gary can't see himself as a 'good' person. 
Aside from his closest friends, he has scared everyone
else off...his ex-wife told him he was useless,
unloving, unworthy, and unlovable.  Because this came
from the one person in the world he truly loved...he
bought into it...Gary will have to deal with this
inner darkness and it will take time..."

To keep up with the latest on Gary Morrissey, visit author Harry G. Pellegrin at his web site: