Dead Man Singing

Dead Man Singing

Published on the 28th September, 2023

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?


An original and pacy plot and very immersive detail – definitely one for the music fans. The author clearly knows his subject! The crescendo of this book is fantastically written, thoughtful and with wonderful dialogue. I would recommend not only to music fans, who will appreciate the finer details, but to anyone who enjoys delving into relationships and friendships, with all their triumphs and shortcomings.

via Goodreads

I have just finished the book and couldn’t put it down towards the end. It’s a brilliant premise and the ending definitely wasn’t predictable – it even made up for all the drummer jokes! I loved the journey of the main character, Dave Masters, from beginning to end. Some bits actually made me laugh out loud. I really enjoyed it and can’t wait for the next book.

Natalie P
via Goodreads

Couch has created a wonderful narrative which had me gripped from start to finish. If I could give more than 5 stars I would!

Jimi M
via Amazon

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 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 the smoky bars and phone boxes with their unique aroma, to venues which in some cases are regrettably long gone.


This is a debut novel by Bournemouth author Steve Couch and I have to say I was very impressed with it… my final comment is back to the book itself; I will not spoil the surprise, but whoever came up with the idea of the tribute band name and the name of that final album, I offer my congratulations: genius!

Brian Case
BHLiving Magazine

A great debut novel that gradually pulls you in through musical references and intrigue until you are holding your breath to find the outcome for Dave. He becomes someone you find egotistical and frustrating yet loveable and admirable at times as well. Rather like some of the real musicians out there… a really good read all round.

Amazon customer
via Amazon

Good story that gets funnier and more unputdownable as it progresses.

I thought I would like this, then enjoyed it more than I expected. Preferred this over Nick Hornby, and I don’t think it’s entirely down to being forgetful of Fever Pitch plot line over the years.

With the related Spotify Playlists and copious discussion questions, I thought this made a full well-rounded offering. The best things, IMHO: the concept of the novel, the plotline, the extended final major scene (can’t say more – spoiler) which borders on ironic and farcical, yet without being silly: great ending.

via Amazon

I loved this! I've not enjoyed a story of this genre this much since I read Nick Hornby over 20 years ago.

When I heard about it, I was intrigued by the idea behind this story. It did not fail to deliver. I couldn't put it down.

It's funny, unique and engaging. Most of all I loved the characters; the mark of a good story for me is when I care about the characters and want the best for them. The author nailed this!

Alex Oehring
via Amazon

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!

Matt Shine

A thoroughly enjoyable read. You find yourself drawn into the intrigue and becoming invested in Dave more and more as the book goes on. The sign of a good character, I was at times cross, frustrated and fed up with him and yet ultimately wanting him to find his peace. An entertaining read for the hidden musician/fame seeker in all of us

Elizabeth Dodd
via Goodreads

Fabulous concept of a story and well thought out narrative. The factual knowledge surrounding the fictional story gives it real gravity and realism. All the characters resonate in some way and the story takes you on a fantastic rollercoaster of an adventure that twists and turns without the obvious results. Loved it!!

Ben Goodridge
via Amazon

Didn't know what to expect with this after receiving as a gift but absolutely loved it! Brilliant plot concept, great characters and plenty of twists and turns to keep you hooked. A must read!

S. Reid
via Amazon

Clever and immersive in rock music history of the 60s and 70s, while set in the 90s. A successful musician facing the decline of his career ends up faking his own death. Plenty of plot twists to keep you guessing with an ultimately surprising ending.

Sue Em
via Goodreads

The characters seemed real and well thought out. The plot wound its way from apparent familiarity, to twists and turns which were unexpected and often hilarious or tragic by turn. In many ways, the ideal read! A master class in writing style and in reader engagement. I enjoyed every page and may read it again and find out even more.

Mark Whiting
via Amazon

A brilliant first novel. I bought it because of the original concept, and planned to read it during a short break in the USA, starting on the outward flight. It didn’t quite work out. Every time I thought it might become predictable, another twist in the plot arrived, and I wanted to find what happened next. As a result, I finished the book before we landed, and had to resort to some indifferent films on the way home. The characters were interesting, all of them flawed in some way but also attracting sympathy. I was impressed by the depth of knowledge the author had about music, musicians and venues, which rooted the story in reality. I also enjoyed the descriptions of life on the road for a band, whose members have little in common apart from their music. I won’t say any more, as I don’t want to give any surprises away, except to suggest that you buy this book. You won’t regret it!

Peter P
via Amazon

Such a clever premise for a book and I was hooked just by reading the blurb. And I wasn't disappointed when I got into the book itself. From the start, the characters, dialogue and behaviour are totally believable and extremely well written. I was absorbed to the point where I actually shouted out 'Nooooooo' when Dave did something I didn't think he should do (no plot spoiler here!). The pace of the book was excellent and didn't dip - it was just a great read. It's really hard to believe that this is the author's first novel - the writing is THAT good. Highly recommended and if there's any justice in the world, it should be made into the most fantastic film!

Liz G
via Amazon

I really enjoyed the twists and turns of the story and really felt for Dave/Tom as he came to realise how much he loved what he had walked away from and how he wrestled with the truth. The idea of one action causing ripples that just keep spreading fascinates me. I also appreciated that everything was tidied up at the end and the epilogue was brilliant fun (although I'm not sure if I would have been as forgiving!)... Excellent.

Sarah Minchin
via Goodreads

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.

Steve B

A fun and unusual rock and roll story.

Alex Duncan
via Goodreads

As a former performer, I can say that the picture that Steve Couch paints of less-than-salubrious venues is spot on. I could almost smell the filthy carpets and old paint tins in the dressing rooms. A great plot. All I wanted to do was sit and read this riveting tale, but I had to tear myself away in order to address the everyday tasks which we all have to do. I was impressed with the song titles which the author came up with too. All in all, a very enjoyable book.

Graham Turner
via Amazon

I loved reading this book. It was engaging, with likeable characters and a storyline that got me hooked. The twists and turns meant I couldn't put it down. Great read.

Louise Porter
via Amazon

This kept me keenly reading over Christmas and New year. I enjoyed being in the world of 70s-90s music and references touched my memories of the time. Gentle humour accompanies the well-written story.

Stuart Ayres
via Goodreads

I really enjoyed this book… I think Dave Masters was a fab character. I can totally see why he faked his death and from there, the story begins. It’s a very eventful read that’ll have you engaging with the characters and Dave along the way.

Very thought provoking - I don’t want to give anything away but it has a lot of differing themes throughout - it’ll definitely keep you guessing until the end.


via Goodreads

I really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it, especially if you're a music lover. It got me hooked right from the start, and I really felt I got to know the characters and wanted to know how things turned out for them, so I couldn't put the book down. The end was truly brilliant, I didn't predict it at all! I really hope there's a sequel as I'd love to see what happens next for them.

Amazon customer

Really enjoyed this first book from Steve Couch, and can’t wait to read more! Great characters, intriguing storyline and one definitely for music lovers!

Jo Gutteridge
via Amazon

I enjoyed reading this book. It has elements of Daisy Jones with the rock band lifestyle with the fake death twist. It was a very easy book to read and I could understand why Dave Masters went to the lengths to wanting to start afresh. I liked the twist of setting up the Dave Masters tribute band, I was interested to see how that would turn out to be and it worked out well…I actually gasped and eye-rolled at some of the character's decisions in the book, so I was clearly engaging with the story. 

I really enjoyed reading Dead Man Singing. I don’t want to give anything away but I trusted my gut when reading about the characters and I was not disappointed. I would happily recommend this book!

via Goodreads

Couch “masters” his debut novel and finds the perfect rhythm in this entertaining story, with more twists and turns than your record player!

Dave’s journey, from has-been to someone, is strung together brilliantly with a motley crew of lovable characters and a note of personal growth which helps the story build to the perfect crescendo.

This book really struck a chord with me.

Dan Lloyd
via Goodreads

Just reading the words on the back shows it's going to be good. Dave is very likeable so you always have sympathy for him. Even though you might think he's an idiot at one point! Lol. And finally there's a twist. As I got to the end I speeded up my reading to find out what happens. The ending was spectacular.

Linda Hamilton-Ross
via Amazon

Interested in music? This book thoroughly explores the rock-band lifestyle. Full of popular songs and other musical references. The author keeps the story moving with a well thought-out plot and provides a satisfactory ending. It is very readable and entertaining. A fun read that rock fans everywhere will enjoy.

Robin Dynes
via Amazon