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A Preview of Pewter, Murder, and Loaded Dice

Devin Predire is your typical eighth grader who only cares about becoming the lead singer of his friend's heavy metal band, winning fights at Gracefield Junior High, girls, and avoiding an aiding and abetting rap for the murder of one of his closest buddies. When the band gathers one night to rehearse, Colin Mulroney arrives, and the group decides to turn out the lights and pretend no one's home. The four sneak out of the house while Colin stands outside begging to be let in.

Fed up with Colin's childish ways, Ethan, one of the band members, decides to take out his aggressions by beating Colin with a fiberglass pole. Much to Ethan's chagrin, Simon steps in before Colin is beaten to a bloody pulp. Colin then becomes the sacrificial lamb to any ill-intended men they encounter along the way.

After failing miserably at the school talent show, the band decides to drown their sorrows at Alex's house. Opening the door for what should be the pizza delivery guy, the band finds Colin badly beaten with a broken neck.

Pewter, Murder, and Loaded Dice

Stephen King's "Stand By Me" meets Stanley Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange"
In 1992, all Devin Predire cares about is becoming the lead singer of his friends’ heavy metal band, getting laid, winning fights at his school, and dodging the wrap for the murder of a close friend. Devin’s unintrusive father gives him everything he wants. He is free to roam his hometown, Gracefield, buying vending machine cigarettes, stealing pot, alcohol, and porn from his friends’ parents, jamming in Alex Vinkler’s garage with “The Band,” and playing sci-fi/fantasy role-playing games.

Alex lives alone with his father in the trashiest house on his dirt road. Alex’s dad spends his time at home ripping up the kitchen floor to damn the flood plain underneath Alex’s house, but mainly, he stays with his girlfriend, leaving Alex, the band’s drummer, and his friends to jam.

Pewter, Murder, and Loaded Dice, Book Cover

"Nick Sconce captures perfectly the stunned lope through life of teenage males junk cultured to the eyeballs, and forever chasing a buzz to make it less junky. If it wasn't for the mercifully recurring dollops of insightful humor page after page, you'd have to come away from this book gravely sick in the digestives about the future of American kids, especially given recessionary times and the chipping-away destruction such times are going to put on wisecracking junior headbangers like these."

Martin Popoff, author of 27 titles including Getting’ Tighter: Deep Purple ’68- ’76, All Access: The Art and History of the Backstage Pass, and Ye Olde Metal: 1978

A J.D. Salinger-styled story of teenage wasteland where disaffected, role-playing metalheads grapple for a sense of purpose through the brutal transition of adolescence. Nick Sconce's vivid description of life for these gifted, but dangerously misguided youth examines how the hyper-sexed and violent fantasy worlds of confused teenagers can bleed into their everyday lives, without Sconce losing sight of the humanity behind each character.”

Charles Martin, writer for the Oklahoma Gazette and author of "the dominant hand: The Unauthorized Story of Jim Jacobs and the Cult that Saved the World"

Pewter, Murder and Loaded Dice isn't a happy story filled with fond childhood memories and coming of age moments. This is a story about reality from the perspective of the adolescent, which as we all firmly recall, can contain gracious moments of innocent fun, and horrible memories of social awkwardness amongst one's peers. Nick Sconce has told a tale here that isn't Harry Potter, but rather an in depth cross between coming of age, dark humor and social naiveté that can lead to some unsavory, but memorable moments for both the characters and the reader. This isn't a happy story, but it makes up for it with intrigue, humor and a rich character development that hearkens to the classic film, Stand By Me.
Cody Plucker -

Rave Reviews for Pewter, Murder, and Loaded Dice

"When you're in eighth grade, taking the term death metal literally is never the best idea. Pewter, Murder, and Loaded Dice is the story of Devin Predire, an eighth grader faced with the death of Colin Mulroney, whose blood may be on Devin's hands. There failure as a heavy metal band soon becomes the furthest thing from their concern as eighth graders are not equipped to deal with the problems they face. Grim and endlessly intriguing, Pewter, Murder, and Loaded Dice is a read that is well worth considering for younger mystery fans."—Midwest Book Review

"I love it when i start reading a book which subject/theme does not necessarily appeal to my general taste at first (I was never into role-playing games or particularly inclined to find out what goes on in the heads of a bunch of pubescent male high-schoolers) and i find out i cannot put the book down until it's over. Nick Sconce has a knack for great dialogues that flow seamlessly and never sound contrived or fake (which can be a very tough thing to do when dealing with adolescent voices). His characters, while violent, are credible in their actions and have depth in their humanity and sensibility. The clever juxtaposition of their fantasy and real world works very well throughout the story. I can definitely see a great movie based on this novel, like a darker, more twisted version of Stand by Me."—Delphine P.

Purchase Information

You can purchase Pewter, Murder, and Loaded Dice in hardcover for $24.99 here and in bookstores nationwide. You can also become part of the conversation about Nick Sconce's dark fiction by joining his Facebook group.