David F Ross: Dashboard Elvis Is Dead

Today I’m joining the blog tour for Dashboard Elvis Is Dead. My review is written with thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me on the blog tour and to Orenda Books for my copy of the book.


Renowned photo-journalist Jude Montgomery arrives in Glasgow in 2014, in the wake of the failed Scottish independence referendum, and it’s clear that she’s searching for someone.

Is it Anna Mason, who will go on to lead the country as First Minister? Jamie Hewitt, guitarist from eighties one-hit wonders The Hyptones? Or is it Rabbit – Jude’s estranged foster sister, now a world-famous artist?

Three apparently unconnected people, who share a devastating secret, whose lives were forever changed by one traumatic night in Phoenix, forty years earlier.

Taking us back to a school shooting in her Texas hometown, and a 1980s road trip across the American West – to San Francisco and on to New York – Jude’s search ends in Glasgow, and a final, shocking event that only one person can fully explain…

An extraordinary, gritty and tender novel about fate and destiny, regret and absolution – and a road trip that changes everything…


The first thing to say is that David F Ross is an absolutely phenomenal writer. Throughout Dashboard Elvis Is Dead, he describes places, events, feelings and abstract ideas with wonderful phrases that brought me right into the heart of the story and made me feel every emotion within it. 

Dashboard Elvis Is Dead tells us two overlapping stories that are very different to each other but equally engaging. It did take me a while to get to grips with this, but I was consistently intrigued by how the stories would come together, and once they did, the author’s intelligent writing really came into its own. The central characters he has created are full of depth and I really cared about them as the story developed. 

The novel is set in a number of locations and Ross’ sense of place for each one is brilliant. I was transported to each different place with the characters and I got a vivid sense of what life was like there. This was enhanced by the inclusion of real life events, such as 9/11 and the fire at Glasgow School Of Art, which really brought home what life was like for the people involved. 

As we learn more about Jude and Jamie and the people around them, the author takes us through some heartbreaking situations and some incredibly sensitive issues. It’s not always easy reading and it made me feel really emotional, but it touched me and the characters’ plight will stay on my mind long after I finished reading. 

And that ending, well, wow. 

Dashboard Elvis Is Dead is available from Amazon.

You can follow the rest of the blog tour here:

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