Wednesday, August 16, 2017

No one Cares

The Coleridge Taylor Mysteries are about a newspaper reporter who is interested in solving the murders no one cares about.  Lights Out Summer by Rich Zahradnik is the latest Coleridge Taylor mystery.
Taylor works for a news wire.  The large, flashy newspapers cover the big news.  They seek the sensational, the latest titillation that the public seems to clamor over.  But Taylor would rather find the story of the people who interest him the most, like Martha Gibson.

Martha was a hard working young woman, who was murdered.  The crime seemed unsolvable, but Taylor was determined to find the killer.  In researching Martha’s life, he becomes enmeshed in Martha’s sister’s drug life and her employers’ rich lifestyle.

The reader will expect the drug dealer to have killed Martha.  Then it seems like someone in Martha’s employer’s family.  All this sleuthing is done on the side because Taylor has to do some reporting on other news. 

Taylor has a girl friend named Samantha, who is a private detective.  Taylor’s grandfather owns a coffee shop where Taylor and Samantha hang out.  It’s a place to relax and regroup.  Taylor often uses it as a meeting place.  Samantha and Grandpa support Taylor and help him recharge, besides offering him a sounding board to bounce his theories against.

I liked the pace in Lights Out Summer.  It was faster paced when the thrills erupted on the scene.  There were moments when I thought Martha Gibson was murdered by the Son of Sam.  Oh, that psycho is around.  In fact, the newspapers are clamoring over themselves to get that story out.  But Taylor only pays lip service to the Son of Sam.  He’s more interested in Martha Gibson. She was a good girl who came from a loving and supporting family.  And the police and media don’t seem to care because they’re chasing Son of Sam.  The author has the reader caring about Martha, too. 

That’s the beauty of the story.  The author has the reader care. The characters are delineated well. They are real people.  (Speaking fictionally)  I know people just like these characters.  Unfortunately, I know a few murderers.  (I volunteer in a prison.)  I know enough that people are people and everyone has choices to make. Unfortunately, some bad choices are life altering mistakes.

 Lights Our Summer is a good choice to read.  You just may get hooked on the Coleridge Taylor mysteries.  I was given this book to read and review, but my opinion is my own choice.

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Rich Zahradnik's Bio:

Rich Zahradnik is the award-winning author of the critically acclaimed Coleridge Taylor Mystery series (Lights Out Summer, A Black Sail, Drop Dead Punk, Last Words).

The first three books have been shortlisted or won awards in the three major competitions for novels from independent presses. A Black Sailwas named winner in the mystery category of the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Drop Dead Punk collected the gold medal for mystery ebook in the 2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards. Last Words won the bronze medal for mystery/thriller ebook in the 2015 IPPYs and honorable mention for mystery in the 2015 Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Awards.

"Taylor, who lives for the big story, makes an appealingly single-minded hero," Publishers Weekly wrote of Drop Dead Punk.

 A Black Sailreceived a starred review from Library Journal, which said, “Fans of the late Barbara D’Amato and Bruce DeSilva will relish this gritty and powerful crime novel.”

Zahradnik was a journalist for 25-plus years, working as a reporter and editor in all major news media, including online, newspaper, broadcast, magazine and wire services. He held editorial positions at CNN, Bloomberg News, Fox Business Network, AOL and The Hollywood Reporter.

Zahradnik was born in Poughkeepsie, New York, in 1960 and received his B.A. in journalism and political science from George Washington University. He lives with his wife Sheri and son Patrick in Pelham, New York, where he writes fiction and teaches kids around the New York area how to write news stories and publish newspapers.
Lights Out Summer Book Summary:
In March 1977, ballistics link murders going back six months to the same Charter Arms Bulldog .44. A serial killer, Son of Sam, is on the loose. But Coleridge Taylor can't compete with the armies of reporters fighting New York's tabloid war--only rewrite what they get. Constantly on the lookout for victims who need their stories told, he uncovers other killings being ignored because of the media circus. He goes after one, the story of a young Black woman gunned down in her apartment building the same night Son of Sam struck elsewhere in Queens.

The story entangles Taylor with a wealthy Park Avenue family at war with itself. Just as he's closing in on the killer and his scoop, the July 13-14 blackout sends New York into a 24-hour orgy of looting and destruction. Taylor and his PI girlfriend Samantha Callahan head out into the darkness, where a steamy night of mob violence awaits them.

In the midst of the chaos, a suspect in Taylor's story goes missing. Desperate, he races to a confrontation that will either break the story--or Taylor.

Book 4 in the Coleridge Taylor Mystery series.
Prices/Formats: $4.95 ebook, $15.95 paperback, $29.95 audio
Historical, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
October 1, 2017
Camel Press

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Tribute Books said...

Faith, thanks for always adding a personal touch to your reviews. That's what makes them great.

Rich Zahradnik said...

Hi Faith, Thank you for reviewing my latest crime novel. I'll be checking back to see if your readers have questions or comments.

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