Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Rich Zahradnik - Lights Out Summer - Review & Giveaway

About the Book

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.

My Review

Taylor is a reporter who likes to collect scenes of New York by peering into all of its dark corners. For him, it's not just a job, it's his passion. So when he's called to investigate a murder related to one of the city's most prestigious families—think Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, Carnegies—"he doubted an army field jacket made the grade at 827 Park Avenue."

A seasoned veteran, Taylor's not one to be easily intimidated, yet he's not about to let himself become the punch line to some rich man's joke. Yet as it turns out, Taylor ends up liking the older gentleman he's sent to question, even though they come "from opposite ends of the New York social solar system." Taylor knows this is New York. Nowhere is safe. But the patriarch of the DeVries family feels "separated from what the city could do to them," when in all reality, their wealth is what drew the bad right to them and they never saw it coming.

After overhearing a conversation about how DeVries is "still writing the same checks to charities when [he's] going to be the charity. He has to be stopped"—the family maid almost immediately turns up dead. In a city known for transforming high profile murder cases into front page news, Taylor is well aware that the family's fall from grace is the kind of story readers are eager to read. Yet he's not looking to tarnish the family's reputation, he only wants to get the victim's story out there.

And the most likely candidate for knowing something about her murder is DeVries's son, "one of those kids…handed all the opportunity in the world and get more and more confused about what to do with it." With no job, no company, he's not the kind of guy who rides the subway. After observing him in many different circumstances from high scale dinner parties to the infamous Studio 54, Taylor realizes the young DeVries lives in a whole other world from him, a world where drugs, women and any type of depravity is within easy reach, as well as the criminal element that is more than willing to provide such things.

When Taylor confronts young DeVries after his father, too, turns up dead, all he can sputter in response to Taylor's line of questioning is, "[What is] this…some stupid game of Clue?"

Not exactly the heartfelt cry of a grieving son. But is he in anyway guilty of what happened to his father? That's for you to read and decide.


Lights Out Summer can be pre-ordered at:
Barnes and Noble

Prices/Formats: $4.95 ebook, $15.95 paperback, $29.95 audio
Genre: Historical, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Pages: 288
Release: October 1, 2017
Publisher: Camel Press
ISBN: 9781603812139
Click to add to your Goodreads list.


About the Author

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 Sail was 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 Sail received 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.

Links to connect with Rich:
Web Site

About the Giveaway

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  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Cover and the summary makes this sound like a great read. Love that it's about NY.

  3. I deleted my own comment by accident (forgot to check Notify Me). Thank you Connie for the review. I will be stopping back to see if your readers have questions or comments.

  4. This sounds like an edgy murder related story that I will enjoy.