In mid-March 1977, ballistics link murders going back seven months to the same Charter Arms Bulldog .44. A psycho, Son of Sam, is on the loose. But Coleridge Taylor can't compete with the armies of reporters assigned by the city's tabloids--only rewrite what they get. Always looking for victims who need a voice, he sees other killings are being ignored because of the police manhunt and 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.
Coleridge's research puts him in the crosshairs of a hit man and entangled 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 arson. Taylor and his PI girlfriend Samantha head out into the darkness, where a steamy night of mob violence awaits them. Duty demands that they separate, so Taylor is forced to track his quarry alone.
When the lights come back on, how many dead will be added to the body count? Lacking Samantha's skill with a gun, can Taylor stay alive until the lights come on?
Book 4 in the Coleridge Taylor Mystery series.
About the Author
Rich Zahradnik is the award-winning author of the critically acclaimed Coleridge Taylor Mystery series (Last Words, Drop Dead Punk, A Black Sail, Lights Out Summer). The first two books in the series were shortlisted or won awards in the three major competitions for books from independent publishers. Drop Dead Punk won the gold medal for mystery eBook in the 2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards. It was also named a finalist in the mystery category of the 2016 Next Generation Indie 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. Zahradnik was a journalist for 30-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. For more information, go to www.richzahradnik.com.
"In Zahradnik's well-plotted fourth Coleridge Taylor mystery (after 2016's A Black Sail), Taylor, a journalist who works for a small wire service in New York City, ignores the Son of Sam story everyone is closing in 1977 and instead goes after the largely ignored murder of Martha Gibson, a 24-year-old black woman who was shot dead in her Queens apartment. Gibson earned a college degree from City College, and worked her way up from secretary to a sales position at a company headquartered in the Empire State Building. When her boss sexually harassed her, she quit and took a job as a maid for the DeVries family on Park Avenue. The police aren't interested in Gibson's apparently senseless shooting, but Taylor gets several possible leads from Martha's drug-using sister, Abigail, whom Martha was supporting, as well as members of the DeVries household. Zahradnik nails the period, with its pack journalism, racism overt and subtle, and the excess of the wealthy at places like Studio 54, as he shows how one dogged reporter can make a difference."
5 Stars: "Lights Out Summer is a gripping multiple-murder mystery overlaid with tremendous atmosphere and action. Here's hoping a fifth Coleridge Taylor adventure is in the works."
--ForeWord Clarion Reviews