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Last Words Review
In March 1975, thirty-year-old newsman Coleridge Taylor was looking for a story good enough to get him out of the basement, writing obituaries, and back to the newsroom where he felt he belonged. The skid occurred when he invented sources for the police beat he was working at the Messenger-Telegram in New York City.
Needing a good story to hopefully get back in the good grace of his boss, he prowled the local emergency rooms and police precincts to find a story that can redeem his place as his newspapers top police reporter.
He stopped at an emergency room in Harlem and found three children had been shot. Another five young children were found dead due to the frigid weather.
One particular boy was at Bellevue Hospital, but his death seemed odd. First of all, he didnít look homeless although he was frozen to death. It looked like someone soaked him with water before he died, and he was wearing someone elseís army field jacket.
From the time Taylor decided to follow the lead and tried to get his job back, he faced numerous challenges from several directions including the mob. As he pushed forward, the opposition was so strong he didnít think he was going to live long enough to wrap up his story and get himself back to the newsroom where he believed he belonged.
Last Words, A Coleridge Taylor Mystery, is the first book in a new series by Rich Zahradnik. The retro-mystery is a period piece set in 1975 New York City, a tough time for the city, and one that the author used to great advantage as he set the tone of the story.
The sights and sounds of the city in that day ring true to those of us old enough to have gone through the seventies. The author deftly uses the gritty landscape, the cops on the take who will do anything to those who even remotely consider crossing them, and the smell of fear that blanketed the city.
From the very first sentence to the stunning end, readers will likely struggle to put the book down. It is fast-paced and riveting, and well worth the read.
If you are interested in picking up Last Words, the novel is available on Amazon, in paper and on Kindle.
A special thank you goes to Camel Press for providing a complimentary copy of this book for our review.
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